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Galway is the only city in the province of Connacht in the Republic of Ireland. The city is located on the west coast of Ireland.

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    4 Reviews
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      20.07.2008 20:52
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      Fantastic city - go and see for yourself!

      Galway is my favourite city in Ireland. I lived there for 3 years and go back to see family often. To me - it is the most authentic 'Irish' city in Ireland.

      Getting to Galway
      Galway airport is tiny but there are flights from Edinburgh, London (Luton), Newcastle, Leeds & others. The main airline is Aer Arann.

      www.aerarann.com
      www.galwayairport.com

      You can also fly with Ryanair into Shannon and get a bus to Galway with Citylink. The journey time is just over an hour.

      www.ryanair.com
      www.citylink.ie


      Where to Stay:
      Galway has lots of nice hotels, B&B's and hostels. If you want a luxury experience stay at the G Hotel, The Merrick or the Radisson

      www.theghotel.ie
      www.hotelmeyrick.ie
      www.radissonhotelgalway.com

      If you want a mid-range experience go for The Parkhouse or Jury's

      www.parkhousehotel.ie
      www.jurys.com

      And for a budget option go for:

      www.hostelgalway.com


      Where to eat:
      Galway has some fantastic restaurants such as Nimmo's, The Malt House, Oscar's, KC Blakes and Fat Freddy's. Pubs such as The Kings Head and The Front Door also serve delicious pub grub. Galway is renowned for having atmospheric, down to earth restaurants.

      Mc Donagh's fish and chip shop (at the bottom of Quay Street) sell the most amazing mackerel and chips. The best I have tasted anywhere.

      Going out:
      If you want live music go to the world famous Roisin Dubh's where the likes of Damien Rice and The Frames have played. The Kings Head and The Quays also host live bands 7 nights a week. Ti Ceoili's and Monroe's also has traditional music.
      For a more sophisticated experience go to Bazar or The Living Room. If you are a clubber and want downright gritty go to The Blue Note. It is a fantastic pub and hosts some really good DJ's.

      Clubbers - CP's and The Warwick (out of town a bit) have the usual cheesy pop music. The GPO is strictly for clubbers and has really good dance music.

      Shopping:
      Galway isn't renowned for its shopping. Shop Street has the usual high street shops, as does The Eyre Square Shopping Centre. Some of the streets off Shop Street have smaller, individual shops and are well worth visiting. If you are fond of Irish products and pottery go to Meadow's and Byrne's and The Kilkenny Shop.

      On Saturday, there is a market. The food sold there is amazing and if you get a chance buy a loaf of herb and onion bread (to die for!!!) and also try a crepe. Local craftwork is also sold there and the atmosphere is really good.


      Things to do:
      Galway has an amazing Cathedral. Salthill is also worth a visit and a walk along the prom is a must on a nice day! Spanish Arch is also really nice and steeped in history. There is also an open top bus that can bring you around, but you will be able to walk to most of the sights.

      If you are in Galway for longer than a couple of days you could go on a tour to the rugged Connemara or take a trip to the Aran Islands where you will hear everyone speaking in Irish.

      Galway - a city for everyone and not to be missed!

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        29.04.2008 14:32

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        Really Fun humorous way to see Galway

        I wanted to get a bit of an inside scoop on Galway as i am aware it gets tonnes of tourists and did'nt want to fall into any traps. after some research i fould Galway Tours (http://www.galwaytours.ie). They provide walking tours that contain all the normal historical elements as well as more recent events and info on how Galway developed into the cultural centre it is today.
        We also heard some really funny stories as well as some background on some of the longer established family run businesses in the Centre of Galway City including some fascinating background stories on a few Pubs around the town. The guide was from Galway and seemed to have genuine enthusiasm for his home City.If you are heading to Galway City any time soon this tour is well worth Checking out. As far as i know the run nearly year round but check website to be sure.

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        10.06.2003 02:15
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        Gateway to the West As a person who experienced an enjoyable but predominantly rural childhood it has never been easy for me to generate a personal fondness for city life. If you have been reared in a location that is smothered in cultural and scenic richness, such as rural Ireland, it is easy to look at urban areas as an alien and unwelcoming environment. However, after several years of study in the west of Ireland city of Galway my negative opinion began to waver somewhat. This is because Galway city is one of the few, if not only, large urban areas in Ireland that successfully blends the country’s traditional rural heritage with the bustling and high-growth era that is modern Ireland. Galway is ranked among the fastest growing cities of its size, which is nearing 100,000 people, in the whole of Europe. In the last few years it has encountered unprecedented growth and has been a huge economic boost to a region of Ireland that has been impoverished for so long. Thankfully, however, despite its expansion it has not lost its coveted reputation as a magnet for cosmopolitan and cultural ideals. The majority of people who have spent any length of time in this city look back with fond memories and are full of nothing but unending compliments. Therefore, at the risk of sounding like an employee of Galway tourist board, I will try and identify the elements that make this city so popular. Location: Galway is perfectly placed geographically to take advantage of the country’s significant tourist industry. It is has often been described as the “Gateway to the West”. It’s a stone’s throw away from the Connemara region, one of the few remaining Irish language (Gaeltacht) strongholds, which boasts a spectacular rugged landscape, and is perhaps the main contributor to the Irish postcard industry. As regards the road system in the west of Ireland, Galway acts as a link between the scenery-choked counties
        of Clare and Kerry to the south and the wild countryside of Mayo and Donegal to the north. Sites in the city: Possibly the most famous area of the city is Eyre Square which is the city’s principal banking and financial area and is the first thing you see as you arrive at the railway/bus station. In the middle of Eyre Squire you’ll find a pleasant green area called Kennedy Park (named after a visit by JFK in 1963). As a student I found it the perfect place to watch the world go by on a warm sunny afternoon. Although these days were few and far between as Galway is undoubtedly one of the most rain-soaked cities in Europe. However, it is not for the weather that people flock to Galway. Another popular tourist spot in the city is the Spanish Arch, which is a famous wall that connects the old city walls to the Claddagh fishing docks. There is a small entrance fee into its museum that houses impressive maritime and military artifacts as well as farm machinery dating back five centuries and is well worth a visit. The city has a strong maritime tradition as can be seen from the sculpture of fishing sails seen in Eyre Square. Also, beside the Spanish Arch is the beautiful, but now defunct Claddagh docks, which is home to a large swan population. During the summer months this area is swarming with revellers, both local and foreign, relaxing and taking in the view, but beware of the occasional group of drunks that have been known to frequent the area. When touring the city you will struggle to avoid seeing the impressive St. Nicholas Cathedral, which dominates the Galway skyline. At first glance this structure may appear centuries old but in fact was only constructed in 1960. Inside it is just as impressive with beautiful carvings and pictures decorating the walls. Close to the Cathedral is Galway University (or the National University of Ireland, Galway as the authorities like it to be called). Th
        is university is steeped in history and dates back to the 1860’s. It is well-worth taking a stroll through the grounds as it is a beautiful campus with structures such as the Quadrangle with its immaculately kept grass Aula Maxima. The city also has a technical college on the other side of the city that has recently been totally revamped with a very modern and unusually designed structure. Few large cities are lucky enough to be located so near to a well-known seaside resort. Just a mile from the city centre of Galway is the resort of Salthill. You can take the regular No.1 bus from the city centre but it also easily within walking distance. The area of Salthill itself is slightly outdated as it enjoyed its heyday in the 1960’s (when two weeks in Majorca was not as affordable). However, taking a stroll along its long and beautiful promenade that looks out onto the infamous Galway Bay is guaranteed to give you’re brain and lungs a thorough spring-clean. Salthill has a beach but it is by no means anywhere near the standard of other beaches further down the coast, but because of its closeness to the city it is never short of visitors. There is also an open-top tourbus that takes in all the major sites of the city. It leaves from Eyre Square regularly each day. Aside from all the designated tourist sites it is the charm and atmosphere of its streets and buildings that really attracts people to the city. Some have crowned Galway “the Paris of the West” because of the amount of cobbled streets and interchanging narrow alleyways. Shop Street is the most famous shopping area with many well-known retailers located there. This pedestrianised street is nearly always buzzing with tourists and shoppers and would be similar to, if not better than, Grafton Street in Dublin. Many of the streets are bohemian in appearance with dozens of cobble-stoned alleyways containing little gems of shops just waiting
        to be explored. It is has been remarked by many that when walking through the streets of Galway you are reassured by a feeling of security, which cannot be said for many other Irish cities. However, I am not suggested that Galway is crime free by any stretch of the imagination. Accommodation: To truly appreciate what Galway has to offer you will inevitably have to find accommodation. It’s not difficult to find cheap affordable hostels around the city centre but two hostels with good reputations are the Barnacles Quay Hostel in Quay Street and Kinlay House just off Eyre Square. There are also a number of B&B’s to be found in the suburbs of the city and most are advertised on the internet. If you’re willing to splash out for more comfortable surroundings then The Great Southern Hotel next to the Railway Station in Eyre Square, The Skeffington Arms Hotel in Eyre Square, Dury’s Hotel beside the Spanish Arch and The Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill are the most ideally located. Those intending to stay in Galway for a longer period should get a copy of the Galway Advertiser from its new offices in Eyre Square, but be prepared to fight for a place around August/September with the return of the city’s students for a new year. Pubs/Nightclubs: When Galway is mentioned in converation it is inevitable that the topic of its nightlife will eventually arise at some stage because it is largely this that has given the city its notoriety. During the academic year the city’s nightlife is dominated by the 15,000 strong student population. This responsibility is eagerly, but perhaps less vigorously, undertaken by the mass influx of visitors (mostly American and German) to the city in the summer months between June and September. One great thing about Galway’s pubs during the summer is that many drinkers sprawl out onto the streets in front of pubs to enjoy the sun as well as the beer. However, th
        is is not condoned by the authorities and they’ve started to clamp more heavily in recent years. There is a wide selection of pubs in the city that will serve every taste (or should we say thirst). Pubs like the Kingshead, the Quays and the Cellar Bar in the city centre are popular student hangouts, while pubs like the Skeff in Eyre Square and McSwiggans in Woodquay provide an alternative for professionals or what might be called the “yuppy crowd” by some. If the traditional Irish experience of Ceili music, Guinness and small poky pubs packed to the rafters with atmosphere are you’re cup of tea then pubs like Taafes, where you will find a great mix of every kind of drinker from every age-group, Teach Ceoli (at least I think that’s how its spelt) on Shop Street and Monroe’s Tavern on Dominik Street will never disappoint. If what you’re looking for is a quiet, relaxing pint in the evening than Murphy’s or Feeney’s on High Street are ideal. For live concerts the best places to go are the Roisin Dubh, which regularly attracts big acts, an Taibhearc for more alternative music, and occasionally for larger events the Black Box. Also, if the theatre tickles your fancy then the City Hall is the place to go. It is a common known fact among students and regular danceaholics that Galway’s nightclubs have never quite shaped up to the standard of its pubs. Perhaps the most sensible option would either be Cuba, just off Eyre Square, or Central Park (beware the snotty, ignorant women and the incredibly drunk fellas with their Ben Sherman shirts in there). However, a personal favourite of mine is the small but nonetheless incredibly lively Church Lane nightclub, which it must be noted is free on a Wednesday and Thursday night with a pass. Other notable nightclubs are Boo Radleys, the Venue and the GPO (mostly hard dance at the weekend). Restaurants: Galway is per
        haps not noted for its love of food but it does contain some quality restaurants if you know where to look. The most significant restaurant area of the city is Quay Street where you have a diverse choice. If you’re willing to splash out for your meal than places like Cookes, McNamara’s and Quay Street Restaurant would be your best bet. If all you want is a quick, cheap but good quality meal than you should look out for The Couch Potato, Scotty’s (American-style food with humungous portions) and Lynch’s just off Shop Street. There is also a nice seafood takeaway called McDonagh’s on Quay Street which opens up onto the street. If you feel your grease levels are dipping to a dangerously low there is a McDonald’s, a few Supermacs and a number of other fast-food outlets dotted around the place. Overall, if you chose to visit Galway I have no doubt that you will be captivated by its undeniable charm and uplifting atmosphere, whether you’re a foreign tourist, a student or just a regular visitor from another part of Ireland. It can truly be said that a visit to Ireland is not complete without a trip to the Gateway to the West. If you don’t believe me find out for yourself! The Hidden Galway City: However, like most cities around the world Galway has a dark and hidden past that you may not see. If you're interested read on. The creation of the new Irish Nationalism at the turn of the 20th Century was essentially the invention of a new tradition, which broke from the reality of Irish society’s diversity. This creation of a narrow and specific heritage inevitably isolates someone or something, which in this case was Ireland’s urban areas. With the granting of independence and the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921 came a popularisation of rural life and culture. There was no place for urban heritage and towns were dismissed as an alien and part
        icularly English innovation. The rural areas were perceived as being a sanctuary for “true” Ireland. What the Irish were essentially doing was attempting to cover up their colonial past. Nowhere was this sense of concealment of certain sections of the past more evident than in the western city of Galway. Due to its geographical closeness to the Irish-speaking Connemara region and a large rural hinterland, the city has developed as a prevalent base for the development of this new Irish heritage. However, this was not always the case. For many centuries Galway was very much an English city dominated by a wealthy merchant community. The name Galway itself roughly translates to mean “the place of the foreigner”, which is probably due to the large number of Anglo-Norman families such as the De Burgos who first populated the city. Within the city’s medieval walls, a prosperous merchant town emerged. Galway was a lone outpost of English influence in the west. The city become a Royal Borough in 1396 and it received mayoral status in 1484 when power was transferred from the De Burgos to the 14 tribes, a group of Norman merchant families that included now popular Irish names such as the Lynches, Browns, and Kirwans. There a number of hidden features dotted around the city which are a physical reminder of Galway’s forgotten past. Prob ably the easiest of these to find is the famous Spanish Arch. It is an extension of the city walls out to the pier. It was built in 1584 to commemorate the wrecking of the Spanish Armada off the western coast of Ireland in 1511. Next to this area there is also a statue donated by the city of Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, marking his supposed visit to Galway in 1477 en route to one of his adventurous voyages. In the time of Henry VIII (1600’s), when England reverted to Protestantism, the new English planters coming into Ireland began to
        see the Irish as an inferior race because they were Catholic. This resulted in events such as the violent attack on Galway in 1652 by Cromwell. This largely failed in its objective but it did succeed in leaving a lasting impression on the city such as the conversion of St, Nicholas’ Church to the practice of Protestantism. It remains Protestant today yet it has gothic architecture which is typical of Catholic churches. It is at this church also that you can presently find what is perhaps the most wrongly and ashamedly neglected area of Galway and Ireland’s past, for it is the commemorative home of the Connaught Rangers or “Devil’s Own” as they were nicknamed. This tiny church stuck in the heart of the city centre of Galway is the only significant physical dedication in the whole of Ireland to the thousands of Irishmen who died for over 230 years in the British Army. In the confined space of the church there is a huge transnational sense of Irishness. The lists displayed all over the church of those soldiers killed in action include typically Irish names such as Murphy, O’Connor, O’Neill and O’Meara. The Connaught Rangers received more Victoria Crosses for bravery than any other Regiment of the British Army in the First World War. They fought around the world in such exotic locations as the West Indies, Ceylon, India, the Middle East and South Africa giving their lives as they represented their home province. Yet, from an untrained eye, there is little or no evidence of their sacrifice or even existence. 69,000 Irish soldiers have been killed in British service, more than the entire American death toll in the Vietnam War, yet there is little or no remembrance of them, unlike in America where the country is choked with memorials to the dead. Hopefully, further advances in Irish society will eventually lead to the development of a more significant tribute to the Connaught Rang
        ers in Galway city. Despite a move to broaden the borders of Irish identity in recent years there still remains an unwillingness to incorporate Galway’s colonial past into its heritage. Monuments such as the Queen’s Standard behind the Quadrangle of Galway University are typical of this. It has been located in what is perhaps the most deserted and desolate location on the whole campus and is not recognised in the college prospectus. There is also the design of the college crest, which unbeknown to many, if not all, of the University’s students bears the English lion, a potent symbol of British colonialism, in its top left corner. The University was built in 1849 and therefore its Quadrangle is distinctly English and is likened to the architecture seen at Oxford University. Perhaps the closest Galway has come so far to representing its diverse history are its monuments in Eyre Square in the city centre. The first is the statue of Padraig O’Conaire, a famous Irish poet and short story writer. He is perched on a Galway limestone wall with a rabbit and a bird at his feet, which suggests a rural environment. This represents the homogenous type of Irish identity which developed after independence. It is a very legitimate part of Galway’s history but the urban part of its history should also be shown, especially when the statue is in the middle of the most u rbanised area of the west. The Quincentennial Monument, which was constructed by Eamon O’Doherty in 1984, signifies the importance of maritime trade to Galway. The monument represents the dark brown sails of the Claddagh (famous fishing docks in the city). There is also the remains of the front wall of an Old English house that was placed in the square before the house was demolished. The canons in front of the monument were brought back from the Crimean War by the Connaught Rangers. They were unwittingly placed there by Galway County Council.
        So effectively, the monuments in Eyre Square represent Old English, Gaelic-Catholic Irish, post-modern Irish and the “forgotten” Irish with the canons. Galway is presently thought to be extremely cosmopolitan and is considered the cultural capital of Ireland. However, it is strange that a city with such an apparent love for culture and diversity has yet to remove hidden secrets from its own past and display them with a sense of pride and respect. To ignore the colonial past of Galway is, in essence, to ignore its foundation. Only when all aspects of Galway’s heritage are publicly displayed and acknowledged can it rightfully deserve its coveted reputation of cultural richness.

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          14.07.2001 21:16
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          With its multicoloured facades, bohemian taverns and generally laid-back ambience, I was hooked on Galway right from the start. Prettier than Cork, livelier than Killarney and more relaxed than Dublin, this is definitely the town I felt most at home in during my husband Dave’s and my recent trip to Ireland. Galway City (or Gaillihm) is described by Lonely Planet (Europe on a Shoestring, 1st edition, March 1999) as “a pleasure, with its old stone and wooden shop-fronts, good restaurants and busy music pubs bustling with students”. I wholeheartedly agree – it was a rare treat to actually come across a town that seemed to suit my personality almost perfectly. So on to the review... ACCOMMODATION ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having not found any particularly cheap options on the net we decided to try the ‘Barnacles Quay Street House’, which sounded pretty good from the website and, unlike the competition, offered free breakfast (always a sucker for the ‘f’ word, that’s us :). Unfortunately BQ don’t update their site that often – the first disappointment when I phoned to book was that the price would be IR£12 (US £9.60) per night for a dorm bed in high season (as opposed to the IR£11 quoted on the website). The second was when they asked for my credit card number – fairly standard procedure in itself, but instead of requiring a day or two’s notice for cancellation they insisted on an entire week, or they’d bill us for the first night’s stay. Not a very good first impression! Still, by that time I was growing weary of making calls and trawling the internet and just figured, what the hell. And so on our arrival at Galway bus station we consulted our trusty little map (one of the website’s better features) and set off for the hostel. [We were almost immediately set upon by a tout handing out flyers for a hostel considerably closer t
          o the station and only IR£7/night, but never mind...] The Barnacles Quay wasn’t that bad really – good kitchen, modern security, TV room, free luggage storage etc – but neither was it anything special, particularly for the price. The best part about it was the location – right on the middle of the pedestrian part of Quay Street, only metres from the Bay itself. Next time I’d probably choose somewhere cheaper though – the ‘breakfast’ they provided (which turned out to consist of coffee, tea, hot chocolate and toast. Yes, just toast. No cereal) wasn’t really worth the extra pound or two. For those who are interested, Kinlay House got a good recommendation from a couple of New Zealand girls we met in Cork. Though only a pound or so less than BQ it is much closer to the bus/train station, has their own bikes for hire and is said to have quite a good atmosphere (Victoria Place, Tel.565244). I wish I could include the details of the cheaper hostel but I’m afraid we didn’t keep the flyer! Though I’m sure as long as they stay in business they’ll still have employees lurking around the station… THE SIGHTS ~~~~~~~~ Though perhaps not quite as replete with monuments and landmarks as Cork or Dublin, Galway still has quite a few places that are worth checking out. Eyre Square: One of the first things you’ll see if you’ve arrived in Galway by bus or train, Eyre Square is quite pleasant to take a stroll through. The centre is occupied by ‘Kennedy Park’, so named after a certain presidential visitor in 1963. Other monuments include a statue of writer Padraic O’Connaire, apparently a controversial writer of the early 1900s. The Spanish Arch: Just down from the Wolftone bridge stands one of the last remnants of Galway’s old city walls. Built circa 1584 the Spanish Arch (which, by the way, has most probably
          been misnamed as there is no evidence to suggest it is in anyway Spanish) was originally designed to protect the quays, hence it’s main feature: the wooden sculpture “Madonna of the Quays”. The Galway City Museum: Situated just adjacent to the Arch this museum, though quite small, is well worth the IR£1 entry fee. Artifacts include various antiques, farm equipment and machinery and military apparatus as well as 17th century stone carvings and a display on Galway’s medieval heritage. Opening times are 10am-1pm and 2-5pm (closed Sundays). The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed Into Heaven and Saint Nicholas Whew, what a mouthful!! Probably the most impressive structure in the city, the cathedral was unfortunately (from a historic-appreciation sense) only erected in the 1960s, on the site of the former county jail. The domed copper roof is quite prominent even from a distance and the inside is bedecked with wall paintings and intricate carvings of stone and wood. The Bay Last but not least, a stroll along the Galway Bay itself is definitely not to be missed. The view on a clear day is breathtaking, though I’d advise taking a jacket! SHOPPING ~~~~~~~ As in most cities souvenir shops abound in Galway, and you can pick up a leprechaun key-ring or a Guinness cap just about anywhere. However we also came across quite a few more interesting options, including several ‘New Age’ places selling crystals, talismans and the like as well as some pretty decent second-hand book and music shops. The one thing we didn’t come across, surprisingly, was a supermarket – every other town we stayed in at least had a Tesco Metro. Perhaps we just missed it – either way there are plenty of small grocery stores about the place as well as a fairly good combined minimarket/delicatessen/off-licence on the High Street. FOOD ~~~~ As anyone who reads my travel ops w
          ill know I’m a big fan (not totally by choice I’m afraid) of travelling on the cheap, and therefore often choose to cook pasta in a hostel kitchen rather than splurging on a restaurant meal. We did however eat out on a couple of occasions in Galway. The first place was a small eatery, not much more than a chippy really, with a rather tacky name like ‘The Snack Box’ or ‘The Lunch Box’. The food was pretty cheap – Dave and I each had a ‘value meal’ consisting of a hamburger/fried chicken (respectively), chips and a can of drink for under IR£3. This disadvantages: our meal was somewhat disrupted by the hoards of greasy, sick-looking pigeons that were desperately attacking the scattered remains on the surrounding tables whilst keeping a vulture-like eye on our food (I swear they were just waiting for us to turn our backs...). Secondly, the food was served with extra grease which subsequently led to the third drawback: acute indigestion. The second place we decided on (McDonaugh’s on Quay Street) was a little more upmarket, and so popular that the queue was out the door the first couple of times we thought about going in. It came recommended to us (by at least two people from our dorm) as having ‘the best fish and chips you’ve ever tasted’. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but damn good at around IR£4 for a big plate of chips, tartare sauce and battered cod that all but melted in our mouths. For those travelling on a slightly larger budget, there are plenty of cafes, noodle bars and interesting restaurants so there’s bound to be something to suit your taste. The Lonely Planet lists Kirwan’s Lane Creative Cuisine as ‘Galway’s most ballyhooed restaurant’ (end of Kirwan’s Lane, Tel.568266). ENTERTAINMENT ~~~~~~~~~~~ Funnily enough, the best evening we had was not at one of Galway’s famed music pubs, but on the lit
          tle grassy area by the Spanish Arch, drinking Druid’s Celtic Cider and Harp Lager and looking out over the Bay while a group of people took turns jamming on three sets of bongos. We weren’t the only ones drawn by the rhythms: before long the area was covered in scattered groups of locals and backpackers alike, all just hanging out, enjoying the scenery and nodding to the beat. I have to warn you that drinking in public areas isn’t actually legal in Galway (I didn’t know at the time, honest!), although the police seem to have a pretty relaxed attitude to it – they wandered past once or twice, chatted fairly amiably with the bongo players and moved on again. As far as actual pubs are concerned, The Blue Note (West William Street) is pretty good – they have live rock or jazz music several times a week as well as a separate bar for the pop/techno fans. I’ve also heard Roisin Dubh (Dominic Street Upper) is good for alternative music and Monroe’s Tavern (just a few doors away) for traditional bands. SIDE-TRIPS ~~~~~~~~ County Galway is home to some of the most picturesque scenery you could hope to see. We opted for an excursion to Clifden in Connemara, which was simply gorgeous – though there are very few trees the stark expanses of hills, valleys and lakes are definitely worth seeing, even if you just take the bus there and back. Another trip we would have liked to take but unfortunately ran out of time for was a ferry to the Aran Islands, apparently one of western Ireland’s most beautiful attractions. Ferries leave three times daily from Rosseval, around 25 miles west of Galway, and the fare is IR£18/return (including the connecting bus). (You can find out more from the Tourist Office on Victoria Place, Tel.563081.) Okay, so I think this op has just about hit a record for my longest ever: I’ll wrap it up now. If you do visit the Emerald Isle, I’d def
          initely recommend adding Galway to your itinerary. Feel free to check out my ops on Cork and Killarney if you feel so inclined (Dublin to follow soon…). Thanks for reading and I hope the following links will come in useful: Barnacles Quay Street House : www.barnacles.ie/quaystreet/accommodation.htm Galway tourist information : www.virtualtourists.net/ Surrounding area tourist information : www.westireland.travel.ie/ Bus information and times : www.buseireann.ie

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