The Cliffs of Moher are massive -- and, in the event of a fall, death is almost certain. Indeed, there are a number of deaths each year after a visitor falls off the edge of one of the cliffs. To protect the safety of tourists, walls have been erected a few feet from the edge in the busiest areas. Also, there are warning signs indicating the fate that awaits you if you are foolish enough to cross the wall and accidentally slip off the edge. In a nutshell, stay behind the wall!
The River Corrib is a very fast-flowing river, and drowning deaths occasionally occur. Along the paths near the river, there are life preservers in case of an emergency. Visitors to Galway should be extra careful when walking near the river -- especially after a night of drinking in one of the pubs.
I thought I had found the perfect parking spot in Galway. There's this little tri-angle at Wood's Quay where there are about 50 parking spaces ,essentialy, in between three streets. All around are signs with large "P"s surounded by circles. My American Mid-Western oriented mind read "P = Park Here". Trouble is, in Ireland, or at least in Galway, P = PAY to Park Here.
Being used to individualy metered parking spaces I had no idea that I needed to walk down to the end of the street, put money in a machine,collect a ticket, and place it in view on the dash of the car.
The Guarda, and the fellas from Parking Enforcement were sympathetic, polite,professional and completly inflexable. They quickly unclamped my rental car, but not before I had paid the 80.00 euro fine. (about $120.00 with today's exchange rate!)
If you have to drive into Galway I'd recomend one of the Downtown parking ramps. At about 25 euro a day, it's a bargin.
I felt terrible for those who i know in Galway. When I visited in May of 2007, you could not injest the tap water. There was a parasite residing in it for which the local government is apparently to blame. From what I was told, 20 mil euro went missing over this project.
basically galway is a perfectly safe city, nothing bad has ever happened to me here but all the same if for some reason you find yourself in one of the housing estates in the outskirts, keep your head down, don't answer scumbags asking for the time etc or better still order a taxi, there are plenty of them usually.
Bars and restaurants all close at eleven o'clock in Galway. That is to say, they stop letting people in at that time. Ciara and I ended up at a fast-food joint that made McDonald's look like the Ritz. If you want beers or dinner, go out there early.
Galway can be very wet and windy as I found out. Not surprising really as it is on the West coast and gets the full force of Atlantic weather systems sweeping in.
Still the potential of ashower of rain and a few gales needn't spoil your trip. It didn't harm my trip.
If it rains and you don't want to be outside then find a pub and sit in a snug with a nice beer and listen to music. Or go shopping.
Have a good time in Galway!!
Please be aware that normally cheerful Estonians can been seen standing around the streets looking miserable.
This may have something to do with the recent arrival of their parents I am told.
It is probably unwise to approach them.
For those who are not used to the roundabout, it can get pretty hairy at times when you are not even sure if it is safe to cross. There is one particular roundabout I'm referring to - Headford Road, near the Galway shopping centre. Thankfully there are traffic lights at certain points in the roundabout now, but it is still pedestrian beware.
Of course, roundabouts seem to make a common appearance all over Ireland and most of them do not have traffic signals to help you.
There are many castles and ruins dotted around the Burren, however not all are accessible due to many are on private land and the farmers do not like the public trespassing on their land due to insurance liabilities or the castle may now be privately owned and the owners do not like people visiting their home.
The roads. Ireland only has small roads, some not much more than country lanes, however the local population are completely mad when placed behind a wheel of a car and drive like maniacs. Believe me it can be quite scarey at times and there are not many passing points on the smaller roads, so when you see a great big lorry hurtling towards you on a hairpin bend, remember the guy behind the wheel is totally mad. Please do take great care when driving in Ireland. You also may come across some very strange sights such as this guy on a bike covered in tin foil. Why? I have no idea!!!!!!
The limestone pavement on the Burren. Many people who visit Dolmans or Portal Tomes like to build mini Dolmans/Tombs on the limestone pavement, this is illegal and many schoolchildren spend their time dismantling them. The limestone pavement is protected and visitors should refrain from taking bits home as souveniers or buying artifacts made from the limestone. I personally think the mini dolmans look stupid and pathetic and ruin the historic sites.
Airports - In the airports you will see many tacky irish goods, please do not be tempted to try one on, you will look silly. Aragina just had to try one on and completely ruined any street cred she had
Driving in Galway can be tricky. A lot of 'one-way' streets everywhere. Stopped our car in the city centre, and from there tried to find out exactly where we was on a small map. Not that easy, but sooner or later we found out that we had found Eyre Square.
Galway is such a busy place that I stress the need to book hotels and restaurants before arrival. Also when you enter the hotel, book your dining time for evening meals and breakfasts as some have two sittings and you may end up having a very late breakfast as the first sitting has been entirely booked. It has happened me before!