Tuesday, September 25, 2012

galway

Naturally, I've already lost my Claddagh jewelry, but a pretty photo nonetheless.

Since I've been reminiscing about my last September spent gallivanting across Ireland under the guise of a dental externship (which by the way UMD, is not a real word, just saying), I wanted to explore this train of thought a bit further. Please indulge me. Prior to planning this extended vacation, I have to admit I could name exactly three must-see cities in Ireland:  Dublin, Cork, and the inside of a Guinness vat. However, to my surprise, the greatest parts of the trip for me were actually Howth, the Aran Islands, and the west coast city of Galway. Okay, and the Guinness, too.

Galway is very much a college town, bustling with energy, people and, of course, nightlife; however, the city offered so much more than just a somewhat blurry but fantastic Friday and Saturday night. The restaurants here, nestled in the cutest of alleyways lit with stringed lights, were easily among the best of the trip. On the edges of the town center, we were met with breathtaking scenery, historical landmarks, and the small village of Claddagh, where the famous Irish rings were first crafted. Galway also provided a perfect launch point for trips to the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, and other fantastic excursions. All in all, if given the blessed chance to return to Ireland, I would choose its stunning western coast in a heartbeat.

One of the main little streets through the city.
Dark clouds rolling in over cheerful houses.
Loved this little guy.
Ginger shortbread (we'll call them Irish gingersnaps)
Beautiful restaurants and storefronts.
More Claddagh.
The weather may not be tropical, but it always made for interesting photos.
Aggressive ordering of the seafood tower to start dinner was the best choice ever.

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