The Burren's crazy cows, and the fine town of Galway....Jim's Deals of the Day
GALWAY - We hear a lot about Dublin, of course. And Cork. And Waterford crystal. And the Blarney Stone and Belfast. But for some reason this town doesn't get the publicity of its rivals.
I didn't have a strong mental image of the place, I must admit. I'd seen the odd picture or two. I knew it was on the coast and quite Gaelic.
But I didn't know what a cool city it was to hang around in, especially on a lovely afternoon with thousands of folks sipping a Guinness in the April sun. There are only a few remnants of the old walls still intact, but it still reminded me of Quebec City with its pedestrian streets and old-world architecture.
But the Irish pubs are slightly more authentic than Quebec, I think. At least the one I checked out after dinner at the Malt House, a trendy spot in the old part of town with great salmon, a fine if slightly overcooked duck breast with onion and pancetta and a wonderful appetizer of crab claws in chili oil.
Anyway (and sorry to drizzle all over the keyboard like that), the pubs were awesome, with both Irish music
and some North American fare at The King's Head, where the guitar player did a mean "Sultans of Swing" and also "Like a Hurricane" for the Canadian from Neil Young's old North Toronto neighborhood.
Great time getting hear from Doolin, driving along the coast at the edge of the barren, rocky area called The Burren. Feels a bit like a moonscape at times but the water is lovely, and I ran into a small pack of cows that escaped their pens. They did fine, but it was kinda interesting to drive through them. One small step and my Hyundai might not have been doing so good.
Great hotel, too, the g hotel (for glamour, not Galway). Very trendy, lovely rooms and wild colour schemes in the lobby areas make for a very unique and hip experience in a part of Ireland you might not expect it. They make a great birchermuesli at breakfast and serve the sweetest, white melon you've ever tasted. They insisted it was honeydew, but it didn't look what we have back home. Either way, a great breakfast. The hotel is a bit out of the way from downtown, which is the only drawback I could think of.
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