Ireland day 0218. Wednesday 04 May 2022- Galway

Ireland day 0218. Wednesday 04 May 2022- Galway
Today’s summary Drove over to Galway for our first visit to the west coast of Ireland and to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary.  Easy drive on fast empty motorways.   Had a leisurely look around then drove back to enjoy chilli and red wine in the flat
Today’s weather Dry and bright, sunny in the afternoon.   Moderate north westerly wind.  About 15C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Galway!
Commentary

According to Google maps, it’s just 222km / 138 miles from Malahide to Galway, and not much more than 2 hours drive.   As it’s just about the closest point on Ireland’s western –  Atlantic – coast, we thought it would be an appropriate destination for our 37th wedding anniversary today.

So we jumped out of bed bright and early, made packed lunches, and beetled off in the trusty Yaris down the M6 motorway.   There’s not a lot to say about the drive to Galway except that it’s fast, easy, quiet and expensive.   At €9 each way in toll fees it’s OK as a one-off but I think would start to grate a bit if you were doing it regularly.   Especially as you are already paying car tax as well.   Anyway it made for a really relaxing start to the day.

Apart from it being our anniversary – and therefore a day in need of some special occasion – the reason why we chose Galway for our destination today is pretty easy to work out if you look at a map.   As at this morning, we hadn’t yet been to Ireland’s fabled west coast – a huge omission in our encyclopaedia of visit reports.   And Galway is by far the closest and most easily accessible point on the west coast to us, so we didn’t have to think too hard about choosing it for our destination today.   Especially as the weather forecast was good too.

Having said that, it was a grey and overcast when we arrived in Galway – so after the carefree abandon of Phoenix Park yesterday, sadly down jackets and hats were donned as we ventured out into the town to start our explorations.   We had a quick look at the Latin Quarter then headed to the museum – which was excellent.   After a useful hour inside, learning about the Galway hookers (a type of boat, by the way) and the Aran islands, which lie at the mouth of Galway Bay, we came back out and the sun was shining!

The river Corrib beckoned – it was flowing vigorously and voluminously, making a fine sight as it disgorged the contents of Loch Corrib into Galway Bay.   We found a sheltered spot on the riverbank for an early sandwich lunch, then headed back into town to have a better look around, now that the sun was shining.

It was lovely, and we really liked it.   What was particularly nice was the youthful feel – as a result of the numerous educational establishments, including the National University of Ireland, that it hosts.   Although the “laid back vibe” (as the guidebook describes it) can seem a bit narcissistic at times, it wasn’t obtrusive and actually contributed to a general state of well-being.   We headed out to Eyre Square (where we were probably the youngest people by about 40 years and certainly the only ones without skateboards) where we paused to sit on the grass and soak up the sun for a few moments.   I have to admit I think I may have momentarily fallen asleep, but – hey – it’s been 37 years after all and I think I am allowed a momentary lapse of concentration.

By then it was late afternoon, so after a quick look round Brown Thomas (a shop) we made our way back to the car, paid the humungous parking charge (Galway isn’t cheap) and drove back to Malahide.

So now we’re back in the flat and enjoying chilli con carne and red wine.   And after having studied the banner photo (thanks Iain) at the top of this blog in great detail, concluded that we don’t actually look too bad considering our age.   Here’s to the next 37 years!

 

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

In the Latin Quarter, where all the trendy young things hang out The Spanish Arch.   A bit of a magnet for peripatetic American magicians today, it seemed
The Mairtin Oliver Galway Hooker (a boat not a type of person) in the rather good town museum.   Mairtin Oliver was the last “King of Claddagh” – a self governing semi autonomous fishing community on the west bank of the Corrib river.   The Claddagh was apparently a fascinating topsy-turvy settlement of whitewashed thatched cottages.   Nowadays I imagine it would be a boutiquey type tourist destination but fortunately we have been spared that because luckily it was demolished in the 1930s and replaced with a council housing estate A semi-derelict boatyard on the banks of the Corrib, close to the site of the former Claddagh
On the western bank of the Corrib river.   It’s actually quite short – just six km / 4 mi making it one of the shortest in Europe.   It drains Lough Corrib – a large lake in the hinterland of Ireland.   As a result of its large catchment area, it flows remarkably fast, and actually has the second highest flow-rate of any river in Ireland, only surpassed by the Shannon. Eyre Square, in the heart of Galway.   Even more trendy young things (and us) hang out here.   It’s officially known as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, because in 1963 Kennedy addressed a crowd of some 100,000 here in one of his last speeches before he was assassinated.
Our first view of the Atlantic Ocean since arriving in Ireland.   The Burren – with its karstic limestone and rare plants –  is visible on the horizon, in the centre of the photo, at the far side of Galway Bay
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 15282 m
Max elevation: 16 m
Min elevation: -2 m
Total climbing: 190 m
Total descent: -188 m
Total time: 05:03:08
Download file: Galway Gallop corrected.gpx

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