I have spent the holidays in the west of Ireland this year with my family. It was initially quite a shock to the system going from a swelteringly hot Buenos Aires summer to a very wet Irish winter, even though I have spent a lot of time in Ireland over the years yet it never ceases to amaze me just how much it rains here. However, up until now I have spent a large portion of my time in front of the fire with a book so the weather hasn’t had a huge impact on my plans, plus I have seen a few blue sky afternoons.
My family live a little outside the city of Galway so when I am not at home at our house in the country I am spending my days in the town. Galway is a lovely small city with cobblestoned streets and lots of independent shops and restaurants. There are so many cafes and pubs and many where you can find traditional live Irish music and perhaps enjoy a Guiness. In general the Irish are friendly, warm and curious and want to hear your story so it’s often common to be brought into conversations with strangers in pubs. Overall Galway is a city that feels cosy and inviting.
When I’m not lounging by the fire with my book, my favourite things to do in Galway include wandering around the shops (my favourite being Charlie Byrnes Books an independent new and used bookstore) ordering soup (the Irish do the best soup and bread) and going for walks in the country or beside the seaside. I love the sea air here. The city is centred around the Galway Bay and Salthill is a beautiful inner city suburb of Galway where you can be close to the water front. There you will find a promenade, simply shortened to ‘the prom’, that would can walk along to enjoy the views of the Galway bay. The weather here can get pretty blustery but sometimes I like that feeling of the sea air whipping around me. If you want to go further along the bay out of the city you can take the car or a bus and see some more desolate rugged coastline.
When I come to Ireland I come to see family and to relax. I don’t come here expecting good weather nor do I plan a jam packed agenda. In Ireland I feel as though I escape the rat- race for a bit, I am able to take some deep breaths of that sea air that I love so much and think a little clearer. Though in the back of my mind I think next time I come I would like to travel a little further up that beautiful rugged coastline. But then there is always next time.