Out of the places we went, the things we saw, and the people we met, Galway (and that area of Ireland) has my heart. The beauty of the rocky landscape, the stone walls that have been there hundreds of years, Galway Bay, and the Gaelic language swept me off my feet. A friend of mine said it sounded like I left a piece of my heart in Ireland, and I certainly feel like I did.
After a couple of hours' drive with a driver who made the trip "interesting", we checked into our hotel. At first, the young lady who checked us in seemed a little "stand-offish". She looked Irish: red hair, green eyes, but then she started talking. She was American. After we put our luggage in the room, we went back to the desk to see what we needed to make sure we saw since we had the rest of the day to explore. We found out that Dylan was from San Francisco and went to school in Galway to study ancient languages. M said she thought she was also getting a degree in art, but I honestly don't remember that part. Another employee was at the desk, and she pulled out a map and told us some things to make sure we saw. Joanna was Polish, and when I told her my maiden name we had quite the discussion. I explained that although my maiden name was Polish, I was actually German and explained that my ancestors were from the area of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. She asked me if it was Silesia and my face dropped. M said she wished I could have seen my face when she said that. Anyway, Joanna is from that same region, although not the area where my ancestors were from.
Enough of that! The first thing we came to during our walk was St. Nicholas Collegiate Church.
|A timeline of the church.|
|The Blessed Sacrament Chapel|
|The Chancel---the oldest part of the building|
|Close up of ceiling|
|The Transfiguration Window|
|Battle Standards of the Connaught Rangers, an army division used as part of the Napolenoic Campaign|
|Jayne Eyre's (yes, THE Jayne Eyre!) final resting place is at this church|
I wish I had been able to read the pamphlet as I walked around the church. I think I have the captions correct, but it's very possible I don't. 1 more interesting fact about this church: Christopher Columbus worshipped here.
We left there and found a walkway that Joanna told us about. It was a very peaceful, beautiful walk around the water.
We made our way to the Galway Cathedral:
|The outside of the building was pretty impressive|
|The Cathedral was built on the site of the jail|
|Even though the Cathedral looks old, it was finished in 1965.|
|The dome is gorgeous!|
|The Organ Gallery|
|White sculpted Stations of the Cross|
|Even though it's a "young" church, the details were amazing.|
M pointed out that the sun was reflecting through the stained glass:
|This is over the front door.|
We left the Cathedral and continued our walk...which led us to Galway Bay.
But first...another church! This one is St. Mary's, and it faces the Bay. You've heard of the Claddagh? Well, that's where this church is...in the Claddagh region.
|The Dominicans have been here since the 1200's but I couldn't find exactly when the church was built.|
|Organ in the back of the church|
|View of the church|
|Grotto outside of the church|
Okay, now for the Bay:
|If you've seen Ed Sheeran's video for "Galway Girl", at the end he was in one of these blue houses.|
|We saw a rainbow!|
|Monument to Christopher Columbus|
Galway has a wondeful pedestrian shopping area.
|We had our first meal here.|
One morning we walked down the sidewalk to see a bunch of kegs sitting out. I asked the pub worker about it, and he said that they put the empty kegs out the night before (maybe Thursday nights?) and, like the milkman used to do, they are replaced by full ones just in time for the weekend!
Galway has a big music scene, but we didn't get down to the pub in Salt Hill that Joanna told us about. We did get to see a street band perform. I didn't stay around very long...you never know about pick pockets taking that opportunity!
Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl:
Galway Girl from P.S. I Love You: