Today marks the end of my stay in Galway, so that I can spend tomorrow heading back towards Shannon Airport. Here are the rest of the sights of Galway!
#17: Galway Bay a.k.a. Corrib River
I started the day with a walk with Meghan along the Corrib River on the edge of Galway. The houses lining the bay and the flock of seagulls overhead paint a very coastal scene. It was cold and rainy this afternoon, so we didn't spend a whole lot of time along the bay, but it was a pretty sight nonetheless. I saw a lovely swan swimming solitary along the water. It looked at me and we connected for a moment.....strangely, I thought of my dog Jack whom I have missed very much on my trip.
#18: Spanish Arch
The Spanish Arch was built in 1584, built as a facet of the city's wall to protect the quays. What is a "quay"? Yeah, I had to look that up too. It is a bank where ships or other vessels are loaded. So essentially this Arch played a role in the protection of merchant ships as they unloaded and loaded materials during transport. It is thought to be called the Spanish Arch in reference to the area's merchant trade with Spain. It was originally called Ceann an Bhalla which means "Head of the Wall" (Gaelic, I assume.)
#19: Shop Street
This is a high pedestrian traffic area named appropriately for its multitude of shops lining narrow streets. It felt like I was at Disney World when you enter a country's area and there are these little mock stores and streets...with "authentic" music playing. I half expected to see some cartoon characters pop out of the street to greet passerbys and small children....except this is all very real. And it was awesome to walk by all the buildings---cafes, boutiques, pubs, bakeries, little pharmacies. I really enjoyed my time on Shop Street and bought a few treats for my friends and family!
#20: St. Patrick's Primary School for Boys
Okay, so technically I didn't bust in on the school and spy on a bunch of elementary kids, but I did stop by it to check out what their schools looked like and to have a picture to take back to my kiddos at Heart House. While we were out and about today, I actually saw kids of all ages roaming the streets in their school uniforms. And no one knows what "elementary" means here, they only respond to the phrase "primary". There are also many private schools here--for boys and girls separately. I wish I had had time to learn more about their education system, but at least I saw a school.
We came home in the early evening and stayed home for the rest of the night, ordering in Chinese and looking up pictures of baby animals. I'm not gonna lie. I'm tired. There's so much to see and do! Tomorrow I will be trekking on my own, saying goodbye to Meghan and the city of Galway. For my last day in Ireland, I have made plans to venture out to Bunratty Castle to see a collection of over 450 medieval furniture and artifacts...all housed in a castle of course! Then I head to a town called Sixmilebridge where I will experience staying in a hostel for the first time in my life. I'm excited for my last adventure, luggage in tow....and 50 euro left. :)