Our two hostel mates (sisters from Canada) packed up loudly and left this morning pretty early. It was pretty rough trying to sleep while that went on so we started the day.
Another macchiato at the coffee shop to pair with our hostel breakfast. Fuel for a long days travel. We develop a secret code to use in case we need to dip out of a situation without offending who we’re around. (we would tell you, but then we’d have to kill you).
We pack all our belongings and hiked to the light rail. Before hoping on- we checked to see if ticket checkers were on board… nope. We rode free (scandalous!) like bandits fleeing the city.
The light rail brings us all the way to the Heuston train station. A one-way ticket to Galway (€20) and we’re off to platform 4. I looked everywhere for platform 9 3/4… nowhere to be found. Nevertheless, trains absolute rock. I love speeding past the countryside watching the rolling hills fly by. Dublin to Galway is clear across Ireland. Look it up if you’re curious!
Our trip takes about 2 and some hours. I plug in my earbuds to the iPad and the first song plays, “If I Die Young” – the Band Perry. This absolutely matches my mood. If I die young, I feel so blessed for all of the experiences I’ve had. It’s surreal to have that song play first as I’m rolling thru beautiful Ireland landscape. I can be proud that I’ve made this happen. I’ve worked hard to get here. I’ve accomplished dreams and made my life what it is. I wish more would make the most out of their time on this planet. *steps off soapbox
Halfway thru the ride, a lady rolls this giant 4-story snack cart down the aisle and I just about ask if she has any Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.
I fall asleep listening to André Bocelli’s “Por Ti Volare” and swear there is nowhere else I would rather be in the world right now.
We arrive in Galway and walk thru Eyre Square to Kinley Hostel. Judging by the clothes, we are rooming with two guys. The hostel is in excellent condition and highly rated throughout the world. We are very excited for our next few days here.
Lunch is at Cafe Express, we grab sandwiches before exploring the town. Grilled chicken sandwich (€5.90) on the freshest homemade ciabatta ever. Two thumbs up.
It’s pretty interesting, there is no tipping in Ireland. Waitresses and servers don’t go out of their way to be friendly, nice, or cordial because… they aren’t working for tips. It’s something to get used to- entirely different from America. They come over and say, “what do you want?”, and leave.
The wind was blowing like crazy but we wanted to continue our exploration. All thru downtown Galway were street performers. Fire baton twirlers, a harpist, but my favorite were these 4, standing on metal poles and playing old-fashioned guitars. They got the change in my wallet.
We walked and walked all the way to the ocean. There were rugby teams playing in the tall grasses, abandoned boats tied to the pier, and greenery as far as the eye can see.
After a few photos, and battling the wind (literally), to stay standing, we worked our way back. A little downtime, a little retail therapy, and planning the next segments adventures worked up an appetite.
We found an off the beaten path ecofriendly and organic restaurant called mixgreens. The food was locally grown, super fresh and reasonable priced. Penne pasta with grilled chicken and spiced olives (€8.50). We noshed before calling it a night.
Deeply tired, blessed, content,