Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Back Trackin', Ireland Edition - Downtown Galway

I can't leave a bland plain blog up with no pictures this week!

Galway is Ireland's fifth largest city and sits on its western coast. Husband J and I had enjoyed our drive across country even with a not so auspicious beginning (let's just say that I threatened to get out of the car multiple times while it was moving. True story. Not one of our better travel moments together). Driving from Dublin to Galway only took us about four hours even with a stop for lunch, and I enjoyed the picturesque country drive.

Galway's downtown is small, but it makes for a nice afternoon of exploring. Also if you are there in July, the Galway Arts Festival is one of the largest in Ireland. Here are some of the more notable places we meandered through over the course of the day and half we were there.

We started out in Eyre Square, which was undergoing somewhat of a makeover when we went. It's a nice spot for people watching, but I think that's it. I liked this rusted metal statue below. It's supposed to mimic the sails of hooker ships, which are commonly found in Galway Bay.

Do you see me?

At one point, we found ourselves in front of Lynch's Window. It's named for the Lynch family. Apparently, Walter Lynch, the son of then mayor, James Lynch, stabbed and killed a Spanish guest of the family after said guest was flirting a little too much with Walter's girlfriend. The younger Lynch was sentenced to death, but everyone in the town wanted him to be pardoned. Even the town executioner didn't want to perform the hanging (at least this is what the guidebook says). Who did instead? His own father from this window. Hence the name, Lynch's Window. Not a really heartwarming backstory, is it? :( People from Galway claim that this is how the term "lynching" was coined. Who knows?

Lynch's Window

My face after I read the story above in the guidebook.

Husband J after I read the story in the guidebook.

Lynch's Window is right next door to the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, the largest functioning medieval church in Ireland. It's Anglican/Episcopal.

We proceeded over this scenic bridge to the Galway Cathedral. I know it looks nice and old, but this church was built in 1965. It's not much older than me. It is the most recently built stone cathedral in Europe.
Galway Cathedral

The River Corrib runs through the city, and Husband J and I stopped to take a pic while walking along its banks. Now look at how we're dressed. Husband J is even wearing a fleece. I had a sweater on underneath that raincoat. We went to Ireland in JULY. Don't know if I could live somewhere that rarely gets hot in the summer.

If you like any kind of Claddagh jewelry, Galway is where you get it. Dillons Jewelers is the originator of the ring, which is used as everything from a promise ring to a wedding band. I thought it was sweet that Husband J wanted to buy me one (he wasn't even Fiance J at the time). I still have it in my jewelry box. Maybe I should whip it out one day?

I also made some new friends while walking through the old centre.
Yes, I am the weirdo speaking to statues.

If you've been to Galway, what was your favorite part of the city? Have you ever had any "heated discussions" with your travel partner(s)?

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