Finally resuming the recap of our Galway day! See part 1 here.
Wednesday, March 16 (continued)
So, I left off at lunch time, at the Kings Head. Following lunch, we set off to do some sightseeing.
St. Nicholas Collegiate Church
This was a very quick stop, because it was CLOSED. Bummer. Apparently it was only open for viewing Thursdays-Sundays, and it was Wednesday. 😦
Oh well. The main point of interest here is that it is the largest medieval church in all of Ireland, built in the 1300s. Also, it is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and he was an interesting guy!
We continued on.
The next stop was Eyre Square, a big city-center park/ square in the middle of town. It is also called “JFK Memorial Park”, because he gave a speech there on his last trip before his assassination.
There isn’t anything much to do there besides just enjoy the scenery and do some people watching. 🙂 I really enjoy these types of city square parks in every city we visit.
There was a nice little playground that my nieces wanted to check out, of course. The boys joined in for a while, too.
From there, we walked over to the Spanish Arch. I don’t know that much about the history, but I know it was built in the 1500s. It had something to do with the trading relationship between Galway and Spain and served as a “watchpoint” for soldiers keeping an eye on the merchant ships. It is located right along the water. It’s just a neat little medieval relic. Unfortunately, some construction was going on in the area, so the pictures aren’t the best.
Just walking around cities like this is really fun. History, lots of people to watch, a totally different vibe from home, for us. 🙂
We wandered back over to the main pedestrian streets and stopped in a few shops.
My Dad bought one of these hats (modeled here by Asher), which he ended up loving, and wore every day for the rest of our trip!
Hall of the Red Earl
Just around the corner was an archaeological site called the Hall of the Red Earl. It was free to wander around and wasn’t very large.
It is the oldest building to be excavated within Galway’s medieval walls, and dates back to the 13th century. The most interesting fact about it, though, is that it was just unearthed and discovered in 1997!!
I believe they were digging for a construction project and realized they were uncovering artifacts! Obviously, the building ceased, and people got in there to start working on preserving and uncovering the history of the location. Pretty cool.
This place appeared on a map of the city from 1651, and based on other historical information, researchers have been able to piece together new renderings of what it would have looked like. They have exhibits with various artifacts on display that have been unearthed (like wine cups, etc.).
It had been a while since lunch, so the kids were ready for an ice cream stop.
First though, a family picture:
My sister, who lived in Galway for a semester, recommended an ice cream place called Murphy’s.
(We actually walked by the apartment building she lived in! I visited her here when I was around 20 and in college- my first time to Ireland.)
The kids sampled a few and then picked out double combo scoops.
It was getting to be later in the afternoon, and we wanted to stop for “adult ice cream” (aka- a couple pints) before driving back toward home. While the kids ate their ice cream, we just walked around and listened to some street performers.
We found a pub that (kind of) had room for all of us. It was very cute!! The front section was busy, but there was space in the back.
At first we had to spread out- the kids all sat at a table off to the side, with water and videos on their phones to keep them entertained- haha- while the adults ordered beers and talked.
Luckily, after a short while, a couple people left and a big section at the back opened up.
There would be live music here later, but sadly, we had to get going. We didn’t want to have to drive back in the dark, and the girls had to get home for bed anyway.
The West End
We made our way back to the parking lot, but I wanted to swing by the “West End” of Galway first.
These pictures are some of my favorites- it was a really picturesque area. The sun was just starting to go down, too, and I felt like the lighting was neat. 🙂
He lived to smile for another picture:
This was a fantastic day. LOVED IT!! It felt like the perfect pace, just a lot of meandering around and not much “formal” sightseeing or any tours, etc. Just a great day taking in a new city with family. ❤️
Galway is a very popular stop for many tourists to Ireland, so I was glad we were able to make it there, too.
3 thoughts on “Day 5- Galway, Ireland: Part 2”
It looks so lovely; I love the inherent charm of Europe. Everything just seems more romantic – for lack of a better word. There’s just so much personality and charm to these locations and I love the architecture.
I also love the outfit you’re wearing; it looks so stylish!
Galway looks really charming! I love just wandering around and taking an area in. And it’s nice that your sister knows the area so well and could be a great tour guide! Ice cream sounds delish! And I agree with Elisabeth – you look very stylish/chic!
One of these days, I want to visit Ireland. Thanks for sharing your trip – it does look lovely!