So we bid a sad goodbye to Galway a couple of days ago. It is a wonderful city to visit, and we enjoyed our week there very much. This was our apartment in the student section of the city. We remember what it was like to be a young university student with all of those stairs. This is the city where the Claddagh ring was first made. David bought me one 17 years ago when we first came to Galway, and I am wearing it today. If the heart on the ring points to your body that means you are taken, if it faces away that means you are available. I am definitely taken.
It is a city of trees, rivers and churches.This is the Corrib River that runs through the city and where people can fish for salmon. Most of the oldest parts of the city have been destroyed, but the Spanish arch from the 16th century that was part of the city walls is still standing. The people are very hardy here. We walked down to the Galway bay promenade which is in a part of the city called Salthill. There we watched some brave young people jump off the Blackrock Tower into the freezing (well, darn cold) ocean (54 degrees). But the young ones are not the only people to brave the cold ocean. We met Aidan and his dog Ross as he was getting ready to go out and swim in the bay. He says he does this every day, all year long, and that the water temperature does get as low as 39 degrees. He was telling us about the group of older people who do the same thing, mentioning another hardy swimmer who had halted his daily swim only a year before his death at the age of 93. I think this is how they live so long.
This visit to Blackrock had been late on Friday afternoon. We returned Sunday about noon, and there was no water whatever below the tower. In fact, there was a pile of jagged, moss-covered rocks. The range of the tide here is typically 12 feet, and as much as 17 feet. We were amazed that there was no monitoring of access to the tower, from which a low-tide jump would be one’s last.
We finished off the visit with a rousing show called TRAD ON THE PROM. It was a splendid night of Irish music, dancing and song. If you visit Galway this show should be on your list to see.
Now we are in Belfast for a week…more adventures to come. Thanks for taking the time to read our adventures.