The One with Galway, Ireland

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Our second to last stop in Ireland was the charming town of Galway. I spy a Google building!
Galway feels like a boomtown - rare in Western Ireland. Until the recession hit in 2008 it was the fastest growing city in Ireland. And it's still its most international city as one out of every four residents was born outside of Ireland. With 76,000 people, Galway is the county's main city, a lively university town, and the region's industrial and administrative center. While not chock full of sights, it more than makes up for any lack with excess of ambiance.
It's easy to spend an afternoon or more just wandering the medieval streets with their delightful mix of colorful facades, pubs, and eateries. After parking and getting some lunch, that's exactly what we did.
In Galway's "Latin Quarter" is Lynch's Castle, now home to a bank. It's Galway's best late 15th century fortified townhouse which was once home to the Lynch family, the most powerful of the town's old 14 tribes. More than 80 Lynch mayors ruled Galway in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Just down from the Lynch Castle is the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, the finest medieval building in town. It dates from 1320 and is dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of sailors. Columbus is said to have worshipped here in 1477.
The interior is filled with bits of obscure town history and is otherwise clean and simple.
Back out on the streets, walking down High Street.
Chris and Paige (kids were content in the stroller) in Galway, Ireland on Monday September 21st, 2015.

Right down by the bay and the River Corrib is the Spanish Arch. This is the best remaining chunk of Galway's old city wall. A reminder of Galway's former importance in trade, the arch from 1584 is the place where Spanish ships would unload their cargo.
The city of Genoa, Italy gave the city of Galway a monument to celebrate Columbus' visit to the city in 1477.
Looking down the River Corrib to Galway bay.
Street art of a streetscape.
Easter egg colored homes :)
After getting lost in one of the seedier areas of town, we eventually found the huge Cathedral of St. Nicholas. Opened by an American Cardinal in 1965, this is one of the last great stone churches built in Europe.
Rose window.
The interior is a treat - mahogany pews set on green Connemara marble floors under a Canadian cedar ceiling.
I think I've mentioned how terrible the airbnbs were that we stayed at in Ireland once or twice... We decided if this last place was a dump we were just going to stay at a hotel, we were so done living in icky conditions. Imagine our surprise when we found this top notch, epic upgrades, free standing home all to ourselves! It was so beautiful. One of the BEST airbnbs we've ever stayed.
I think all of us were so relieved to be somewhere clean and comfortable and warm to relax.
Last stop: Ashford Castle!
Paige Taylor Evans © // Quinn Creatives DESIGN