Thursday, April 1, 2010

Daughter and Grandaughter Visit - Galway at Last


The weather was really sunny for much of our time in Galway, but being a wise old woman, I took my coat with me as we walked up to Galway town centre. We started out at Eyre Square, where there were all these mystery flags:

As you come into Galway, there are lots of roundabouts and they all have names. Some of the names were on these flags. Jim worked out that they were names of the tribes who once ruled Galway, there were 14 of them.

A super clock showing 'Galway Time' with the address, 1 Eyre Square. What a great address.

A super sculpture in Eyre Square of the old sail boats that used to be in Galway Bay. It's all rusty and rather splendid.

There is also this rather strange piece of a house!
If you look carefully, you can see K on the other side of this arch. It has 2 coats of alms above the doorway and I think it's known as Brown's Door! It was saved when some old houses were being knocked down - what fun!
A close up of the Coats of alms.

Just before this I had a bit of a row with Jim. Instead of forgetting it, I let it fester and later on it blew up out of proportion and rather spoilt the day. What can I say? I was feeling all emotional and tearful - how stupid am I? Sorry Jim. Sorry. I really am. This is a public apology! Then I let something else upset me and upset Lina and K too. AAAH! Sorry K, Sorry Lina. I know they've forgiven me, but I just wish I could redo the day. I do suffer from depression and hadn't taken my pills in the morning. Maybe that was the problem. Enough of that.

Some of the building in Galway are rather astonishing, like this shop which looks as though it's made of blue and white Wedgwood:

This shop always has wonderful window displays. This time it's clocks.

Aren't these bronze chaps wonderful. The lady in the middle was one of the many buskers around. She was playing a whistle and was very good. There was also this rather strange chap who gave you a piece of paper telling your fortune if you put money in his pot!

His nose looked as though it had been borrowed from one of the 7 dwarfs!

This building in the middle of town is now a bank, but it used to be a castle, owned by the Lynch tribe.

Formerly owned by one of the fourteen tribes which ruled the city centuries ago, this elegant building now houses Allied Irish Bank. Despite this the interior is still extremely impressive with coats of arms, stone fireplaces and a separate exhibition room which opens from Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays. The Lynches were a wealthy family, many of whom served as Galway mayor. One of the mayors, James Lynch Fitzstephen, actually pronounced his own son guilty of the murder of a Spanish sailor who became involved with a female family member in 1493. Lynch hanged his son Walter himself when everyone else refused to participate. The term 'Lynch Law' arose from this unfortunate episode. The old prison on Market Street in Galway City displays a black marble plaque marking the actual spot of the execution.

What a gory tale! Taken from the Galway tourist site. We did go inside and I took this photo of the old fireplace:

On the wall at the front is this rather gruesome gargoyle - it looks as though he's about to eat the baby.

Many of the shops are little touristy ones, but they do have some lovely things. I took a fancy to these chickens:

Lina wanted to buy her friend at school a Leprechaun, so we ventured into a little 'Irish Gift Shop' selling all manner of tourist items. We found a cute one and K bought a fridge magnet and snow globe to add to her collection.

This rather fine chap was above one of the shops. The streets of Galway are narrow and very busy on most days. They are usually full of buskers and Irish music spills out of the pubs and music shops. It does have a wonderful atmosphere.

St Nicholas' Church is near the centre and has been used continuously for worship since medieval times.

Next to it is this amazing lime green cafe:

We eventually made our way down to the harbour, where there were loads of swans in the water. Lina sat on the wall and I took this photo of her:
I even got a smile this time!

It was cold by the harbour but of course I had my coat!

K taking one of the 300+ photos she snapped in her short stay in Ireland! Lina's hair blowing in the wind.

While we were walking along by the water, a heron landed very near to us. I have always found them to be rather shy, but this one wasn't at all!

Jim went and had a chat to him:

In the end we left him to wander up and down along the quayside!

Round the corner were all the lovely boats. K and Lina all smiley. Lovely.

I joined 2 photos for this 'boat' shot.
We walked on to the old town wall and went inside to warm up! It was almost 5pm and we decided to find the famous fish and chip shop, McDonnaghs, - which meant we had to walk almost full circle down past the bank and almost to the water again! Lina had decided that she wanted a leprechaun of her own so we passed that shop too, nipped in and bought another - just for her!

The fish and chip shop was a welcome sight. I loved the door handles:

Aren't they wonderful?

Full up, we walked our weary way back to the car while Jim nipped to Tesco to buy some milk.

I dozed off on the way home, as did Lina I think.

Our last evening, so I tried to think of something Lina might like to do. I found an old Tupperware box which was full of 'little things'. She loved it and we played silly games with the bits and bobs for quite a while. K packed the bags!

Lina's little experiment - a music box attached to a bit of sponge she took a fancy too, all hanging from a dog lead!

The games we played!! We eventually ended up bombing each others things but it got a bit dangerous!

Exhausted, we all headed off to bed and in the morning it was an early start. We set off to Shannon early as K and Linas' plane was an early one. Two last photos and it was a sad goodbye.

The sun was shining again and in their eyes! Bye bye.... Until next time.


Yvonne said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love Ireland and your photos make me want to go back again. I have a pen pal of 47 years in Navan and have visited her and her family twice. Hope you visit me again.

DK Leather said...

What a super bunch of pictures and such funny faces I'm pulling in most of them! ~grins~

I promise we'll be back as we had a lovely fabby time, wobbly moment notwithstanding, I promise!

Galway was soooo pretty, such a perfectly picturesque town. My pictures are here: in case anyone missed them - but there are indeed a large number of them!

We'll be watching out for the flights again before long momma, love and miss you heaps already, as always :D xxx

Lynn said...

nothing better than a visit from loved ones...especially grandchildren. What a beauty yours is. As for the "fight" emotions run high when excited sometimes...glad it's behind you now...I feel I went on a wonderful tour with your long pictorial post.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Smashing photos, Gina. I loved the gargoyle though I doubt even Devious could manage a whole baby.

Jason said...

Looks very nice, like the gargoyle. Looks an interesting visit, we must go.

Hope you all feel ok now. xx

Mim said...

LOVE the pictures of Galway, I remember it all so well. I'd stay at a hotel in Eyre Square - lovely place it was.
Lot's of visitors can bring out the crank in anyone - forgive yourself - you're only human.
thanks for posting these, just wonderful and your daughter and grand-daughter are lovely.

marianne said...

Such nice pictures of a wonderful visit!

marianne said...

Such nice pictures of a wonderful visit!

BT said...

Thanks for all the super comments. I've emailed you all.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

thanks for the fabulous tour of Ireland and I'm glad I brought me jacket ;)
Looks quite blustery!
Wonderful photos!
Wouldn't it be interesting to know who the ancestors are?
I'm a Sheehan.