Tuesday, June 15, 2004

City of the Tribes

We arrived in Galway around 2pm and quickly found alongside the N-6, The Ryan Hotel.  A mere 49 Euro apiece we could have a room (two double beds)! a large color tv, modern facilities, (i.e., lots of hot water for the shower), and a telephone.  We went back out into the parking lot to confer.  Joe was shaking his head at the expense. "But, an Irish breakfast is included!" I informed him. He threw up his arms, "Well, why didn't you say so!"  Actually I think he saw the little red vehicle sitting there waiting for him to take the wheel again, and the Irish breakfast enabled him to save face.  

Why do they call elevators lifts in Ireland?  I'll tell you why, because they are tiny!  Joe and I in an area that is no larger than a small closet with our luggage made me laugh.  No wonder the Europeans are all so slender! If they are claustrophobic they must take the stairs.  To take the lift, they must be thin.  

We decided to go into Galway City for the remainder of the day.  The public transport stop was directly across the street from the hotel.  We joined the group of people huddled under the shelter waiting for the bus.  It was still raining the way it does in Ireland, which means a heavy mist that at times is more heavy than others.  A mother walking her son home from school ducked under the shelter and speaking together in Irish, put on additional outerwear.  I was fascinated by the language.  At first, I thought I just could not grasp their accents, but then I realized it was Irish!  Musical and mysterious. 

Have I mentioned yet how friendly and nice most people are in Ireland?  Everyone with the exception of one barmaid were wonderful to us. Several times a day I had to rely on the kindness of strangers.  "Is this the bus downtown?", "Is this the way to Shop Street?", "What is the name of the bus to take us to....fill in the blank."  "How do I arrive at O'callaghansmill ?"(they laughed at this but still told us how). "Am I on the right road to the cliffs?" "Please, what is the telephone code for the states...Dublin...?"  They were wonderfully patient with us. 

All day long of being rained on, risking our lives and the lives of others by driving the small roads in the Burren, and almost hitting a cow we were on our way into the magical city of Galway,also know as the City of the Tribes.


deabvt said...

" Then maybe at the closing of the day,
you will stop to watch the moon rise over......."
  Alpha, I`m loving this!!!

my78novata said...

I love the way you are breaking this down and giving us piece by piece description. Lori

krobbie67 said...

And the barmaid? What did she do? I'm such a dork. I didn't know that the Irish spoke anything but English. I just figured they had a different accent then the English or Americans. I know there's Gaelic or something but I don't know. I'm just a dork and not awake yet. :::sigh:::: ---Robbie

mlraminiak said...

Robbie--I believe it's actually Gaelic that is the native Irish language.  English is the "official" language, imposed upon Ireland BY the English.  In recent years there has been a revival of interest in Gaelic...the Irish not wishing their native language to completely die out.

I'm done being school master now.  Mary, the way you told this story, it actually made me WANT to experience an Irish "lift."  And the rain would be easy to deal with...here in Oregon we call it "Oregon pissy rain."  (LOL)  Lisa  :-]

tammy97501 said...

I would love to be in Ireland with you - hopefully scouting out the McCann family which is mine.  Enjoy and thanks for the mental trip to Ireland.

jayveesonata said...

Thank you for taking me on a fascinating journey through Ireland, at no expense & without having to even pack. That's the way I like to travel...and I love those pictures....Jon

sonensmilinmon said...

I've missed several entries and had to go back and do some catching up. WONDERFUL, I felt like I was walking beside you on this journey to Ireland.  


haikulike said...

I would so fast go into both of those shops.  
Whuddya get?  

judithheartsong said...

fantastic photo.... I am so drawn to this part of the world. So far I have flown over it.... does that count for anything? Have a great day. Love your good story telling! judi

txsguinan said...

I had to go back to the beginning of the Irish entries to catch up  ~ this is So WONDERFUL!  The pubs, the people, the Burren...the DRIVING!  You write so beautifully and insightfully that I'm getting excited about our time there all over again.  You're so right about the Irish; a warmer and more welcoming people I've never met.

I love the photo too; you've captured the almost storybook quality of many of the villages.  Lovely.  Reading on... :)