Compared to the madness of touristy Dublin, or the industrial look of Cork and Limerick, Galway was in my opinion the perfect Irish city. A small city by most people’s standards (population less than 100,000), there was still plenty to do, and the area was, of course, littered with pubs. 🙂
The hostel we stayed at was just okay. It only opened up 6 months ago, so it had a nice, clean look to it. I had a problem with the locker key not working, so that took an extra 30 minutes to work out with the reception. Our 2nd day there the toilet in my dorm room broke….the handle fell off and it was never fixed. At least the beds were somewhat comfortable, and the place was quiet at night. Our last morning there at the free breakfast (terrible….cereal without milk????), I met some animation students from USC who were traveling from Florence where they were studying abroad for a semester. Cool people, I successfully talked them into reducing their planned week-long trip in Brussels to three days.
Ireland isn’t the best for vegetarians. I found out on the trip that Juliane didn’t eat meat either, so we were in the same predicament. I think we had pizza three nights in a row, and even when a restaurant had other options they weren’t much better. It reminded me of my Croatia trip where I spent the whole time eating pizza and pasta.
We found a great pub the first night, O’Connell’s…sure sounds like an Irish pub! There I was introduced to a Galway Hooker…the local brew that was the best beer I had during my Ireland experience. It was way better than Guinness, which disappointed me as I’ve heard that Guinness in Ireland is totally different and better than what you find outside Ireland…it tasted the same to me. Everything I heard about the Irish being friendly is true…we ended up meeting a bunch of people and hanging out till the wee hours of the morning. One of the guys we met must’ve been there all day, as he kept repeating a not-so-interesting story about his recent trip to Stuttgart.
The last night in Galway we caught some traditional live Irish music at another pub….the band played some Pogues, and a Bob Dylan song…perfect!