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    • Day77

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 12

      June 29, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      We launched the day by joining our Limerick acquaintance Jay at a nearby breakfast restaurant known for its soda bread offerings. Breakfast was great, and we enjoyed further conversation before saying our good-byes.

      Today we ventured to our next stop in the coastal city of Galway. We noticed right away that the area has more wealth and it's clearly a draw for tourists. We chose to stay on the Popcorn Polaris, a quirky, but cozy space on a boat moored next to the Latin quarter. It was a bit windy this afternoon, and the boat rocks a bit, but it's comforting and quiet.

      After resting a bit, we explored the streets in the area. We dropped by a local gay bar for a beer. We were the only patrons while we were there, but we enjoyed a nice conversation with the bartender who is studying physics in college.

      Most of the locals are preoccupied with the inclement weather that has launched summer. I think our years in the Pacific NW has taught us to celebrate sun when it shows up and to find the peace and settling time of the rain. I prefer walking around on cool days so I'm good with the weather.

      We chose a tapas restaurant for dinner. The food was fine overall, but certainly not comparable to the tapas we enjoyed in Barcelona. We had a number of small plates, and we finished with a chocolate lava cake garnished with kumquats and raspberries. I ordered a latte which tasted fine, but looked like something that was produced by a broken convenience store machine. While my comments are sparky, I don't want to take away from the gracious, friendly service without exception. Ireland's people are just delightful.

      We left the restaurant and walked the streets while enjoying the buskers, the energy of the people strolling, and the sounds of pub patrons singing along with musicians.

      We stopped by a bench statue of Oscar Wilde and Estonian author Eduard Vilde. It was a cool likeness, and I took a pic of Jim C with Oscar. Every time I think of Oscar Wilde, I smile at his wicked wit, and I'm saddened by the persecution that he experienced. It appears that some would like to return to those times.

      We ended our walk with a stroll through a park dedicated to JFK. He was the first U.S. president to give a speech there. He delivered the speech 59 years ago today, just months before he was assassinated. JFK was the first President who I remember. He died when I was five years old. While we certainly know that he had plenty of flaws that were revealed in subsequent years, I do think our country would benefit from a youthful president again soon, preferably a woman. Old men have had enough turns in the role.

      We have settled in our cabin on the boat. Jim C is already drifting to sleep. We are both growing more excited about our return home, but I know that we will still squeeze in a few more adventures before doing so.

      "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
      Oscar Wilde
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      Love it

    • Day78

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 13

      June 30, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      We had a very good night sleeping on the MVP Popcorn Polaris. We learned that our boat was originally a fishing vessel about four decades ago. Ultimately it was a working boat and was neglected and sunk. It was resurfaced and transformed into a floating lodging space. The popcorn reference is to the red and white striped canopy over the deck which is reminiscent of a carnival popcorn stand.

      The day began with blue skies although the clouds quickly moved in. Jim C made a cappuccino run, and we enjoyed breakfast on the covered deck of the boat.

      We enjoyed a fairly lazy morning and then eventually wandered into the village for lunch. Our plan for the day was to end up in the village of Doolin which is located about an hour south of Galway and is renowned for its music scene.

      Given that most music venues don't get rolling until 8 or 9 pm, we decided to first head out to Burren National Park. The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. This area is known for its lack of topsoil and limestone outcroppings, yet the area is lush with wildflowers. We enjoyed our walk along one of the trails through woodlands, meadows and bogs. Burren exemplifies resilience and thriving despite conditions that don't support that outcome. Upon reflection, it seems fitting that my maternal grandmother's family was from Ireland. She remains one of the most vibrant and resilient persons who I have ever known.

      After the walk we headed toward Doolin. Given that it was only about 6 pm, we decided to explore a nearby cave known for holding a massive stalactite. As we approached the road leading to the entrance we saw a man in apparent distress. We learned that he had overcorrected to avoid a passing car on the narrow road and he ran over a sharp rock that punctured two tires. He was traveling with two younger men, and they were worried about getting assistance because they had no cell signal.

      We offered to give them a ride back to Doolin, and we learned that the father and two adult sons from Holland who were enroute to Galway after visiting the Cliffs of Moher.

      We returned to Doolin and stopped by a nearby Pub where they had a phone signal. They had no answer from the rental car company, and we told them that we would stay until they had a tenable solution. I told a server at the pub about the problem, and she had contact information about a man nearby who repairs tires. We grabbed a drink and chowder and invited the men to join us.

      We exchanged stories, and learned that they has come to Ireland to attend a Red Hot Chili Peppers Concert in Dublin, and they had decided to explore Ireland. We talked about favorire music groups and we discovered a shared love for Lucinda Williams. I didn't bring up "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road". Too soon. 🤣

      One of the sons had played lead guitar with Up With People. He had had erformed in Wyoming and Colorado. We talked about politics and once again we heard "What happened to America?" as they described their own frustrations back home. I learned that the father was planning to retire in six months, and I talked about the newly learned joys of retirement.

      After a few hours had passed, the tires were repaired and we let our new found acquaintances know that we treated them for dinner and drinks as we said goodbye. We told them that hopefully we had eased the burden of the day for them, and if we saw them in Galway tomorrow they could buy us a beer.

      We never did make it to a music venue, but I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything.

      I believe the Universe rewarded us with a spectacular sunset this evening and we are headed to bed with gratitude for this fine adventure.

      I learned from my brother that our niece gave birth to a son today. Welcome to the world, Jaxson Wren Banner.

      Good night
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    • Day79

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 14

      July 1, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      It was a bit of a bleak, wet "Julianurary" day today. Seriously, the day was mostly reminiscent of winter in the Pacific NW. Fittingly, we learned that there is a marker pointing to Seattle and a similar one pointing to Galway from Seattle as both cities are on the same latitude line, sister cities aligned with wet rusting season.

      Most of the day served as a good time to read and relax in the boat's cabin like we normally would do back home. After several years in Washington and Oregon, we've learned to embrace the dark, wet days as settling in days,

      We did go to lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant, and we could see the chef making fresh noodles as we chose comfort foods. After lunch, we stopped by a few shops, and then we returned to the Popcorn Polaris to shed our damp clothes, and to enjoy the heated cabin.

      We noticed a break in the weather mid-evening, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to check out the music scene at one of the pubs. Before heading to the pub, we split a paella dish, and then we went to the Crane Pub. It turns out that the upstairs music space was standing room only so we decided to grab a pint and join other patrons below.

      One of the things I enjoy about the pubs are the walls lined with photos of performers and posters recalling the top performers of the day. It reminds me of our walls at home lined with photos capturing event points of our family history.

      We left Crane Pub, and we walked down streets in the area. Some were peacefully quiet and others felt like aspects of Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

      Galway is a cute seaside town, and it's clearly designed to draw tourists. It does so successfully, but we're finding that we would eagerly trade it for a walk in the Burrens or a shared meal with newly found friends and hosts in County Laois (thank you again, Markie & Eamon).

      We close the night with gratitude knowing that very dear friends, Ace & Argus were married in Montana yesterday. We first met them in Seattle so the Galway marker pointing to Seattle also reminds us that chosen family matters.

      Given events in the U.S. they decided not to wait to get married, and we wish them the best in their life together. May they have many happy years, and a government that recognizes their marriage as legitimate and due of all the privileges of straight couples.

      Love Wins! ❤️
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      BBQ or Bacon and Cabbage on standby for you any time!


      Thank you, guys. You're the best!



      3 more comments
    • Day17


      June 6, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Unsere vorletzte Station ist Galway. Mit ihren wunderschönen Parks, den vielen Gemälden und der schönen Bay lädt sie ein zum Erkunden und verweilen ein.
      Wir schlendern durch die verwinkelten Gassen, lassen uns von der Musik, welche man überall in den Strassen hört treiben. Im Fluss Corrib der mitten durch die Stadt führt stehen Angler, wir beobachten sie und sehen wie Lachse versuchen eine Flussleiter hinauf zu springen.
      Wo man hinschaut sieht man Wandbilder und Strassenkünstler, sogar die Stromkästen werden allesamt mit Gemälden geschmückt - das würde sich in mancher Stadt gut machen zur Verschönerung der Landschaft und zur Freude der Leute die durch die Stadt flanieren.
      Wir erkunden die Stadt zu Fuss und als wir der Bay entlang laufen stellen wir fest, dass wir am Mittelpunkt des WAW angelangt sind ist dies unser letztes Bild mit einem Wild Atlantic Way Sign sein wird.

      Demnächst geht es auf nach Dublin, das Auto zurück bringen, die letzten Tage in Irland geniessen und schon bald wieder zurück nach Hause (zu Jack).
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      Und zuhause wartet Jack

    • Day6


      July 24, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Es war einfach ein typisch irischer Tag - viel Regen, tiefhängende Wolken und ein Abend im Pub!
      Aufgrund des Wetters fuhren wir Schnur stracks nach Galway. Dort angekommen klarte das Wetter ein wenig auf. Während eines kleinen Shoppingtrips bemerkten wir, dass wahrscheinlich die ganze Stadt in den Pubs verteilt vor den Fernsehern saß. Wir haben rein zufällig genau den Tag erwischt, an dem das Galway Football Team im gälischen Fußball im Championchip Game stand. Wir hatten Glück und konnten die letzten drei Minuten noch live mitverfolgen.
      Nach einer kleinen Stärkung ging es für uns dann in ein echtes irisches Pub. Dort feierten trotz der Niederlage zahlreiche Galway Fans ausgelassen - und wir mittendrin! Bei bester Live Musik mit traditionellen irischen Volksliedern und echten Klassikern, bleibt dieser Abend für uns unvergesslich!
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      Wie cool!!!


      Steffen sehr sicher im Text 😀


      Ed Sheeran hat schon nach einem Duet gefragt! 😅


      das ist das echte Irland

    • Day33

      With my pretty little Galway girl, nanan

      October 16, 2021 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Heute legen wir nochmal einen Galway Tag ein, weil es Hortense noch immer nicht so gut geht. Erstmal Frühstück! Das Hostel ist richtig gut ausgestattet.
      Zuerst wollen wir zur Uni und mein Harry-Potter-Herz schlägt höher: Die Gebäude sehen so magisch aus, wir fühlen uns wie in Hogwarts. Wir setzen uns in ein Kaffee und danach essen wir noch einen guten Lunch im Food4Thought, unser Beetroot in Galway, wie wir spaßen.
      Dann wollen wir nochmal zum Spanish Arch weil wir da gestern nicht mehr hingelaufen sind, ist aber auch nicht wirklich spektakulär 😅. Wir gehen noch in einen Buchladen und lassen alle etwas Geld liegen 💸 da fühle ich mich nicht so schlecht, dass ich die einzige wäre, denn ich kann bei Büchern einfach nicht wiedersehen…
      Wir gehen nochmal einkaufen und schlendern bisschen in der (stressigen) Mall, als es anfängt zu regnen, wir finden aber nichts, vielleicht auch nicht schlecht, um den Konsum zu minimieren, aber dennoch frustrierend, weil wir noch neue Oberteile und Jeans suchen 👀.
      Abends wollen wir zu 9. in ein Restaurant, die anderen kommen später und wir haben keine Chance, keine Tische wechseln auch die Devise in diesem Restaurant… Leider! Das Essen ist aber sehr lecker, wir teilen uns Vorspeisen und essen noch einen Halloumi Burger 🤤 Es gibt leckere Cocktails und auch einen Gin Tree, den wir zu spät sehen; in einer Art Draht Konstruktion sind da 9 Gin gestapelt 🙈. Die anderen bestellen sogar zwei haha 😂 Sie sitzen aber oben und wir bekommen immer nur was von ihnen mit, wenn wir aufs Klo gehen 😕. Als wir uns verabschieden kommt die Managerin und meint wir sollen nicht noch mal hochkommen, sonst werden wir rausgeschmissen… wir waren ja eh auf dem Weg. Wir gehen ins Hostel und holen uns eine gute Mütze Schlaf, weil es morgen ja nochmal früher los geht 😊.
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      Ein Traum ❤️

    • Day32

      Wir kommen Galway!

      October 15, 2021 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      Um 11:30Uhr treffen wir uns in Maynooth! Davor packe ich fertig und frühstücke in der Hoffnung, nichts zu vergessen.
      Wir fahren viel kürzer als gedacht, man ist hier echt schnell überall, obwohl es ja die andere Seite der Insel ist!
      Wir parken und erkunden die Stadt, weil wir erst später ins Hostel können. Wobei erst mal, wie oft bei uns, heißt es Essen! Wir gehen zu einem ‚berühmten‘ Pizza Restaurant, wo man leider nur To-Go bestellen kann, aber es lohnt sich dennoch, wirklich lecker bei The Dough Bros. Wir laufen noch etwas umher, das Wetter ist heute nicht so der Hit, aber zumindest regnet es nicht! Und viel zu sehen gibt es auch nicht so richtig, also gehen wir einkaufen (Frühstück für morgen und Drinks für heute Abend). Dann gehen wir ins Hostel und fangen auch schon an, uns zu richten, weil auch hier sollte man früher in den Pubs da sein, weil keine Reservierungen angenommen werden. Wir spielen ein paar Spiele und quatschen und lachen viel, bevor wir in die Stadt los gehen. Dort treffen wir Lea, Maria, Valentina und Linda kurz, die auch hier sind. Leider sind sie wo anders und wir kommen nirgends mehr rein. Rebekka und Clara begleiten Hortense nach Hause, weil es ihr nicht so gut geht und Tamás und ich gehen noch sehr lecker Asiatisch essen und bringen den anderen dann etwas mit.
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    • Oct9


      October 9, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

      The port of Galway was our lunchtime stop. It was raining so headed for an Irish pub for lunch. It was a rabbit warren of nooks and cranies but cozy and quaint.
      Loved the cobbled stoned streets and the rich voices of the irish buskers.Read more


      Ebs loved Galway and these photos remind me of the year she spent there and loved it!! I feel like I've been on tour with you, it's great.


      Looks like Ireland will have to be included on our next UK trip!! Really enjoying all you are sharing ❤️

    • Day4

      Youthful, vibrant Galway

      April 14, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      By the time we got settled into our hostel room and took off to get lunch/dinner, the rain stopped and we had a pleasant walk across Galway's Latin Quarter and West End to our restaurant. Galway is a small university town with just under 80k inhabitants (so it's about the size of Bamberg) with many good places to eat and go out. It is also crisscrossed by the Corrib river, giving it a very maritime feel even if you're not directly at the coastline. I immediately took a liking to it.

      We had fish & chips and a Hooker IPA at 'Hooked'. The beer was named not after a certain profession, but after a type of fishing boat. After dinner, a mini-pub crawl gave us a small taste of Galway nightlife. We didn't have a drink at every pub, mostly we just looked around. But the ones I liked best were:

      The King's Head - pub and bistro with a medieval castle atmosphere (we also spotted a guy who could have easily been cast for Vikings).

      Tigh Neachtrain - Quirky pub with lots of books and paintings on the wall as well as spying bunny up on the corner

      The Crane Bar - A traditional style pub that is popular among Irish musicians and has traditional live music on the second floor.
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    • Day5

      Whiskey in a jar

      August 31, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      You can not come to Ireland without doing an Irish whiskey tour. Now the first one that comes to mind is Jameson. I do not care much for Jameson. I was interested in this place in Galway called Micil that a friend went to and said they the best Irish cream she has ever had. I love me some baileys so I was in.

      This Irish cream makes Baileys taste like crap. Seriously. It is sooooo good. What makes it unique? Well the Mical family recipe uses Poitín. Which is a traditional Irish distilled beverage also known as Irish moonshine and taste like whiskey. It was illegal until 20 years but this family has been doing it for 6 generations, so they were bad asses. It is pretty tasty and is fantastic in the Irish cream.

      They also make a Galway whiskey which is whiskey aged in sherry or red wine casts so it has a pink colour. It is aged in these casts as back in the day those were the only casts that could be reused for whiskey so Galway whiskey was always pink in colour. Sadly they were out of this one so I am going home without :( But have the cream form so it is all good.
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      Oh damn, that sounds delish! :O


    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Castlegar, An Caisleán Gearr

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