Wanderlust Journey

Wanderlust Journey

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First Night in Galway

August 6th · 3 Comments

After the U2 concert in Dublin, we rented a car from Avis and made our way from the east cost of Ireland to the west cost. A three hour scenic drive on the M6/N6 (the M6 was under construction so we couldn’t take it the entire way), we stopped halfway at Athlone for lunch.

The events in this post happened on July 25th, 2009.


According to Wikipedia, Galway is the third largest city in Ireland and the only city in its province, Connacht. We chose it as a destination because of the Aran Islands to its west. The Aran Islands are a series of three islands in the Galway Bay, we’d be visiting the largest of the three, Inishmore, the next day.

Almara House B&B

For the few days we’d be in Galway, we would be staying at the Almara House B&B. We got to the Almara House Bed & Breakfast later in the afternoon and were checked in pretty quickly. The Almara House is a nine-room bed & breakfast located near the Merlin Shops area, about a ten minute bus ride away from Galway itself. According to the signs, it’s a highly rated four star B&B that lived up to its billing.

Jim nerding it out at Almara House

Jim nerding it out at Almara House

When we checked in, the owner greeted us warmly and we said hello to their King Charles puppy named Russell. The rooms were nice, albeit somewhat cramped, though standard for the region I would imagine. There is no general “living room” type area for us to congregate but that wasn’t such a big deal.

Here’s a picture of me sitting on the bed, taking advantage of the free wi-fi, and making a call to Bank of America’s fraud department (yes, I notified them of international travel beforehand!).


There isn’t much to say about the buses except that they are willing to give you change, unlike most other bus systems anywhere else in the world (or even in nearby Dublin!). The drivers are also very friendly, politely giving advice if you need any.

Quay Street / High Street

Quay and High Streets have a variety of pubs, restaurants, stores, and hostels on the main drag and down side streets. It’s pretty much where all the action is in Galway, from what we could find, and we made our way there both nights we were in Galway.

The first night we were there was the last night of the annual Art’s Festival. There were quite a few street performers from violinists to “statues” to three hippiesh looking people turning beer cans into ash trays. Since it was a Saturday we did see our fair share of Hen Do’s (bachelorette parties) wandering around the street.

We got there pretty late in the day so most of the “casual trading” booths on the side streets were closing up. We tried to go to a wine and cheese bar we found online but they were closing up early too! So we had a few pints over a couple games of Settlers at Diar/Dian (forget the name) then headed to the famed McDonough’s for dinner.

McDonagh’s Seafood

Us at Dinner in McDonaghs

Us at Dinner in McDonaghs

We had dinner at McDonagh’s Seafood, known far and wide for their seafood, and each had either a fish or mussels. The place was packed the entire time we were there.

The restaurant has a quick dining area, where you order at the counter and fight for a spot at a free table, and a regularly seated restaurant area. The benefit of the counter service was that it’s much faster but you’re restricted to the standard quick meal fare like fried/broiled fish and chips.

Restaurant service took longer to get a seat but you had the full menu to select from, we selected restaurant service because we were in no hurry. With approximately a dozen tables in the restaurant, it took us about twenty to thirty minutes to get a table of four.

The Weather

The trip back home was one of the few times we managed to get caught in rain heavier than a drizzle. What seemed indicative of the area and season was the most peculiar of weather patterns. It was alternate between drizzle and sunshine every twenty or thirty minutes, with a heavier downpour mixed in every few hours.

We managed to miss most of the heavier rains while inside a pub and simply ignored the lighter stuff. While it was a generally cooler summer, we found it to be a lot cooler than expected, especially when you mixed in the rain.

On this night, we were stuck in about fifteen minutes of most-than-a-drizzle but less than a downpour as we waited for the number 9 bus to take us back to Almara.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 » Almara House B&B Review // Aug 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    […] I briefly mentioned the amenities at the Almara House B&B in my post about the first night in Galway, I thought the placed deserved a more in-depth […]

  • 2 lostAnnfound // Aug 21, 2009 at 8:11 am

    “Irish weather” my mother calls it, usually when it was drizzling and the sun was out at the same time.

  • 3 Jim // Aug 21, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I think the most telling part about the weather was the fact that it would start drizzling and no one would care, no umbrellas, no raincoats, everyone would just go about their business as if it wasn’t even raining.