Whenever we travel someplace new, we have a mental image of what we expect things to look like. Reality often serves up something completely different altogether. For me, Dublin was not the Ireland I’d pictured in my mind… Galway was. The moment we started driving into the county, I felt like I was reliving a page I’d seen somewhere in my imagination.
Galway retains that old world charm without being tacky and kitsch. Galway City only has a population of 80,000, but culture is teeming from every street corner. Buskers play the harp on the street. Traditional Irish music is a regular feature at many of the pubs. It was lively, vibrant – full of tourists, students, locals. I almost forgot about the small population. It felt like everyone was there.
The restaurants are so full that there’s a line outside every door. Jesters are walking by trying to entertain restless people and make a euro or two doing it. Hey – why not?
We ate lunch at McCambridge’s – which is my version of heaven on earth. Food store downstairs. Cafe upstairs. It was one of the few places that was open for the early lunch we wanted to have. We had to wait in the queue for five minutes but it was no biggie. We ordered a salad and the cheese platter to share. I was expecting little nibbles, but we got a proper cheese tray with HUGE portions of cheese. I’m not complaining – I just wasn’t expecting it to be the real deal.
When I got up to pay, I was surprised it was only 20 euros. A real bargain. Do check it out if you’re ever in the area.
Galway also has a ton of gift shops with very funny souvenirs. I must say – I do love the Irish sense of humour. It’s witty, warm and dark all at once. I don’t know how they do it.
If I had a magic wand, I would go back in time and schedule in more time in Galway and less time in Dublin. Seeing as how I don’t have a magic wand, I guess I’ll just have to visit Ireland again, won’t I?
Till next time.