Day 6 – Sunday – Galway

Posted: 24/06/2012 in Holiday
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We slept OK, so maybe we can tolerate this poly-cotton stuff for the week. With that thought in mind, we decided to postpone our trip to Galway. After breakfast, though, we thought again, and decided to get on the road. It was now about 11am. The Eyre Square Shopping Centre would be open till 7pm, though, so no great rush.

Just before the junction with the church and the graveyard, we spotted a sign to Leenane (sometimes shown as Leenaun). The road was narrow and bumpy (it was across a bog). We stopped to take pictures of the view, and of the turf stacked up to dry. “Lazy sods!” The road joins the A335 at Cregganbaun, and we headed south, between the Mweelrea Mountains and the Sheefrey Hills. Just past Glenkeen Bridge we were treated to a spectacular view: Doo Lough and the mountains beyond. We stopped to take photos. Next to where we parked was a rough-hewn cross with a commemorative plaque.

The road to Leenane takes you around what looks like a lake; it is in fact a long narrow harbour. At Leenane we took the R336 southeast through Joyces Country. At Maam Cross we picked up the N59 for Galway; nice to be on a major road again.

Mark had located a car park in Eyre Square, and the SatNav was all set to get us there. We were beaten by the one-way system, though. Still, managed to find another nearby. Three things on our agenda for today: Claddagh rings, booze and bedding. Spotted a Dunnes Stores off-licence across from Eyre Square. After checking what time it shut (6pm), we headed off in search of rings. Although we both like the design of the Claddagh ring, it’s not a practical thing to wear because the crown can get caught on stuff (like gloves). I had one years ago but gave up wearing it. What we wanted was the Claddagh design incorporated into a flat band. I remembered that one of the original makers was still in business but I’d forgotten to make a note of the name or the address. My memory is so crap these days; I really must start making lists. There are quite a few jewellers dotted around the city, so we ventured into a couple of them. Opposite one was a café, so we decided to take a break. They didn’t take cards. We liked the place, though, so returned after tracking down an ATM. Nice cakes. Wandering somewhat aimlessly after that, I spotted the shop I’d been looking for: Thomas Dillon on Quay Street. Tiny place; been around for over 250 years. But it had nothing that really appealed. What they did have was in almost every other ring shop in Galway. The quality varied; many just looked cheap and mass produced (which they undoubtedly are).

Time to find bedding now. I spotted a Debenhams just off Eyre Square. They had a sale on; I’d found some gorgeous designer bedding (high-count Egyptian cotton) in their sale in Nottingham last year, and hoped to find the same here. But the sets in this sale were gaudy. We didn’t leave empty-handed, though, having spotted some red leather tablemats and coasters with 30% off. When it comes to bedding, you can always rely on good old Dunnes Stores and we soon had something more luxurious to sleep under tonight.

Next stop, Dunnes again. We wanted to get some decent beer and wine, as the Supervalu supermarket in Westport didn’t have a great selection. I found one of my favourite reds, Casillero del Diablo Merlot, for 8 euros, and Mark stocked up on Hobgoblin, Fullers London Pride and Crabbie’s.

I’d spent childhood holidays in Salthill, just outside Galway city. We drove through there and on to Barna, 6km away. I always loved the beach here, and it was just how I remembered it. Even the changing area – with its long slatted benches under a concrete canopy – was still there. Curious cows in the field behind trotted over. We went down the steps onto the beach and spent a short while there, taking photos. Lovely.

I’d wanted to stop at Spiddle, a rockier beach 10km farther on, but it was getting late and we decided to push on.

Back at the cottage, we were keen to get the new bedding on, but the label advised washing it first to get rid of that factory finish. OK, we’d have to put up with poly-cotton for another night. So glad I’d brought some Ecover liquid and conditioner, as nothing had been supplied. I’d emailed the owners to ask if I needed to bring any cleaning stuff but had been assured everything was there. Laundry done, it was time for bed.


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