Hayley and I woke up at the crack o’ dawn today, walked to the train station, and were on our train to Galway by 7:00. It’s a miracle we made that train. we ran the final stretch. The Irish countryside is gorgeous at sunrise, and really all the time. We saw herds of sheep and a few horses. I took lots of pictures out the dirty train window. It was also way fancier than any train I’d been on in England. It had bathrooms and food, and the chairs were extra comfy. Good thing, too, because the ride was two and a half hours long. Two and a half hours to get from Ireland’s east coast to west coast. It’s crazy how small things are over here.
We were a little worse for wear when we arrived. We set out to find fish n chips, which proved to be impossible at 10 in the morning. We finally settled for a little cafe where we only planned on having a “snack” til McDonaug’s opened at noon. I ended up having a full Irish breakfast (incidentally, it’s a exactly the same as an English breakfast) and Hayley had soup with that amazing Irish soda bread. It left us a little too full for fish n chips straight away.
We went over to the tourism offices to investigate the best way to get to Mothers Cliffs. Apparently, it was a little furor than we thought. It took tw hours to get there from Galway, but the tour also included two castles, a prehistoric village, and some other interesting sights. But in e second crushing blow of that day, the last tour offered by any of the 9 tourbus agencies in town left at 10:30 AM.we were out of luck.
this was a low point for us. It took us a while to get our momentum going again. We went to the city museum, some shops, and a fabulous riverside walk before we started to cheer up. We found out about a very well acclaimed play being put on that nighit, our first bit of luck the whole day.
We had a pretty good time exploring the city after that. It’s a very cute, very small town. We had coffee a few times (it had been a long day) and finally got those darned fish n chips. They were delicious. The place also sold oysters from the Galway Bay, which we had a half dozen of and were Hayley’s first ever oysters.
We started to wonder if seeing the play was a good idea after all. By 5:30, we were exhausted, it was cold outside, and we were out of things to do and eat. We were going to have to leave a few minutes early to make sure we got back to the train station on time for the last departure, or we would have been stuck in Galway for the night. But we had bought our tickets, so we stuck it out.
The play was excellent, but Galway was definitely a bust. I don’t think we’ll be back, even to see the cliffs and castles. There are plenty of those in other places.
We made it to the train station with time to spare, only to be told the train we were looking for didn’t exist. There were no other departures tonight, and no public busses. Fortunately, I have a late flight out of Dublin so we have one less thing to worry about.
A kind gentleman pointed us towards a private bus company. After working with the one attendant for half an hour, we were able to determine the most reasonable and convenient rout. Thank goodness for her patience. Our bus leaves at 1, stops in every city between here and Dublin, but will drop us in the city center at 4:35 AM.
It’s very cold out and we are pretty tired of this town. There was a swanky hotel across the street from the bus station, and on a whim we decided to seek shelter there. The Irish, once again, have proven to be the kindest people. Hayley and I are having a sit in their glorious lobby on amazing couches, recouping from the day and staying warm til our bus starts boarding.
It has been quite the adventure and very… edycational. It’s always good to know you are capable of getting yourself out of a crisis. I will be very glad to be back in Dublin, and in Brighton. For now.
Lots of pictures to follow, hopefully by tomorrow evening. Wish us luck.