Galway people are sometimes called 'The tribesmen' as from the period of roughly 1459-1650 fourteen anglo-norman families ran the city it a style similar to Greek city states of ancient times.
it was Oliver Cromwell who gave them this nickname as he was making them out to be uncivilised. They were in fact just the opposite - and came to be proud of this initial slur on their character.
One way the 14 families (or tribes) are now remembered is on the roundabouts of the city. Each has the appropiate coat of arms - see if you spot them all from :
Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'arcy, Deane, Ffont, Ffrench, Joyce, Lynch, Martin, Morris and Skerrett.
UPDATE 2013 : about half have now disappeared due to the local council wasteing hundreds of tousands of euro converting them into traffic-lighted junctions for no apparent reason.
Favorite thing: Near my hotel (Park House Hotel) on Forster Street, there is an entertainment centre named Squareyes. Inside, I accessed the internet on one of the coin-operated computer terminals. Squareyes also has phones for long-distance calls -- and lots of video games. In addition, there is a cafe that serves food and drinks.
Favorite thing: The most common Irish whiskeys are made by Jameson, Bushmills, and Tullamore Dew. If you want to try something a little different, I recommend Redbreast 12 Year Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey. First produced in 1939, it is triple distilled and aged in oak casks for not less than 12 years. Made with malted and unmalted barley, it is the only continuously produced, 100% pure pot still Irish whiskey. It has a rich and complex flavor, but it is still smooth and easy-drinking. Personally, I drink it on the rocks with a splash of water. Cheers!
At the Discover Ireland Centre, I purchased a ticket for a half-day bus tour of the Cliffs of Moher with Healy Tours. The tour started at Galway's Coach Station at 11:30 am, and it returned at a little after 5:00 pm. The cost was 20 Euros. The bus was comfortable, and the driver gave a narrated tour in English. In addition to the Cliffs of Moher, there were a few other stops along the way including some castles. The tour also stopped at Fitzpatrick's Bar in Doolin for lunch.
Before visiting Galway, check out Healy Tours' web site for all of their offerings.
I'm not exactly a Buffy the vampire slayer sort of a guy, but I do know that the spin-off series 'Angel' is a popular one amongst people whom like that sort of thing.
Despite the dodgy Irish accent, Angel is supposed to have originated in Galway, appearing as a desperate womaniser and drunkard (i guess this means he would fit in well) in the 18
th century. Darla turned him into a vampire, whereupon he entered into a several centuries long feast of death and destruction, beginning with his own parents. He falls in love with Buffy, but due to curse put on him by a gypsy girl he was about to eat - he faces a dilemma. He no longer is a vampire, and his sould is restored, butif he has just one momemt of pleasure then the dark side will return !
I know how he feels.
Favorite thing: Lots of street theatre, magic, fireeaters, performances. Waht else can I say? Two weeks of culture in one of Ireland smost heritage rich cities. The last two weeks of every month are given over to it. Check local listings to see whats on or check http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/ for more info!
Fondest memory: These guys put too many coins in their container and had forgotten that there are a few steps in front of the bank they wanted to bring the container into at Galway's Eyre Square!!! Very funny to watch! Maybe it's good that the Euro coins aren't as big and heavy as the Irish punts were!!!
Favorite thing: Walking around Galway, we saw many street performers. Some were better than others of course, but a couple of them were hilarious. There was one troup, with one man in a huge foam costume of a naked bloody butcher, and he was putting on a show chasing around people dressed as cows. He'd look away, and the cows would go into a pub. He'd chase one cow and get peed on. It was very funny to watch, and they weren't even asking for money.
Favorite thing: One of my favorite things to do during my stay in Galway was to sit with a coffee and my journal next to the canal. This spot is perfect for relaxing, reflecting, people watching, and nature watching. Keep your eyes open for the swans, they swim right up to the side of the Canal.
On Shop Street, which is pedestrianised, you will find this building. According to the palque that was on it, it was buit in the 16th century and is the last surving example of the stately buildings that made Galway one of the best built Irish towns.
There are several sculptured decorations on the wall, one of which is the arms of Henry the VIII.
During the summer there is always some kind of festival going on in Galway. Of course this has the knock-on effect of there being absolutely NO accomodation available in Galway!
Fondest memory: Chilling out with a few cans of cider on the campus of University College Galway after the summer exams. Just cos I wasnt a UCG student didnt mean I couldnt share the fun! :)
You must stay awhile! Galway is a city to explore...don't just drive through. Much has changed since I first visited in the 70's so I don't have a specific stop to recommend. Don't miss a sunset on Galway Bay! It IS all it's hyped to be!
Fondest memory: The charm of the people and friendliness.
Favorite thing: I will have more information after I locate my travel journal for specifics. Easy walking city and friendly people. Variety of restaurants.
being with james....
Spending the summer in Galway with himself... really looking forward to it.
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