Ireland: Part 3

On our third day, it was time to road trip across Ireland. We were going to go due west to County Galway and County Clare.

Before we left, we went to a few more places in Dublin. We started off at the General Post Office museum that tells the story of the Easter Uprising. Despite my Irish upbringing, I don’t know a great deal about Irish history, Easter Uprising continued. The museum tried to tell a complete story about the event. While it told the heroic story of the uprising, it also put it in context with the city. It was clear about the civilian casualties with charts and personal accounts of people who lost family members in the battles. I appreciate this more holistic approach to history. It was well worth checking out.

Our next stop was St. Patrick’s Cathedral where Jonathan Swift was buried.  There was a whole section of the cathedral dedicated to Swift: a plaque on the wall, name plate on the floor, a cabinet with his death mask, and so much more. Well worth a stop.

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Then it was time for us to head to the car rental and drive to Galway. It was about a three hour drive through the Midlands to Galway. Sadly, we could not find BBC but did periodically find a channel that played Irish music but the DJ spoke exclusively in Irish Gaelic.

After some misadventures with our GPS, we found ourselves in Galway at our B&B. It was a little bit outside of town; it was a solid 15 minute walk from the middle of town. We had come on the first day of a major arts festival in Galway. Unfortunately, we didn’t really plan ahead so the one thing we were interested in seeing had long sold out. I was excited to see the Australian circus group Casus performing and advised all I could that they should go to their show. Next time we need to plan a little bit more ahead when we go to Galway in July. We walked through town, which was full of shops and musicians.

We walked out to the Galway Bay, which was astonishingly beautiful. Picturesque houses with blue skies and azure water. We even saw a black swan! It was glorious to sit on some rocks and watch the water lap against the rocks. We also wandered on the beach, covered in shells, seaweed and even a dead jellyfish (!). Eventually,  We ended up walking on a road to a lighthouse where we met a nice couple who lived in the area and their dog. The dog was old and had difficulty hearing but appreciated the attention my husband gave it. They were very sweet and gave us some suggestions of places to go nearby including Kylemore Abbey.

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However, as we walked back to the more commercial part of town, I felt my blood sugar get very low. When this happens to me, I feel very lethargic and apt to faint. For once, I did not have any snacks in my bag to help me out. So we ended up at the first restaurant we found. They served us some bread, which was a relief. It helped immensely. However, we realized that the restaurant we were at did not serve Galway mussels, a dish both of us wanted to try. So we ordered a crab appetizer, which was okay, and then paid our check.

It was a hunt for Galway mussels. The next place we tried was packed with Irish music but we learned that the kitchen closed at 8pm. :-/ So we wandered back through the town looking at the menus of several places. No luck. We found a guy wearing a sandwich board that advertised mussels and ended up walking down a side street. And then we found the perfect little restaurant. It was quiet with stone walls. And they had mussels and prosecco. It was one of the best meals on the trip. They served mussels in a white wine sauce with bread. It was well worth the wait!

After dinner, our next mission was to find a bar that played Irish music. Fortunately, every bar advertised Irish music. A few places were too packed for us to find a table but we eventually found a place. When we first came in, it was decent Irish music with guitar. And then they started to play an Irish version of “Sweet Home Alabama” and then a few other American songs. Not quite what we were hoping for. It was like our first night in Dublin. Lured in by Irish music and then American songs! Soon the set was over and we finished our meads. There was another set but we were tired and decided to retire early.

The next day was the Connemara.

That’s all for now!

That’s all for now!

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