11th May 2013

Market stall in Galway

Market stall in Galway

I was up and at ’em early today, Galway was almost deserted when I started walking around the town – very unusual for me to beat anyone out the door. Even some of the market stalls were still setting up as I walked through. There was a stall with big wooden tubs full of different types of olives and peppers, and a shop with more cheeses than I’ve seen in one place before – very tempting, even early in the morning.

After running out of sights around the town centre I headed over for a look at the Spanish Arch and then spent some quality time in the museum – although not large, it’s a mine of Irish information.

One of the saddest stories I came across was about the execution, for mutiny, of a soldier by the name of James Joseph Daly in 1920. Long story short, Irish soldiers serving in the British Army in India started receiving news of the savage treatment being handed out to supporters of Irish freedom by a special troop of British soldiers, called the Black and Tans, back in Ireland; at first they just refused to carry out orders in protest, but one thing led to another, and in the end, fourteen of them were sentenced to death and many more received long prison sentences. Only one of these death sentences was actually carried out, JJ Daly was shot in November 1920 as a result of his belief in the fight for Irish Freedom. No matter what your beliefs are about the Irish struggles it’s a sad, thought provoking story, well worth reading the link above.

Corrib River, Galway, Ireland

Corrib River, Galway, Ireland

I’d seen a tiny café just outside the museum that overlooked the river, it looked a good spot for a hot chocolate and some quiet time to maybe try my hand at a sketch. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I walked inside. It was full to bursting with tables tucked in every nook and people standing waiting for tables; but the staff were lovely and soon had me ensconced at a table with hot chocolate and piece of cake – you need to keep your strength up with all this travelling, don’t you?

As the weather was positively horrid I decided to take a drive to a place over on the coast that someone had recommended; apparently it’s where the locals go – Clifden. I drove through another very special part of Ireland on the way, the Connemara; all gorgeous grasslands, rivers and round hills.  While walking off my lunch, I found an art gallery with some unusual mixed media pieces and asked the guy there whether they were a local artist’s work; turns out they were his and he owned the gallery. He was such a nice guy and in for a huge chat about all sorts of things, from scrapbooking to the state of Irelands welfare system; it seems no matter where we live we all have a moan about the same topics. He was showing me his stash of bits and pieces he has cut from books and magazines and I said he must be an excellent “fussy cutter” – a term some scrap-bookers I know use for cutting out around intricate shapes. He was rather impressed with the term, so, there you go, Lisa Kamphuis, the queen of fussy cutting, there’s a quite successful Irish artist using fussy cutting in his pieces. This is a link to his website, Gavin Lavelle, but this is a good site for him too.

Galway in the morning

Galway in the morning

I wasn’t quite brave enough to take any different roads back but the scenery is all so different that I wasn’t bored with it at all – and I managed to stop at a deserted cottage for some photos. I took a few outside then walked up to a partly boarded up window to have a look inside; I’m not sure who got the biggest fright, me or the sheep inside – but I did get a shot of them so it was all good. I also called in at a little pub I’d remembered seeing that overlooked the ocean just out of Galway for a very healthy dinner of a plate of chips and glass of red wine. Don’t you love not having to cook for other people and being able to have something totally inappropriate for dinner?


Filed under Ireland, Mid-life travel, Travel

8 responses to “Galway

  1. So you’re still enjoying the red wine and the scenery.
    How about that Daly bod – poor bloke. Any relation? Maybe that is where Nanna acquired her streak of whatever….
    Leaving Hugnenden tomorrow and on our way to Julia Creek and then Normanton/Karumba.
    We had a great afternoon/evening with Sarah, Ryan, Josie, Ash and Jessica and a couple more nursing mates of of Ash and Josie. Street parade, bowling club bar and dinner at the Great Western. That bloody Ash can drink!! Spent the morning with Josie and bubs at a morning tea on Hugnenden station. Has been a great few days here.
    Anyway take care Sis and cheers


    • I think the name probably had a bit to do with why it really struck a chord with me, I have no idea whether he’s any relation and yes I think we might all be tarred with the same brush, not just Nanna! Glad you had a good time in Hughenden.


  2. Carolyn

    Lovely post, Julie…… just adore the pic with the big wooden vats of goodies. Some lovely shots in this group too.
    Re the Eyrecourt bit – if I can ever prove the connection, those Eyres were my rellies. My gt-gt-grandad, Eyre Massey Gilbourne, seems to have got his name from several gens back when they linked to the Eyre family. Sadly I think, some of those wretched English who overran the original Irish. Like many who came to Oz, they just had no idea how cruel they were being – thinking they were soooo superior.
    Carolyn x
    PS Have had some great times with Sarah, the new guy Ryan, Josie, Ash and darling Jessica. Made our stay in Hughenden so lovely. Bob Katter and son, Rob were here for the 150th events plus dear little Alfie Langer.


  3. Merv

    Absolutely bloody awesome you need a medal for this keep up the good work love it


  4. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time
    a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks a lot!


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