We took a short trip to Ireland and rented a car so we could drive around and explore.
We spent an afternoon walking around the lovely Galway City.
Galway is on the southern side of the Corrib Lake and Ashford Castle is on the northern side. It’s about an hour to drive down and around.
We found a parking garage right by the Spanish Gate in Galway.
Super convenient and right by Quay Street and Claddagh.
McDonagh’s is on Quay Street. Opening times: Monday to Saturday 12 noon – 11pm and Sunday 2pm – 9pm
We mostly walked around Quay Street, window shopping.
The kids loved this statue of Oscar Wilde.
We strolled over to St. Nicholas Collegiate Church. What a treasure.
Built around 1320, St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is well worth a visit and is the largest medieval parish church in Ireland, which has been in continuous use. Currently serving the Church of Ireland community, the church is dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of children (the model for Santa Claus) and mariners. Through the centuries, the church has played a central role in Galway’s history. In 1477, the explorer Christopher Columbus prayed at this church. During the 1600s, two tribe families of Galway extended the church but after the city was besieged in 1652, Cromwellian troops used the church as a stable.
The exterior has numerous carvings of animals and mythical creatures, while inside there are a diverse number of notable artefacts and monuments such as the Crusader’s grave (1300s), the carved baptismal font (1600s), a decorated stone lectern (1500s), and the Lepers’ Gallery.
We crossed over to the Claddagh district. It was super windy and getting colder.
Claddagh means “the shore.” It’s is an area close to the centre of Galway city, where the Corrib River meets Galway Bay. It was formerly a fishing village, just outside the old city walls. It is just across the river from the Spanish Arch, which was the location of regular fish markets where the locals supplied the city with seafood as recently as the end of the 19th century. People have been gathering seafood and fishing from the area for millennia. It is one of the oldest former fishing villages in Ireland – its existence having been recorded since the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.
During the 19th century the Claddagh attracted many visitors, including writers who spread its fame. The original village of thatched cottages was razed in the 1930s and replaced by government buildings.
I wish we’d had more time to see Galway Cathedral, but we were cold and tired and it was several blocks away. We could see the dome of the cathedral.