Thursday, August 08, 2013

July 23: Galway

We had an easy flight from Rome to Dublin. On our way we realized the boarding passes for our return flight were missing, meaning they were still sitting on the printer at home! There is a 70€ charge to have them printed by Ryanair when you check in so we made our way to the terminal to see if we could print them before heading out. No such luck! We will need to find a printer at some point before leaving.

Our next stop was to pick up the rental car. We were given a 4 door Nissan hatchback with a few dents and dings. The agent suggested if we were going to add any dents to make sure they are in the same pace as the existing ones! After we sorted out which side was the driver's side and which side I was on, we did a circle around the parking lot and then headed out...only to end up back where we started! Doug was now getting a hang of shifting with his left hand instead of his right and driving on the wrong side of the road and I had our trusty "Greta the Garmin" programmed and off we headed to Galway. Poor Greta was not very helpful and we finally gave up on her and figured out the signage until we could get on the right toll highway.
And we are off!!!
The drive to Galway took about 2 1/2 hours and we saw glimpses of the countryside between watching other drivers and road signs. Greta had a few more problems due to construction as we hit the city limits. You can't imagine how excited we were to finally recognize The Swallows. It is a small B&B run by Jimmy and Patricia. We had an upstairs room overlooking the street and car park. Although the room wasn't very big, it was clean and we were so happy to relax and breathe a sigh of relief......we had made it!
Beautiful countryside

We  were about a 10 minute walk from the city centre which is filled with restaurants and pubs, shops and lots of pedestrian streets. As we crossed the bridge over the River Corrib,  we saw our first Irish  rainbow.  The Spanish Arch was nearby and we stopped for some photos.  The Spanish Arch was an extension of the old city wall and was constructed in 1584. We stopped at King's Head Pub and ate our first meal of fish and chips, washed down with a pint of  Smithwicks. We checked out a few pubs that offered traditional music and decided to stop at Tig Coili Pub.   We found a couple of bar stools in the tiny and crowded pub, ordered another pint and listened to a group of four musicians. What a great way to end our first day in Ireland.
Looking for the pot of gold...I think we found it in Ireland!!


Trad music at the pub

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