Our drive from Dingle to Galway was largely a non-event. That is a good thing. We did finally find some wide, straight roads and for part of the drive of about 140 miles were able to go at 75 mph (120 km). Some of the road was so new that neither the map nor the GPS knew about it. Of course, the fast straight road quickly changed back into what we have become used to.
When we got to Galway town, at about 2:30, traffic slowed to a crawl. I don’t know if it was because it was Friday afternoon, or because of all the construction on the city streets, or just school getting out, but it took us close to an hour to drive the last couple of miles. We found the hotel, got checked in, and went for a walk. The hotel is along the promenade of the Galway Bay. For all the time we were there the wind BLEW. When we went out for our walk, it was a little cool and windy. We went about a mile and found a place to eat. Then we headed back. It was so windy we could hardly walk! We made our way back to the hotel and stayed there for the evening.
On Saturday we debated whether we wanted to drive back out of Galway and down to the Cliffs of Moher, which we both wanted to see. We decided to take a day off from driving given how bad the traffic seemed to be. We thought about taking a bus tour to the cliffs, but did not want to spend a whole day doing that. Instead, we took a local bus into the old part of Galway to look around. We checked out the Saturday market which was pretty small but did have a good bit of fresh seafood. We spent some time in the St. Nicolas Church. The church is old—built on top of a previous church which was built on an even older church—but is clearly still active. There is very nice stained glass in the church. In one small side chapel there is a floor monument of a Templar Knight from the late 1200s as well as a set of gilded figures dedicated to the four Apostles.
Galway is famous for some old pubs and restaurants. The ones we found smelled like they hadn’t been cleaned since they first opened three- or four-hundred years ago. We chose not to eat in any of them. Instead, we found a nice modern restaurant with windows made for people watching and we had a nice lunch. We caught the bus back and only missed our stop by one which was a good thing because it was still windy. Almost as soon as we got in the hotel it started raining hard so our timing was good. The hotel is really a resort hotel so there were weddings and family gatherings going on all the time. In the late afternoon we went down to a sitting area that looked out over the Bay and read for a while before adjourning to the pub. Even though the pub is inside the hotel, it seems like it is miles away. I had a Guinness and Patricia had some wine while we sat and read.
We had a very pleasant last day of “touring” in Galway.
We are now at the Dublin Airport in the last of the nine(!) hotels we have used over the past three weeks. We had an easy 200km (125 miles) drive from Galway over pretty good motorways and had only a little difficulty finding the hotel. The rental car is turned back in and we will leave for home early Monday morning.