Friday, August 22, 2014

Galway, Ireland

Ireland was kind of a difficult place to reach from Southern Italy until earlier this year when Ryanair started to offer twice a week direct flight from Bari airport.  I was able to take a long weekend and visit Dublin but before spending to much time in Dublin I went direct to Galway.  First things first, you need to get to Galway, I decided to take Ireland rail from Dublin.   Trip was around 4 hours but it's nice, train cuts a straight line through the center of Ireland and offers free Wifi.  During the trip you can see the country side and sheep everywhere.
 One of the reasons I wanted to visit Galway was this was a city John F Kennedy visited and made a very popular speech.  This monument makes note of this event and marks the spot in Eyre Square (park) where he spoke.
 This steel structure is also in the park, I like stuff like this.  We need to paint this thing orange like the one in Detroit and Chicago.
 Galway was surprisingly crowded.  The city center is filled with restaurants and shops, everyone seem to be out and enjoying the shops.
 Water safety is very important in Galway.  A Stolen Ringbuoy - A Stolen Life... Can't really argue with that.
 Houses along the waters edge are beautiful.
 This is the Spanish arch, a very popular tourist spot in Galway.  I actually walked though the Spanish arch while looking for the Spanish arch before realizing there it was.
 There are also open air markets all over the city.  Markets sell things like souvenirs, vegetables...
 ... and of course the best fresh fish in the world.
 Boat on the left, for sale.  This boat was made in 1943 by the famous master boat builder named Jack Tyrell.   Last 50 footer strong boat in made by this guy in Galway.  Not sure how much but for a second I thought to myself, hey that might be a fun restoration project.
 If I'm ever lost at sea, which I barley ever go on a boat so I should not be.  But if I am lost, I want to be lost on an Irish flagged boat, all over Galway and I assume all over Ireland are moments to people lost at sea.  
 Ireland is also very green.  It rains often here, daily, so rugby pitches always look perfect.
 So look at this sign.  It's at the entrance of the Mutton Island Causeway and I thought to myself "cool, a causeway and the gate is open."
 Walked to the end of the causeway to find the gate to the island closed.
 You can see how far the walk was by looking back to the mainland of Ireland... It's off in the distance.
 View looking west from the causeway towards Salthill.
 This is a park between Galway and Salthill and on this monument was one of the saddest stories I have ever seen carved in stone.  If you want, you should be able to click on the image and read it, but be ready, it's sad.
 On the rocky water front of Salthill.
 A perfect pint in a small bar at Salthill.
 Galway is very serious about Salmon farms.  This sign encouraged me to go do some research about farmed Salmon.
 I only stayed one night in Galway and had to wake up early the morning of the second day to rush to the train station.  The city was empty and quiet, these alleys were numerous between my hotel and the train station.  
 The Kings Head, a popular bar in Galway.  As I passed this bar at 6:45am on my way to the train station, three people rang the bell and entered.  Not sure what was going on.
 One last stop at the JFK memorial.
 Two ways to spell Galway.  I arrived at the station about 30 minutes before the train left for Dublin, not much to do at 7am.