Friday, November 16, 2012

For the second day in Ireland, we went to Galway.

We headed into the center of town, Eyre Square. It is full of shops and restaurants!I was a little uneasy about the restaurants there since I wasn't sure if Ireland would be super vegan friendly… To my surprise nearly every menu I saw had a vegetarian option that was labeled “vegetarian option.” That is a step up from America! So, we picked a restaurant! There was a few other vegan-ish options, like the Greek salad. After we had been ready to order for some time, the waiter finally approaches. I ordered the Greek salad, and she says they didn't have any of the Greek things available that day. I asked her if they could just make a salad with a bunch of vegetables, no meat, no dairy. She immediately says “Like a vegan salad?” I was very glad that she not only recognized that it was vegan, but that she said it! She walked away and then came back and said that the chef didn't have time to make a vegan salad…. Really?

After lunch, we explored. We were told to go to Salthill. There were signs for it, but we weren't sure what it was. Turns out it is a section in Galway known for its bars and restaurants. On the way to Salthill, there is park, Claddagh Park.  This park is like any other park. There are running/walking trails in the middle of the field. Everything should be the same, but it feels different in Ireland. Even the grass is different than in the States. It is somehow greener. Yes, the grass is greener on the other side. Not only is it greener, but it seems softer and longer. All that rain over there is doing them good!  The park also overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. So the grass field led into a sandy beach which was filled with piles an piles of seaweed. It was such a nice, sunny day that of course we had to explore the beach! I was wearing cloth shoes and didn't want to get them sandy, so naturally I took them off to walk bare foot on the beach J
The Ranaway Dog

Walkway to Lighthouse
Claddagh park doesn't require dogs to be on leases. While we were walking through we saw a man jogging with his dog. Well, the dog ran off and started playing soccer with two other people! SO CUTE! When we crossed paths with the guy, Christy commented on how his dog was cute. The man responded and said “Yes, he is insanity.” I thought that was so funny. I would have said “He is insane.” I am not even sure that is correct grammar...

We saw a lighthouse in the distance. None of us have ever been to a lighthouse, so we were going to make this our first! There was a bridge/walkway to get to it. And it wasn't a short walkway, maybe a mile. So we walk to the end of it… and there was a fence and security cameras everywhere. Apparently you couldn't go to the lighthouse without an appointment. But it was a good walk.

The thing that surprised me the most about Ireland is how nice everyone is! Before I left for Ireland, people who have traveled over here before continuously told me how nice the Irish are. I had no idea what that meant until I went there for myself. Anytime we were next to someone Irish, they would strike up a conversation. When they heard our accents and realized we weren't from there, they would suggest a million fun things for us to do. Everyone seemed to go out of their way to be friendly. Multiple time we had cab drivers pull over and write down a list of things we needed to see! One time, we were in a bus station trying to figure out the buses. We stopped a bus driver who was walking by to ask him if a certain bus stopped at a certain town. Not only did he fully explain everything, but he took us to a map, showed us where we were going, then showed us where our gate was, and who are bus driver was. Before he left he made sure there weren't any other questions we had. He answered more questions than I knew I had!
Town of Galway, Ireland. The streets are
closed off for pedestrians to walk on!
For lunch and dinner, restaurants will
set up tables on the streets so meals
can be enjoyed outside! Quite lovely for a sunny day!

Galway was by far my favorite place in Ireland. Next blog I will talk about the Cliffs of Moher Tour!!

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