Tuesday, April 4th–Galway city

Slept OK with a late start; nice but a bit chilly weather; walking from the hotel to the Galway cathedral past the New Cemetery at Bohermore; on to the Claddagh church; lunch at An Cupan Tae; St Nicholas's church; an Augustinian church; back through the Claddagh; a pint at the Skeffington Arms; by cab from Eyre Square back to the hotel; walking back downhill to dinner at Rockin' Joe's and by cab back to the hotel

Mini-apartment at the Connacht Hotel

Silver VW Jetta



It's past 11 PM and once again I'm just getting around to typing my notes up for today and once again it's not because I was out late and just got back to my rooms. In fact I've been back since about 9 PM. I watched something on YouTube on my laptop that I'd tried to watch twice already but kept dozing off during, while having a shot of Bushmills honey in a large glass of sparkling water, and then I felt like I really needed to stretch out for a bit and seem to have dozed off for a bit. I hope it doesn't take me too long to get to sleep tonight.

When I finally went to bed after 3 this morning I didn't turn on my alarm clock. I woke up once, between 6:30 and 7 AM, thought "Oh crap, I don't want to be up this early" and the next thing I knew it was after 10. I took a shower, dressed, had one of my Slimfasts for breakfast, and left here around noon.

My mini apartment is serviced only twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, which is fine with me since I don't need the trash emptied every day and I can certainly use the same towels for more than a single day (besides my bathroom is stocked with enough towels for two or three people anyway). On my way out I stopped off at the reception desk in the lobby to let them know I would be out the rest of the afternoon so housekeeping could do my room whenever they wanted. Lisa, the lovely lass who helped me last evening and recommended the G Counter for dinner, was on the desk when I passed through.

The forecast for today was with high temperatures in the mid 50s F, and although it was supposed to be cloudy and overcast all day it wasn't supposed to rain so when I left I was wearing only my fleece vest but had my light rain jacket in my pack. It's a good thing I did because once I actually got outside I realized that even if it was in the mid 50s, the constant breeze made it feel cooler so I put my rain jacket on as well.

My plan for today was to walk downhill and into town, and to visit the Cathedral first, then the Claddagh church, and St Nicholas's church possibly ending up with a visit to the very well done Galway city museum which is next to the Spanish Arch and the Long Walk alongside the water from there.

The Cathedral is formally known as the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas–(Our Lady Assumed into Heaven) and St Nicholas, not Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas. The Claddagh church is Dominican and is properly called the Church of St Mary, Claddagh. St Nicholas's church is formally called the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas and is the only Anglican/Episcopal church here in Galway.

My walking route from here to the Cathedral took me down Old Dublin Road onto Bohermore Road which runs alongside the New Cemetery Bohermore which is Victorian and opened in 1880. It's a lovely place with a gatekeeper's lodge and two funeral chapels. Normally I would have really enjoyed wandering around more to take pictures but it was pretty obvious a fairly well attended burial ceremony was taking place or would be soon so I just checked out what I could see from the main road off the entrance. The only grave there I'd really like to find specifically is that of Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory, who was a leading figure in the Irish literary revival and great friend and patron of W B Yeats.

The walk from the cemetery on to the cathedral took me through some pleasant neighborhoods until finally I could see the cathedral downhill not far in the distance. Although there were a lot of tour buses parked alongside the cathedral wherever the people who had been in them were they weren't in the cathedral which was very pleasantly uncrowded. It's a very lovely newer building and is a pleasure to visit any time.

It was another very pleasant walk from the cathedral on over to the Claddagh church, right alongside where the River Corrib flows into Galway Bay. I was pleased to note that I actually remembered the church's immediate neighborhood before Google Maps told me I was there. Once again the church wasn't crowded while I was there and it too was a delight to visit.

The Claddagh church is, not surprisingly, right across the river from the Spanish Arch and the new Galway City Museum which are all right adjacent to the Claddagh neighborhood on that side of the river.

By now it was almost 2 PM and I was getting hungry. I decided not to try to find somewhere in the Claddagh between the river and Eyre Square. Each time I've been here in Galway, including yesterday, I'd gone past what looks like a delightful little place, An Cupan Tae, so today I thought I'd see if they also sold food and had a lunch menu and I'm quite glad I did. It really is a lovely and delightful little place, with less than a dozen tables in the restaurant part next to their shop. I had a cup of a very nice cream soup with squash and something else, followed by their full afternoon tea with a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich and all of it was very nice.

I had thought of going on one of the hop on, hop off bus tours of the city and area again but the last one left at 3 PM which was just about when I left An Cupan Tae.

I went from there over to St Nicholas's church and I think Google Maps took me the long way around. The church is in kind of a triangle with one of the side streets connecting with the main road through the Claddagh neighborhood with a second connecting to it via a short side street. I went to the church along the longer road, and came back to the Claddagh along the other road.

There were only a very few other people visiting when I was there. It's another lovely little church and was a pleasure to visit and wander around. As usual I wanted to leave a small donation for the upkeep of such a lovely place but there was a stonemason working on the collection box.

There were only a couple of buskers working the Claddagh today. One was a rather attractive, slim redheaded woman who seemed to be playing and singing the blues. Another was a guy who was basically doing karaoke, singing to recorded instrumental tracks. I don't have anywhere near perfect pitch but even I could tell he was always just a little off which was kind of amusing.

When I got back to the Claddagh's main street after St Nicholas's I saw a small sign pointing to an Augustinian church I don't think I'd ever seen before because I went down the small lane way to another very lovely, very pleasant to visit church. As I was walking back up the lane way there was an accordionist playing. He was quite good and the lane way has surprisingly excellent acoustics due to the buildings on each side.

I had already decided that tomorrow morning I'll drive on out to Salthill and the Prom, then come back into town and go to the City Museum, the Spanish Arch and the Long Walk, so I was pretty much done with downtown for today. I thought I'd have a pint somewhere near Eyre Square, then take a cab back here to the hotel. On the way back to the Square I went into one of the neighborhood pharmacies where I was able to find a small, folding compact mirror I can use for shaving in the shower.

When I was here last summer I had a lovely dinner in the wonderful, rambling Skeffington Arms restaurant & hotel which is alongside Eyre Square, which is where the main cab rank downtown is, so I went back for a very nice pint of cider before catching a cab back here to the hotel.

Whenever I'd gone past the entrance to the mini mall where the G Counter is located, behind the G Hotel and Spa, I'd seen a sign for Rockin' Joe's which I think is part of the chain of American-themed burger joints including Eddie Rocket's and Johnny Rockets. When I was there last night I didn't see the Rockin' Joe's, but right next to the G Counter is a place with a large sign that says "Shake Dogs". I walked back down to see if I could find the Rockin' Joe's and have dinner there. As I was leaving the hotel the gate to the entrance of the playing field was open and I saw people with soccer balls had begun arriving.

When I got down to the Wellpark mall at the G Hotel at first I didn't see the Rockin' Joe's at all but when I got to the door of the "Shake Dog" I saw that the notice on the door with the place's open hours actually said "Rockin' Joe's". I had an excellent bacon cheese burger, an excellent vanilla malt shake, and some good but slightly overcooked fried mushrooms and onion rings.

I had accidentally left my Irish iPhone back here in my rooms which meant I didn't have anything to read during dinner. I was going to ask them to call a cab for me but I noticed they had a dedicated phone on the counter to call Big O Cabs, probably the largest cab company here in Galway, and had a very pleasant and entertaining chat with the cabby on the short ride back up the hill.

As I was walking towards my rooms I could see lights in the field through the window at the end of the hallway and went to take a look and I could indeed see plenty of people out using it.

As I said earlier I got back around 9 PM, and had a Bushmills honey & soda while finally watching a video on YouTube I'd tried to watch twice before but kept falling asleep instead. I was able to actually watch all of it (less than an hour) this time but afterwards I needed to stretch out for a bit and seem to have fallen asleep again.

It's now almost 1 AM and I'm just about done for today. Tomorrow I am going to drive on out to Salthill and the Prom and will probably go to the Aquarium there before driving back into town. I think I'll park at the Eyre Square Centre's lot again since it's pretty near the Claddagh and so not far from the Spanish Arch, the Long Walk and the Galway City Museum before catching the last hop on, hop off bus tour at 3 PM. After that I might stick around for some traditional music since Tig Coili has a session beginning at 6 PM and Tigh Fox (which doesn't seem to have a web page) has one beginning at 5:30 PM.

Thursday is when I'm planning on catching the morning ferry out to Inisheer/Inish Oirr for the day, and Friday, my last day here in Galway before moving on to Dingle, is when I've booked the all day tour out to Connemara, Clifden, the Sky Road, and Kylemore.

And now it's time for bed.

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