Existing Member?

More Expat Vagabonds "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness" Mark Twain

Back in the Republic: Galway

IRELAND | Friday, 11 July 2014 | Views [479]

High crosses, Clonmacnoise Monastic Site

High crosses, Clonmacnoise Monastic Site

IT WAS FORTUNATE THAT WE DIDN’T CRASH the car in Northern Ireland.  We just learned that our Visa coverage isn’t valid for Ireland, either Northern or the Republic.  Oops!  Now with full coverage (tripling the rental cost) we set off from Dublin for Galway, the republic’s second largest city, detouring along the way to the Clonmacnoise Monastic site.  


    Celtic crosses

The big draw at this ruined monastery are three Celtic high crosses dating from the Seventh Century.  They have been moved inside the visitors center out of the elements and rightfully so — they are truly works of art.  But I was captivated by the dozens of more recent crosses, weathered and lichen-encrusted, silhouetted against the stormy sky.


     Mary and her art

We found Trieste B&B without much trouble in the Salthill section of Galway within walking distance of dozens of restaurants.  Our room is cramped and the bathroom is claustrophobically small, and we can’t figure out the TV.  Mary, our hostess, as it turns out, is a talented and prolific painter when she isn’t rambling on about this or that or giving directions as if we knew the streets of Galway.

We have had exceptional weather since we returned from Iceland.  Fearing our luck would soon change, we rushed off for the ferry to Inishmore in the Aran Islands today.  According to the literature and guide books, the Aran Islands are a “must do” in Galway.  Many of the inhabitants speak only Gaelic, they get around in horse-drawn wagons and live in traditional stone cottages.  We heard a lot of Gaelic spoken — and Russian and German and Italian and French, too.  The horse-drawn carriages were transporting not produce or milk but Russian and German and Italian and French tourists.  The cottages were made of stone because there are scarcely any trees left on the island.

       Green pastures and rock walls of Inishmore

It didn’t rain on us but it wasn’t sunny either.  We shunned the carts and bikes and walked to Dun Aonghasa Fort, about eight miles round trip, past a crazy quilt of green fields divided by stone walls.  I didn’t exactly count but there may have been the promised 40 shades of green.


Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About vagabondstoo

Easter Island, 2012

Follow Me

Where I've been


Photo Galleries

My trip journals



Travel Answers about Ireland

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.