Ireland
Galway

Here you’ll find travel reports about Galway. Discover travel destinations in Ireland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

122 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Connemara, Ireland

    September 8, 2016 in Ireland

    We made it to Galway yesterday and headed out for a bus tour to Connemara which is off the beaten track full of untouched scenery, ruins and a castle! I'm glad we decided not to rent a car for this trip around Ireland because driving on the left hand side on rolling hills and narrow lanes would have been stressful in itself not to mention the occasional sheep crossing the road!

    Our first stop was the Kylemore Abbey built in the 19th century by Sir Mitchell for his wife. No not my Sir Mitchel but at least he got the hint ;)

    Afterwards we made several stops to take in the scenic views which speak for themselves and had been exactly what I imagined Ireland to be like...cold, rainy and beautiful!
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  • Day8

    Galway, Ireland

    September 10, 2016 in Ireland

    We didn't know what to expect from Galway, but read good things and knew that most of the best sightseeing was close by so we made it our home base for a few days during our West Ireland day trips. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked this city! A college town with a great pub scene in the Latin Quarter made for two very entertaining nights. The pubs were huge, filled with character, plenty of characters, and great live music (including popular songs like Galway Girl and Galway Bay).
    We highly recommend a visit if you're looking for fun nightlife, but be sure to bring your rain jacket which seems to be a requirement anywhere in Ireland!

    Oh and I think it's just a fad at the moment but ironically the Irish seem to enjoy Coors light more than their own beer, but not us 😜.
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  • Day28

    Belfast to Portrush to Boyle

    September 28 in Ireland

    A big day of travel but some spectacular scenery. We left early for the drive up the Antrim coast towards the Giant’s Causeway. The coastal route really was beautiful and we made several stops for photos and to visit landmarks. We stopped at Ballymena- Glenariff for a coffee at the quaintest tearooms yet. We entered to find the shopkeeper taking the scones out of the oven! We settled in and David found great amusement reading “Cooking with Men in Mind”, one of many books to be found amongst the 1960’s surrounds. It was incredible! Finally moved on and drove to the site of the Carrick- a -Rede Rope bridge on the Northern coast. It was full of tourists but very organised. We walked down a track for about 2 kms before crossing the bridge to the tiny island of Carrickarede. The bridge itself was fairly stable and not so long, but still exhilarating. The coastline views were beautiful. We then drove down the road and found yet another quaint little cafe where we enjoyed soup and homemade bread for lunch. Our next stop was the Giant’s Causeway. It too was full of tourists and buses but again very well managed. We wandered down a long pathway to the rocks below. They were amazing and we clambered freely up and down them taking many photos. We were lucky that the weather was so mild and we were actually hot after the walk back up the track. The next 3 hours were a long and reasonably boring drive to Boyle where we ate a a lovely new restaurant with great staff and plenty of atmosphere. We stayed to at one night of luxurious accomodation (off season rates!). It was 3 kms out of Boyle and was an old manor house set in the country. It was simply beautiful with the highlight being the four poster bed which gave me the most incredible sleep ever. Will never forget how I felt waking up, all made extra special by Alanna’s message during the night to say she had won a permanent job at Addington School in Christchurch!Read more

  • Day29

    Boyle to Galway

    September 29 in Ireland

    Another lovely day in Ireland. We woke in Lough Key House and were surrounded in luxury. The house was no longer the original owners’ home or furnishings but had been done up over the last few years by the present owner in the original style, which included hundreds of beautiful antiques. The atmosphere was amazing with fires burning in the living rooms even though the sun was shining brightly outside. We had a 3 course breakfast provided by Annie, the maid, who herself was a character and fitted in with the whole place. We reluctantly left the house for Lough Key Adventure Park. There we went on the most beautiful hour long forest walk in stunning weather. The autumn colours, the lake and the castle in the distance all made for spectacular scenery. We just loved it. We returned to Boyle in the hopes of finding the laundrette. Failing that we did locate the farmers market where we purchased some bread, mushrooms and broccoli for dinner. We also met Porrick who directed us down the road to meet Cyril the butcher, where we bought some sausages. Our unreliable GPS then had us lost out the back of Boyle and on very narrow roads with grass growing down the middle! We finally carried on down to the next town, Carrick, where we succeeded in doing our washing, locating a toilet and finding a decent coffee all within an hour. We then carried on driving to Galway where again with some difficulty we located our apartment, which has everything we need. We cooked a lovely dinner, including Porrick’s delicious rhubarb pie and enjoyed a night catching up on a few jobs and finally using reliable wifi.Read more

  • Day30

    Galway and a scenic drive

    October 3 in Ireland

    My original plan had me heading to Sligo today but I wanted to see more of the area so I’m spending two nights in Clifden, in the Connemara region.
    I hadn’t seen Galway so that was my first stop today. I went to the Galway city museum looking to find out about the history of Galway but there was a bigger focus on the war of independence. It was still worth a look though.
    Coming through Claddagh I found a little cottage as they all would have been before they were destroyed in the 1930s to try and eradicate the TB that was going through the area.

    I then followed the Atlantic Way west to the island of Lettermore for no other other reason than it seemed like a nice drive and I wanted to see the islands that were connected by causeways.
    They are beautiful, lots of yellow seaweed adding to the autumn colour. As I got closer to the islands the road signs began appearing in Irish only (usually they are bothe English and Irish). Fortunately I had my GPS so I wasn’t relying on road signs. Again some of the roads were very narrow and windy but I’m getting used to that now. It’s a choice to take the narrow, minor roads. This morning I took an M road (like a freeway/highway) from Gort to Galway and it only took 40 mins to travel to the 40km. Compare that to Monday where it took just over an hour to travel a similar distance. The minor roads are much more interesting though which plenty of places to stop and look at attractions or take photos.

    I think I saw cut peat on the way to Clifden. It was dark rectangular shaped logs on the side of the road with similar shaped holes cut in the ground across the road. After googling I’m pretty sure that’s what it was. This area does feel the most remote so far but I was surprised to see the cut peat.
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  • Day30

    Galway

    September 30 in Ireland

    Just what was needed- a relaxed day with no travelling and no agenda. We got up and followed our phones to nearest Catholic Church for 10am Mass. Always interesting to go to Mass in another country. The lovely church was opposite the river which we then followed into town. With most shops not opening until 12 we wandered through town and up a back street where we found a lovely wee bar where we enjoyed a drink and David watched some golf on the big screen. Very relaxing. We then spent the afternoon looking around the shops, a real variety. We wandered back to the house and enjoyed a rest and sorted rest of our time in Ireland. We then walked back into town( no wonder I walked 15000 steps today) for dinner. We were lucky to get into a highly rated restaurant called Quay Kitchen where we ate a delicious dinner. After dinner we strolled along the streets listening to a variety of musicians before going into a little bar for a quick drink before the walk back to the apartment. While being a very old fashioned city, Galway’s streets are extremely busy with many tourists and tourist shops. The atmosphere is cool with lots of street entertainment.Read more

  • Day31

    Connemara Loop

    October 4 in Ireland

    Last night I wrote the blog sitting in a pub while I had dinner and then listed to a great duo who were playing in the pub. One played the guitar, the other what looked like a tea chest. They were very good. On finding out I was Australian they played “The Pub With No Beer”. They then played “Now I’m Easy”by Eric Bogle which was new to me. Eventually I had to leave to go to bed.
    I’m now sitting in the lounge of the hotel listening to a guy on a piano. I’ve just gotten back after dinner and he was playing so I’ve sat down to listen while I write this.

    I started today off with the Sky rd which is a scenic loop from Clifden. I then went down to the Connemara loop. The first stop was Kylemore Abbey and I’m still not sure how I managed to spend four hours there. It was originally built as a house/castle in the 1860s and after changing hands a couple of times was bought by the Benedictine Nuns in 1920. There was originally a wonderful walled garden which gradually became neglected until the mid 1990s when it was decided to restore it. I spoke to one of the gardeners who has been there since they started the restoration and he said it took them two years to just clear garden before they could even begin to plan and plant.
    The garden is now beautiful. It’s set out in the original Victorian plan.

    The house/Abbey itself is also gorgeous. Only a few rooms are open to the public but it was definitely worth it.

    The rest of the grounds are gorgeous. I met a couple from Brisbane. When I meet Australians I tend to think “they don’t have an accent”rather than they are Australian. I have a terrible ear for accents. It’s the first time I’ve heard an Australian refer to Australia as Aussie. She asked me “are you from Aussie”. It was weird. So often the people I meet are surprised I’m travelling on my own and not even part of a tour. She appreciated it though as she wanted to go and see the garden but he didn’t. As a solo traveller I can do what I want when I want.

    As I said yesterday the autumn colours are really coming out. I think I’ve run out of good weather. It again was cloudy and drizzly. The clouds covered the top of the mountains. After I finished at the Abbey I finished the loop. Sometimes I wasn’t sure whether it was the ocean or lakes that I was seeing but it was all lovely. It reminds me of the highlands in Scotland.
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  • Day10

    Friday 12th in Clifden

    October 12 in Ireland

    There was a violent storm predicted for this area last night, code Orange. It passed us by but we had rain and severe winds nevertheless. The Main Street of Clifden was almost deserted when I looked out at breakfast time. It wasn’t cold but it WAS windy.
    After breakfast, drying and washing clothes, we headed off to the Tourist Information Office. One person was manning it, and she admitted that it was the last day before it closed down for the season! The only attractions she recommended were Kylemore Abbey and Connemara National Park.
    Kylemore Abbey was only about 18 kms away so we headed off there with all haste. Wow! What a great place to visit. The walled garden, in a process of being renovated since 1995, was simply spectacular. Mitchell Henry, the owner in the late 9th century, was a visionary for sure. The building of the place, the materials used, and the heating system he had in place to ensure that exotic plants could be grown was extraordinary. He even had a hydro electricity plant in place at a cost of 2000 pounds.
    After going around the gardens we head for the Abbey, which was Mitchell’s castle. It had been taken over by the Benedictine Sisters in 1920 and wa turned into a school, both boarding and day, junior and senior. In its time it would have been quite progressive, but unfortunately was closed down in 2010 due to building problems.
    We then called in briefly at the Connemara National Park before heading back to Clifden. We pan to call back there tomorrow when it is a bit less windy and therefore safer.
    Dinner was pasta and wine, preceded by cheese and bread, and Scrabble was played. As usual Robyn won, at the last minute.
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  • Day16

    Galway is good

    September 29 in Ireland

    After checking in at Flannery’s Hotel we drove the 2km into town looking for somewhere to park. We did two laps of the town circle before driving into a shopping centre car park. Car parked, I took a photo of the level and section so we would be able to find it easily. We eventually found our way to the centre of Galway. A lovely historic town with lots of street performers hoping to be discovered as the next Ed Sheehan. Also lots of tourists and lots of shops but MDW showed great restraint by window shopping only as she was preparing herself for the Saturday markets. After a few hours of strolling around and listening to the street performers we purchased some milk and fruit scones. The man at the checkout says you can get two more scones for only 1€ extra which is half price. MDW darts back in o the bakery section and comes back with 2 plain scones as there were no fruit scones left. Well they are going to be difficult to eat as we don’t have any butter, jam or cream. “Don’t worry, we will manage” MDW said. “We can get butter at the hotel”. “And spread it with a spoon?” I reply. I think that’s the plan.
    With our milk and discounted scones we headed back to the car park to find the car. We got in the car park lift which didn’t have our floor level so we got straight out. This was not good. Nothing looked familiar so we re-entered the shopping centre and decided this wasn’t the way we came in. Across to the other side we found another car park exit, out to level 2, this looked better but our car wasn’t there. “No we have to go up one flight” MDW said so we walked up the car ramp against the oncoming traffic and to our relief our car was just around the corner now squeezed in between two cars making entry a challenge. I think we will bus it in next time.
    We started following the Navman directions to the hotel and soon realised we were heading in the wrong direction when our 2km journey was suddenly 6km. We had headed west and not east. A skilful u-turn and we were heading in the right direction.
    That night we had dinner at the hotel. Possibly one of the nicest meals yet, MDW being courageous had the spicy chicken which she said was delicious and she was going to have it the next night too. The waiters were brilliant, so good that one gave us the menu and 10 seconds later another one arrived with menus too. After we placed our order with one waiter another one brought our serviette and cutlery then the waiter who took our order arrived with another set of cutlery. We ordered drinks with one waiter and another arrived minutes later asking if we needed drinks. This routine continued throughout the meal and was quite amusing. One of the waiters told us of his 11 months holiday in Australia and how much he loved Canberra. Our meal finished we asked for the bill. After about 15 minutes we were still waiting and could see the waiter laughing and chatting with the bar staff. MDW eventually caught the waiters eye and he suddenly realised he had forgotten about us. We still had to pay!
    Next day we caught the bus to Galway town. MDW was anxious to get to the markets which supposedly start at 8am. No rush I say, nothing opens before 10am. The bus stop is directly across from the hotel and as it was only 11am on a Saturday morning we were the only ones at the bus stop. We hop on the bus and I attempt to buy the tickets but smash my face into the clear perspex. The bus driver and I roared with laughter but he still took our money. Seated MDW was still laughing at my smooth entry onto the bus. With my pride a little battered we got off the bus and headed to the markets which have been going for over a hundred years. We find them near St Nicholas Church, nice name and are underwhelmed by the number of stalls. MDW looked distraught. “This it” she says. We still look at the stalls, mainly food with a bit of craft stuff. Wikipedia says Galway has a population of 80,000 so maybe we were expecting too much. I have been worried we are approaching our weight limit with our luggage, although MDW has been restrained with her purchasing. I did a quick search on my iPhone for luggage scales and the first result was Argos with £3.95 in the result. Sounds reasonable so off we head to Argos. Argos is a funny store where you order online or at the store and then your number is called once the item you want to purchase is brought to a window from their warehouse. Well into Argos we walk and search on the order keypad for the baggage scales. Nothing under €18. What’s going on. I check the search result closely to see the £3.95 is the delivery cost. Back to Dunnes and get scales for €15. After a bit of shopping and lots of walking we decided to go back to the hotel, maybe come back into town tonight. At the motel I ask if they have music at their pub tonight, “Yes, traditional starting about 10pm”. Most pubs start their entertainment around 9:30pm, maybe that’s why not much happens before 10am in Ireland. So we decide to stay at the hotel.
    We pack our bags and to my surprise they both weigh under 20 kilos. I’m amazed but also worried I’m losing my strength as the bags have felt extremely heavy.
    We have a late dinner, MDW having her now favourite dish of chicken. The restaurant is not as busy and we only have the one waiter. Meal finished we go back to our room for a cup of tea as it is only 9pm. About 10pm we head off to the bar where the music will be. There is only one table free with three chairs so we get our drinks and sit down. There is one musician tuning his guitar, not looking very traditional we think. Then a well dressed man with shirt and tie looking like a bank officer from the 70’s sits at our table. With a very strong Irish accent he says “It’s the last seat” to which I reply “chair?” as I wasn’t 100% sure that is what he said. “You don’t speak English” he says. This is a man who is speaking with such a strong accent you need subtitles to understand him. “Australian” I say. And that was the end of any communication between us. MDW by now had tears streaming down her cheeks, trying to not laugh. The more she tried the more she laughed making it near impossible for me not to laugh too. Hopefully we didn’t offend the Irish gentleman although we could feel his eyes burning into the back of our heads.
    For the next hour, MDW and I sipped on our drinks listening to the two Irish guys singing covers of songs like Piano Man and Stand By Me. Nothing traditional but they were pretty good. Unfortunately not many people were listening and the applause was minimal so they started providing their own sound effects of applause after each song saying that was last nights audience. We avoided making eye contact when the Irish guy sitting across from us as he glanced from one side of the room to the other feeling as uncomfortable as us. He wasn’t even drinking Guinness or Smithwicks, looked like lime cordial to me. After this hour had passed we decided to slip away and leave the table to our Irish speaking companion on his own.
    Before I end this days blog MDW reminds me of an interesting happening at Carrowmore. When she was drinking hot chocolate and talking to the jewellery maker, the lady asked MDW where are you from. “Australia” MDW said. “No, what part of Ireland are you from” the lady asked. “Oh I don’t know” came MDW’s reply. So MDW doesn’t know if the jewellery maker thought she was Irish but had emigrated to Australia or just Irish because she said “I can tell with your accent that you come from around here”.
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  • Day45

    Galway, Ireland

    September 16, 2017 in Ireland

    Todays tour was Galway through the ages. We drove past a lot of pastures and pubs. We stopped at the 17th century Dunguaire Castle and visited Galway Cathedral. We have toured many Cathedrals on this trip and each one is unique and beautiful.
    We had a great visit at Rathbaun Farms with its interesting owner whose family has been raising sheep for 3 generations. We then went into the 150 year old farmhouse for delicious homemade scones.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

County Galway, Galway, Gaillimh

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