Galway, Ireland

Photo Friday: Galway, Ireland

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Our last stop on our girls’ trip to Ireland last fall was to the seaside perch of Galway, a city I had visited back in 2003 with my pals Francie and Evan.

West Coast, IrelandAs we drove north from the Cliffs of Moher, we ducked in and out of rainy patches, with a few choice rainbows scattered here and there. Gah, Ireland, you are just so cliche with all your rainbows and crap—though I never did find my leprechaun (or my pot of gold).

West Coast, IrelandIreland’s West coast gem is one of my favorite Irish cities due to its laid-back nature and distinctly Irish vibe. As you wander the cobblestone paths of the small city, you actually feel like you’re in Ireland (unlike Dublin, which could easily be any big international city in any country in the world).

West Coast, IrelandGalway is also the nearest big city to the cliffs, about an hour away via a road flanked by the rocky Burren landscape.

Sea Breeze Lodge, Galway, IrelandDue to the weather, it took us closer to two hours. Once we arrived to Galway City, we checked into the Sea Breeze Lodge, a gem of a B&B we found via Expedia and booked because it had a three-person room for around $150 a night.

Sea Breeze Lodge, Galway, IrelandThis place was the perfect location; our room overlooked the turbulent Atlantic Ocean.

Galway-12And the owner, a Frenchman, was adorable and cooked us a delicious Irish breakfast in the morning, then marked up a downtown map for us pointing in the right direction of the pubs restaurants.

Galway, IrelandAfter a tasty dinner at a nondescript place with an effervescent server—and OK, a few behemoth Blue Moons—we wandered across the street and into the town’s iconic pub, O’Connor’s.

O'Connor's Pub, Galway, IrelandWe had heard tales about how this place was always packed—the place to be, we were told—and so were surprised to find it pretty empty. And at 9pm at that. Granted it was a weeknight, but every evening is party time in Ireland.

O'Connor's, Galway, Ireland We later found out that was because the local cricket team had lost the big championship match that night, and so all of Galway was indoors sulking (and likely drinking in the comfort of their own homes, despite leaving the pub high and dry for a change).

O'Connor's, Galway, Ireland This worked to our advantage, though, as it means we met Dennis, bartender extraordinaire who my mom then tried to pawn Kari off on—“I was hoping we’d meet a nice Irish boy to marry her off to!” she, our never-shy mother, told he, our blushing, bashful, new friend—and also the co-owners Frank and Tom, whose grandfather started the pub in 1942.

O'Connor's, Galway, Ireland They showed Kari, Guinness connoisseur, how to put a four-leaf clover atop her pint and let her behind the counter to work (on her technique). They made me fall in love with hot Irish whiskey—and introduced us to their fun friends.

O'Connor's, Galway, Ireland They even taught Kari an Irish gig when we confessed we were filming a video and really needed an actual Irishman to teach her a proper jig. (OK, so they actually made Dennis teach her a jig by way of watching a YouTube video on Tom’s iPhone, but details schmetails.)

We left a little after midnight, and after 16 days behind the wheel without nary an error, I made my one-and-only driving faux pas of the trip and tried to pull into the right lane instead of the lane. Whoops. (I swear it wasn’t the whiskey.)

Galway, Ireland I could have spent more time in Galway, but I was giving Mom and Kari the sampler platter of Ireland instead of the full-on steak dinner, and so a day and a night, and we were out.

Galway, IrelandBut for those heading to Ireland for more than a day or two, I highly suggest just a brief time in Dublin and making your base in Galway instead.

Galway, Ireland I seriously doubt you could regret these views. Nor could you go to O’Connor’s and not have a rousin’ good time.

Galway, Ireland Just be sure and tell Dennis his American wife misses him while you’re there.

  • April 13, 2013

    I ADORE that B&B you stayed in. Wonder if they would let me bring my kids πŸ˜‰ We are headed to Ireland, Scotland and England this fall. Can’t wait!

    • April 14, 2013

      I’m sure they would–very nice people!

  • April 13, 2013

    Those lovely pix brought back some nice memories of Galway city, the cliffs of moher, the burren etc. Sigh.

  • April 13, 2013

    Fun! We totally missed O’Connor’s, but we had a great time at the Quays and Tig Coili. Galway at night on the weekend has that sort of Beale Street kind of feel, substitute trad music for the blues, of course πŸ™‚

    • April 14, 2013

      I love it: “the Beale Street of Ireland!”

  • April 14, 2013

    love it! Looks like such a great time

  • April 14, 2013

    My family is Irish but I have never been to Ireland, but these photos are definitely tempting me.

  • April 14, 2013

    I was in Galway years ago and was spellbound (even though it rained the entire 4 days I was there.)

  • April 15, 2013

    So many lovely photos. And I must agree with you, if you want a more authentic irish experience, Galway is a far better place to be based in than Dublin.

  • April 15, 2013

    Great article and beautiful photos; I am headed to Ireland in October and this post has made me even more excited….!

  • April 15, 2013

    These Ireland posts are doing a lot to talk me into TBEX Europe!

  • April 15, 2013

    I’ve heard only good things about Galway. I really should spend some more time in Ireland eventually, and it will be on my list when I do!

  • April 15, 2013

    I’m going to ignore the fact that you were in Ireland and drinking Blue Moon.



    Yes! Galway! We were there for five days in September, and I totally agree–less Dublin, more Galway! Though next time I go to Ireland, I have so very many places on my list I want to check out…I want a month to make it all happen!

  • April 15, 2013

    Love those post! Great shots!

  • April 16, 2013

    Oh, I am so jealous!! Both of your travels with sis, and of your visit to Galway. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland (my red-headed mom is so Irish), and to Galway since a friend of mine moved there a few years ago. So cool!

  • April 16, 2013

    Loved Galway and the surrounding area, especially the Burren. Lovely photos Kristin.

  • April 16, 2013

    Ireland, the safest place on earth. Also, a piece of heaven on earth. You really took nice pictures of it. It will be included in my trip list.

  • April 17, 2013

    Wow! Stunning pictures. I loved Galway – best fish and chips in all of Ireland!

  • April 18, 2013

    I like your blog and your attitude. I have young children myself and though we don’t travel far, we get out there often. We moved to these places 11mos ago and I’m outdoors every day that time allows exploring and keeping in shape. My kids are in school some of that time but if they aren’t they are right beside me. Make the most of every day! Love it!

  • April 18, 2013

    Love the place where you stayed and the pictures show that you had a fab time!! Thanks for sharing.
    PS – I am hosting a giveaway contest on my blog, do check it out πŸ™‚

  • April 20, 2013

    Absolutely breathtaking!

  • April 21, 2013

    That rainbow pic is just amazing!!! You and your sister are just too cute together! FYI for some reason I stopped receiving email updates that you’ve posted…

  • April 22, 2013

    I actually used to live right near there in Salthill! Glad to see it hasn’t changed much. I never did see O’Connor’s packed any of the times I walked past it… Someone may have been pulling your leg a little. πŸ˜‰

  • April 23, 2013

    Awww, Galway! That’s where I studied abroad in college, and I always tell people the same thing you wrote – Dublin is like any other big international city, Galway feels more like the “real” Ireland, and is close to all sorts of pretty outdoor things, like the Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, the Burren. I have so many good memories there, I am glad you guys liked it too!

  • April 25, 2013

    You had a Blue Moon in IRELAND? πŸ˜›

    (Although I would kill for one right now)

    Love the pics lady!

  • May 7, 2013

    This B & B lodge appeared a lot more cleaner and better furnished than lots of ‘good hotels’ around the world and to top it, it also seem to give a magnificent view of Atlantic. O’Connors is another reason that I will heed your advice and make it a point to visit Galway whenever I visit Ireland.

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