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Ireland Day 10: God Bless Our Daniel

overcast 67 °F

First, we drove to Gort na Coiribe, where Daniel lived when he was attending National University of Ireland, Galway. The houses are student housing during the college terms, and holiday rentals in the summer. We had thought about trying to stay there but their minimum stay was slightly too long. However, it was nice to see it again. We took some pictures in front of the flat where Daniel lived, and then went over to Dunne's Stores across the street.
Years ago, Daniel had told Catherine of a brand of juice called Fruice. She never believed it was real for some reason. At Dunne's Stores, the truth was revealed.
We turned down a side street while trying to find a place to park, and encountered this banner. We have no idea what the actual intention was of the people who put it up. But it seemed like a nice "welcome back" from the people of Galway.
From Dunne's Stores we walked to the University, along the route Daniel would take when he was here. These are a couple pictures of the River Corrib from the bridge.
The old Quadrangle building at NUIG. THis is the most photogenic building on campus, but Daniel didn't actually have any classes there when he attended. However, it was a nice spot to take some pictures and look at the historic part of the campus.
Just past the campus, a canal that runs beside the campus and a view of the cathedral. This was the route Daniel would often take to go to lunch.
The Galway cathedral. It is not as old as it looks, having been built in the sixties. It is a beautiful building, deliberately built as a sort of Irish-Mediterranean (especially Spanish) hybrid to emphasize the historic links between Galway and Spain. It is quite large and has a variety of artwork, including stained glass windows and murals on the walls. We used a paper "self-guided tour" booklet to tour the cathedral, then went on to lunch.
On our way, we saw this evidence that someone doesn't know how to read a sign.
When Daniel was here before, he and his friend Adrian would often visit An Tobar Nua, a small cafe in Galway. We went in to have lunch there. It was started by an American, and the food seems to reflect that, as some menu items that are not particularly common in Ireland are available here.
Us at An Tobar Nua.
Ran into one of Adrian's friends and heard some amusing stories.
DInner/snacks at Monroe's Tavern, right across from An Tobar Nua. It's one of the places Daniel went on his twenty-first birthday, and we were happy to go there now.
Catherine tried a beer called "bogman" in commemoration of her adventures in the bog in Glencolumcille.
The beginning of our "pub crawl" in Galway.
A view towards the cathedral from the Claddagh.
Some buskers playing the song "Wagon Wheel" as well as some traditional Irish and American songs.
Drinks at The King's Head, a popular pub in Galway.
From Breaking Bad?
Drinks at Sally Long's at the end of the night. Pubs seem to close fairly early here.
Capital Turkish Kebab House for some chips to finish the night.
The relatively empty and quiet street late at night. From here, we got a taxi back to our room and headed to bed to rest for our trip to the Aran Islands!

Posted by danielcatherine 16:05 Archived in Ireland Tagged rain clothes college chips laundry memories galway kebab pub_crawl irish_pubs monroe's king's_head sally_long's Comments (0)

Day 9 - Orcas and Orcas

sunny 70 °F

First of all, a note about checking in on Day 8: Our host had mentioned that, despite the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington, there were no legal distributors of it on the island. Catherine said "we were wondering about that" since we had been talking about the law and how it would work. However, our host seemed to think that we meant that we were interested in purchasing marijuana (to be clear, we were not). It was difficult to convince the host that we weren't interested, however. She repeatedly apologized that she didn't know any dealers, but encouraged us to go in to one of the pubs and ask around if we really needed to find one. But, she cautioned, we shouldn't smoke anything at all in the house. Despite Catherine's repeated assurances that we weren't interested in buying or smoking marijuana, and that we certainly wouldn't be smoking anything in the house, the host seemed to genuinely feel bad that she couldn't help us find any marijuana.

We went for a walk on the beach in the morning. The tide was out, and it was amazing how much larger the beach has gotten. Also, where it had previously been just pebbles, the beach now had quite a bit of sand. It was interesting to see the change, especially since the waves are basically non-existent and the tide is thus extremely evident (the waves are probably much bigger outside of the very sheltered sounds and bays around the island.)

Waiting to go out. We went with Outer Islands Charters, which guarantees whale sightings. If you don't see a whale they will take you out again. However, not all whales are orcas, and we really wanted to see orcas, so we were encouraged that the company seems to advertise exclusively with orcas.

We wish we could include more pictures of the whales, but the pictures could never do the experience justice. We found a pod of transient orcas in between Orcas and Jones island, and travelled with them up Presidents Channel for about two hours. At times they were close enough to the boat to hear them breathing. It was a small family of five orcas. The matriarch, T-65A (nicknamed Lumpy) had four of her children. Orcas have babies about once every four years (Lumpy has more children than average) and one was a tiny baby. When
they would surface to breath, each whale would arch out of the water. The larger whales would take some time to do this, but the little baby would arch over in a second. It was truly amazing to see these creatures and hear about their intelligence. We both feel that we picked the right charter company, and that the experience was a dream come true.

Us on the boat after seeing whales!

The White Horse Irish pub in Eastsound. Beautiful views of the sound and the neighboring islands. Daniel felt like this was a very authentic Irish pub. On a remote island, simple food, a real menu item called "toasted cheese and chips," and a perfect ocean view.

The beer recommended by the waitress is called Irish Death. It sounds dangerous.

SummerTime plums from Reedley, California at the store on Orcas Island (for any readers that don't know, we get all our summer stone fruit from a SummerTime grower between Kingsburg and Reedley.

Some views of the Tiny House from outside and inside. It was cozy and interesting, and it was great having our own private beach.

To any of our botanically-inclined readers, what is this flower? (Present-time spoiler: it looks a lot like what Butchart Gardens calls foxglove. However, when we described it to the people there they said it was more likely bluebell. Looking at pictures, we think it's foxglove.

The log on the beach where we were able to get phone service. We referred to it as "logging on."

Next entry, our journey to Anacortes and Victoria.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:31 Archived in USA Tagged boats plants whales botany dreams bluebell orcas whale_watching orcas_island irish_pubs authenticity foxglove tiny_house Comments (2)

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