Friday, April 7th, my last day in Galway city

Skipping the all day bus trip to Connemara; laundry and breakfast in the hotel; sharing a cab downtown to Eyre Square; through the Claddagh to lunch at Venice; hop on, hop off bus tour; an iced coffee at Costa; trad music at Taafes and Tig Coili; dinner at the Noodle House; by cab back to the hotel; packing

Mini-apartment at the Connacht Hotel

Silver VW Jetta



It's now only a little past 9 PM and I'm actually sitting down to type up my notes from today.

I had another very nice day, my last one here in Galway for this trip.

I changed my plans this morning. I didn't fall asleep until around 2 AM this morning and when I woke up around 7 AM, before my alarm clock went off, which I had wanted to do so I'd have enough time to shower and dress before taking my laundry down to the reception desk early enough to have breakfast and be waiting for my 8:30 pick up for the all day trip to Connemara and Kylemore, I knew I really didn't want to take an all day trip today.

For one thing, I was still a little worried about the status of my digestion after the unpleasantness last night. I actually felt OK later and for the rest of the day but I wasn't too sure about that first thing this morning. Even more worrying was that I also was having one of my occasional symptoms of not having had enough sleep. I felt like I was coming down with a cold and was quite a bit dizzier than usual and felt very unrested as well. Before I left for breakfast and to take my dirty clothes over, I called the tour company to let them know I wasn't coming so they could let the driver who was going to pick me up here at the hotel know.

The trip through the long corridors from my rooms over to reception was more interesting than I like. Sometimes, when I'm really tired or having worse allergy problems than usual, simply walking too fast can make me dizzy and that's how I felt this morning. Having breakfast didn't help that much so after I came back to my room I stretched out again and actually went back to sleep for a while.

I decided that I'd have lunch downtown, then try and catch the last hop on, hop off bus tour of Galway which was at 3 PM. Two of the pubs on the pedestrianized area near the Spanish Arch & the City Museum and St Nicholas's church have traditional music sessions which start at 5:30 (Taaffes, which doesn't seem to have their own web page) and 6 PM (Tig Coili,) so I thought I'd try those after the tour then have dinner somewhere before catching a cab back here. And that's pretty much what I did.

I left here about 1:15 PM. I stopped by the intercom/cab pager thing over on the reception desk first. Actually it's basically just this button labeled "Big O Taxis"; somehow when you press the button it lets a dispatcher at the cab company know you're waiting here at the hotel. There was a couple of people already out front waiting for a cab, I think a mom and her son, and they also wanted to go downtown so we shared a cab to Eyre Square.

I wasn't sure where I wanted to go for lunch so I wandered around in the pedestrianized area and saw someone holding a sign for Venice, an Italian restaurant nearby. This turned out to be a very nice looking small place around the corner and I rather liked the way it looked and the menu so I went in. I had a very nice dish of meat stuffed canneloni.

I finished at about 2:30 PM so I headed on back to Eyre Square to catch the last tour bus. By now the weather had really improved, the sun had come out and it was quite a lovely afternoon. When the bus was under way I still had to zip up both my fleece vest and my sweatshirt over it but when we were just sitting there before the trip started and after we got back I didn't need to.

The bus tour wanders over by the Cathedral and out to Salthill and back through other neighborhoods. When we left I was the only passenger on board but when we got to Salthill an American family got on for the return trip back downtown. The live guide was an older gentleman who was a bit wistfully critical of modern society and life in general at least since the beginning and end of the Celtic Tiger economic boom. It was still enjoyable and a pleasant day for a tour of Galway.

We got back about 4:30. I decided I would stick around and try to catch some music at Taaffes if I could find somewhere to hang out that wasn't another bar or pub. There's a branch of Costa Coffee a little down from the two pubs so I had an iced coffee drink.

Taaffes is a rather small place with a low partition dividing the front and back halves which makes it impossible to see the musicians who are up in the front near the window, and makes it hard to hear them. I did find a small table and sat on one of the small stools where I could see the musicians but it didn't help that the table a couple away from me towards the rear was occupied by a louder group of young men clearly intent on serious drinking so I gave up onTaaffes not much after 6:15 when I thought I'd try Tig Coili which was even more crowded. I found a sort of out of the way place to stand near the entrance and unfortunately near the top of the stairs down to the restrooms. I only stayed for about half an hour before giving up on there as well.

I had seen someone holding a sign for a place called the Noodle House, which also doesn't seem to have its own web page either, so I thought I'd give it a try. It turned out to be another small but very nice place where I had a very good dish of stir fried noodles with mixed seafood.

I then walked back to Eyre Square before catching a cab back here. I got off at the front so I could see if someone could give me a hand bringing my clean clothes all the way back here to my room and one of the younger guys did so for me.

It's now just about 10 PM and I'm done with my notes for today. All in all, after I got some more rest, it was a very nice day and the weather's supposed to be as nice and perhaps a bit warmer over the weekend. I've had a lovely time here in Galway, a city I enjoy very much, but it's time to move on. I'm looking forward to being back in Dingle and then Killarney for a couple days longer this time than I was this past summer.

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