Tuesday, September 19, 2017

9/14 Day 7, Galway back to Dublin town

The train from Galway to Dublin was uneventful and a little sad. We both loved Galway so much, especially Nan, who felt a real kinship there. So we were pretty quiet on the train.

We hailed a cab to Waterside House Hotel, where we fell in love with being right on the water of the Irish Sea. Oh my, the views. The hotel itself was quaint and fascinating. We had to go through the pub to get to the lift. Our room was plush with the comfortable beds we'd come to expect in Ireland. We ate in the pub and once again the food surprised me in the best way. I drank a Jameson's and Nan had a Smithwick's Red. Both were superb.

Views of the Irish Sea

Knowing we had to get up by 3 made us not be able to sleep very well. More about that on the next blog post.

This one is boring I know. Sorry. We were tired.

9/13 Day 6 A day idling in Galway City

What a super way to spend the last full day somewhere. We were lazy, but not totally. We walked around the promenade of Galway Bay and it was beautiful, plus good exercise.

We ate again at the Quay Street Kitchen. Only place we ate twice. Such delicious food, vegan and vegetarian fare was readily available. Without exception, each restaurant had vegan soup. I was amazed and slurped it all up.

We walked to St. Nicholas Collegiate Church (Anglican/Episcopal). I've never seen a church that was both. It was so beautiful and 700 years old. I was afraid to touch anything since it was so old.
 Baptismal font

 One of the ornate ceilings

Another ceiling

Here's proof I didn't drink alcohol all the time. 

I sat in the hotel bar, drank Coke, and wrote for a while. The bartender's name was Sylwia and she was from Poland. Of course I had to tell her about my daughter-in-law from Krakow. 

Then I packed and got ready for the next eventful day.

9/12 Day 5, To the Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher

Day 5 of our Celtic Adventure

Omigod. I can't even....

Where to start, where to continue, and where to end...

I mean this day was un-freakin'-believable from start to finish. Nan used one of my hats because it was windy and rainy; the weather made the day even more exciting. The pictures are mostly from the drive on the bus from Galway to Doolin, where we took the boat out to the Isle of Inishere.

I took many pictures of the ride there, but didn't take many on the boat itself. It was so very windy and rainy and crazy on the boat that I just held on. Nan took some and I'll insert them when I can. The picture right above this is a road and fences on the Isle of Inisheer. The smallest of the Aran Islands, Inisheer offered some great views and a good pub.

On the way back to Doolin, about half of our fellow bus people opted not to sail under the Cliffs of Moher because of how rough the water was. Nan and I were adventurous and went. The bad news is I have no pictures of the glorious sight. Holding on for dear life, I was. And I'm afraid Nancie has an even sadder tale to tell.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

9/11/17 Dublin to Galway, Day 4 of our Adventure

Monday 9/11 started with the Irish Breakfast, as usual. Then we packed and got a little frustrated as we tried to push everything back into our suitcases. We’d each bought a few little souvenirs at Trinity College, so I was so glad that I’d had a little room left in my suitcase.

Instead of taking the tram to Houston Station for the train, we decided to treat ourselves and take a cab. As with our first cab, our driver was amazingly entertaining, and I learned other ways of using the “F” word. I love these cab drivers. So friendly and funny.

9/11 Monday, Now we’re on the train and Nan and I are both writing. 

Nancie buying the tickets for the train to Galway.

I’m fascinated by the privet fences of the countryside, bushes and shrubs so thick that the animals can’t get through. Cows and sheep on opposite sides, not realizing that if they all worked together, there would be a way to tear down those fences. Gee, that was fanciful, wasn’t it?

 Some pics from the train.

The closer we got to Galway however, the privet fences turned into limestone fence. Big stones piled either vertically or horizontally. The horizontal ones are more modern, just a few thousand years old. The vertical ones have been standing there for millennia and it boggles the mind.

We’re in seats riding backwards, and across the table from us is a delightful young woman from New York. She’s a lawyer, taking a leave of absence, and exploring the world. I envy her. She’s going while she’s young and has tons of energy.

Galway itself is a delight from start to finish. Our hotel, Jury’s Inn, is right across from the water and the Quay. Our room doesn’t face the bay but it is directly over a small roaring river. Such a view.

We took a little nap the first day here, after we’d walked for a mile or two around the Quay. We realized we’d walked on the other side from the promenade, so decided to walk there another day.

Had lunch at the Quay Street Kitchen and oh my it was delicious. So many vegan and vegetarian choices, I was unable to stop smiling.

Shop Street is right by our hotel and is an old street full of just what you’d think: shops, coffee houses, and restaurants. So much to explore.

Dinner at the hotel, and then an early night in those warm/cool comfortable Cloud Beds. Yeah, cool beds, but yet I'm warm and comfy. We needed a good night's sleep because tomorrow is our trip to the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher.

9/10/17 Dublin and the Book of Kells, DAY 3

Day 3 of Our Celtic Adventure, continued

Sunday 9/10 began with the usual hearty full Irish Breakfast. It was so filling that we had to rest before taking off on our trip. Not really, but the food is indeed more than adequate for a lumberjack, and certainly for two little old ladies. We had this breakfast three mornings in a row. So by the time we got to Galway on Monday we were "Full Irished" out. Great food though.

This young man was hilarious. When I asked what was in the cart, he didn't miss a beat and said, "Dead bodies." What a cutie. 

That next pic is of me in the elevator. Because of all the mirrors you could see yourself forever. Although I'm smiling, I did not like that.

We took the tram to Abbey Street where we were surrounded with wonderful sights and sounds. 

and then walked around the city centre shopping district. We found the perfect spot for lunch, JW Sweetman’s Craft Brewery, where we each had a Blonde beer with our lovely lunches. 

I actually took two of the paper coasters. Who could resist a coaster that said, Galway Hooker?

Our food was sumptuous as usual, and the taste was good as well. There were quotes throughout the place from famous Irish folk.

Then we walked to Trinity College, the Long Library, and the Book of Kells. To say it was awe-inspiring would be denying the overwhelming sense of grace and age that filled the place. It even made me be quiet, which shows you how magical the place was.

Don't I look like Aristotle?

We walked a little ways and found a Starbuck’s, which was just perfect, because I was craving an iced tea (American style). Nancie and I sat there for a while and just relaxed. 

Then it was home again via tram. Dinner at the hotel restaurant and another early night. The beds in that old hotel were quite comfortable and made our stay just lovely.