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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Wednesday, August 14 2002 

Journal of our vacation journey - 5
En route with sons Mike, 28, and Kevin, 26

Sunday, August 11, Galway

Having run out of opportunities to visit St. Patrick's key sites on this trip, I turned over to the boys (especially Kevin, who was given the fare for this trip as his birthday present) "first dibs" on the rest of

The symbol that is on each Claddagh ring.

our days in Ireland. Kevin had as a priority buying Claddagh rings for several of his friends, so that meant Galway (where the rings originated in the city's Claddagh district) had to be on the itinerary. So we made the more than 200km-drive from Belfast to Galway the major goal of this day's travel. We left after our B&B breakfast in Belfast at 9:45 and arrived in Galway around 2 p.m.

Again as in Belfast, having been happy with our B&B in Galway last year, Mike drove us directly to that guesthouse, where we found rooms similar to those in Belfast at €40 for the single and €35 for each person in the double. Though this B&B, St. Jude's on Forster Street, a five-minute walk to the city center, has had standards similar to the one in Belfast, it's a bit more worn and considerably less costly (as the GBPounds (£) we had to pay in Belfast each equal about $1.70; Euros (€) at this time are almost €1 to $1, the rate fluctuating a few cents each day up or down; the Republic of Ireland in which Galway is located uses the Euro exclusively now; Belfast and the rest of Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom/Britain, uses Great Britain pounds).

Jon and Kevin Kennedy on Shop Street, Galway.

Jon and Kevin Kennedy on Shop Street, Galway.

I had been looking for an Internet cafe all the way from Belfast but had no success, so by the time of finding one in Galway, Sunday's post of David Caldwell's weekly postcard from Nanty Glo was later than the target time. We also found that use of the Internet in Galway has gone up in price compared with last year's rates and compared with those in Dublin. There, we could get an hour for €3.50; here we couldn't find a better rate than €5 for an hour.

We went to lunch/dinner at a highly recommended restaurant/cafeteria, GBC, on Williamsgate Street near Galway's major pedestrian shopping mall street, Shop Street, and found it to our liking.

Galway is a college/university town with a rich history, and it's situated on the mouth of a river spilling into the large Galway Bay. We enjoyed walking around the bay walkways after dinner, then retired to our rooms about 7 p.m. to rest after the rigors of our driving and walking.

Monday, August 12, Limerick

After breakfast in our Galway B&B we were off to the Cliffs of Moher, the great natural scenic sight in Ireland, comparable to the Grand Canyon, I'd say. But alas, we found it shrouded in heavy fog. Even O'Brien's Tower was closed as there was so little visibility. The fog parted just enough for Kevin to get some quick glimpses of the grandeur of this natural phenomenon, but not long enough to get photos of him enjoying it (Mike and I were much luckier on our previous trip last August).

Continuing to Limerick, we arrived about 2:30 and found a great B&B, the Irish House, on Ennis Road, just across the Sarsfield Bridge from the city center. We had a light lunch of fish and chips and I sent the day's email to the Nanty Glo list from an Internet cafe. Though the price was equally high as that in Galway, the computers were faster, so I got more done in less time and less money.

Though the skies were darkly clouded and threatening, we had no rain and walked around much of the downtown and the Shannon Riverside walks, and shopped a bit in a downtown mall that includes a Tesco, a kind of Wal-Mart for this part of the world, though this particular location was smaller, more like a super market with items like back-to-school supplies and drygoods similar to the items available at Gold Crown.

Our B&B is the first facility we've found with three beds in one room, so we're all roommates again. And the price is good at €80 shared among the three of us, which I believe is the lowest price yet. Walking back from downtown, we found a pub with good menu items at the best prices we've seen here, so we went there at 8 p.m. for dinner. Mike and I had Irish stew, Kevin had seafood chowder, and we all shared a €15 fisherman's platter of mussels, salmon, crabclaws, fresh shrimp and some other good ingredients. We agreed it was one of our best and most authentically Irish meals we've had. Usually, we've been getting by with two meals per day, but the fish and chips after arriving in Limerick weren't quite enough to hold us all night.

Tomorrow we want to tour the King John's Castle, which is near our B&B, and was built around 1200, then go to an Irish heritage park showing the prehistoric Ireland of Duridic structures like round forts and dolmens, then do a quick photo stop at colorful Adare en route back to Dublin for our last night in Ireland.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Things my mother taught me (series)

My mother taught me about HYPROCRISY
—"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times—don't exaggerate!"

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.

T. S. Eliot

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