Glamorous Galway: Ireland’s West Coast

Galway, a city renowned for its bilingualism in English and the native Gaelic, lies two hours west of Dublin by car. Quainter and smaller than the capital, Galway still is home to a sizable population and attracts fellow Europeans and American tourists alike to marvel at its classic architecture and learn about its maritime history.

Aptly called The Long Walk, this street comprises a lovely view of the River Corrib that connects into the Atlantic Ocean. On a sunny day (which apparently is rare), it is a perfect place to tan, relax, and sit down for a take away bite to eat. Just be wary of the gulls. Strangely enough, this street is two ways despite its skinniness … (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

It may be of some note that the Irish accent here is different than that in Dublin. Irish accents largely vary depending on the region/origin of the speaker; this is a trend that many tourists realize as they travel to the multiple counties that comprise this nation, shattering a few misconceptions. If you travel by Galway, try to hear the difference; it may surprise you.

Quay Street, which turns into High Street, which turns later into Shop Street, a long stretch of pubs and shops filled with tourists, locals, and musicians, are a popular collective destination for those first arriving in town. A few tours are available that guide you through the street, highlighting the historical significance of the area if you prefer some structure. At night, the restaurants and bars often have music and dancing if you want some unstructured enjoyment and top of the line nightlife. (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Off the main strip, there are quieter bookshops, hair salons, and music stores that are worth a peek into if you decide to take a stroll down to Shop Street. I love the names of locations here – The Long Walk, Shop Street etc. It is all so to the point.

It’s sand; don’t worry. Artists, both musical and visual, embroider the sides of these streets like lace, performing traditional Irish songs, classic rock covers, and occasionally, making sand sculptures. Be sure to tip! (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

One of my favorite aspects of Quay/High/Shop Street and Galway in general is their style of buildings. It is colorful with a unique, European charm including flat faces and generally modest exteriors. Coupled with the natural beauty of the coast (and augmented by the uncharacteristic sunshine this region is experiencing), the city is full of glamor.

Exhibit A: They are just shops, but the contrast in color is grand. (Photo credits by PintsizePioneer)

Other destinations include the Spanish Arch, Eyre Square, and the City Museum all walking distance form each other close to Quay Street. Additionally out of the city, there are a variety of more outdoorsy activities at one’s disposal, which we will get into tomorrow …

Tomorrow, we are going to do some falconry and hike a bit! What could be better? Well … maybe that my friend in France has been messaging me, and we are going to explore Paris on Sunday! Things are really picking up, so be sure to not miss anything by following me on Twitter and now, Instagram! Expat-terns is modernizing like never before.

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