Our OE - Ireland                                           
MAY 2004
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Sat 01-May 04	Dublin  [May Day]

Just some miscellaneous photos from wandering around town....

A Horse and Cart, College Green, Dublin
(and yes that is a person lying on the back!)

Dylan Moran, from 'Black Books' TV comedy

The Olympia Theatre, Dublin

In the evening I went to the 'International Comedy Club' upstairs in the International Bar.  A VERY funny show of Irish and British comedy.  One line I liked was "I'm an atheist - I don't believe in Bono"!  The guy then went on to say that it's a nice idea in theory, joining a Rock 'n' Roll band and touring the world spreading your political messages, but it just doesn't seem realistic!  Very funny!

Sun 02-May 04	Dublin  

After passing it several times over the past year, I finally got around to visiting the oldest pub in Dublin, The Brazen Head, for some lunch and a pint.  A very nice old place with great live Irish music too.

 In the evening I went on the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl.  A very entertaining and funny walking tour / pub crawl with a couple of actors/comedians as guides.  We started at 'The Duke' (on Duke Street) with a short skit acted out, and then visited the grounds of Trinity College for some more humorous stories before heading on to O'Neill's Bar (on Suffolk Street) for another pint.  More funny stories and acting outside the old St. Andrews Church (Dublin Information Centre) and on to 'The Stand' to keep up with the pub side of the tour.  Back to Duke Street for some quizzes and prizes, before finishing up at 'Davey Byrnes'.

Mon 03-May 04	Dublin

Went to The Comedy Improv show at the International Bar tonight, staring Tara Flynn, Dermot Carmody, Brendon Dempsey (from the Father Ted Christmas special and 'Waking Ned Devine' movie), Michelle Read and Ian Coppinger.  Very clever and very funny!  This is about the 4th time I have seen Dermot perform and he is very talented and funny.  Thoroughly recommended.

Wed 05-May 04	Dublin  

Jason's last day of work in Ireland!  Not long left in Ireland now - leaving next Thursday.  Out for a few drinks at my favourite pub Messrs Maguires (for some of their delicious 'Rusty' beer) after work with guys from Microsoft.

Fri 07-May 04	Dublin - Galway 

After mucking around in the morning packing for my trip home, I finally caught a bus to Galway City about midday, arriving about 3:30pm.  I checked into the hostel (SleepZone) and then started a random walk around town.  Saw Eyre Square/Kennedy Park (which was a huge mess of a construction site, not the nice park we'd seen back in August '03), Lynch's Castle (now an AIB Bank branch), the Spanish Arch (remains of old town walls), the River Corrib and the large Salmon Weir, Galway Cathedral, and lots of cute little cobbled lanes, walkways, waterways, canals etc.

A very nice old City, but also very popular and busy, and also surprisingly hot!  Eventually retired to a garden bar for a few pints to cool down, before some tasty pub-grub for dinner and a bit of traditional music.

The River Corrib, Galway

A canal and River Corrib, Galway

The Spanish Arch & Spanish Parade, Galway

Nimbi's Restaurant & Wine Bar, The Long Walk, Spanish Arch, Galway

Mainguard Street (pedestrianised area), Galway

Pub along Shop Street

Sat 08-May 04	Galway - tour through Connemara

This morning I felt like doing something out in the countryside of Co. Galway or Clare before heading home to New Zealand, so as a last minute decision I ran to catch a Connemara Tour (with www.lallytours.com), which although I'm not a fan of big organised tours, was actually quite a nice day out.  Even though I had seen most of it before, it was a good refresher of the Irish landscape before going home.

The route of the trip was Galway City - Oughterard - Maam Cross - Maam Valley - Leenane/Leenaun - Kylemore Abbey (near Letterfrack) - Clifden - Recess - Maam - Spiddal - Galway City.

Maamturk Mountains, Connemara, Co. Galway

Killary harbour, Connemara

Loch Kylemore, Connemara

The Gothic Church, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara

Lock on Eglinton Canal, Galway City

A traditional music Seisun, Kings Head pub, Galway

Back in Galway I caught a few good traditional Irish music sessions over a pint or two, in some VERY crowded pubs.  The centre of Galway is pedestrianised and similar to the Temple Bar area of Dublin, but too crowded!

Sun 09-May 04	Galway - Dublin  

I had read about a Jazz Band playing at The King's Head during Sunday lunchtimes so I thought I would check that out over a nice pub lunch, and I was also planning on going on a cruise of the River Corrib this afternoon before catching my bus back to Dublin - So with that decided I had a morning to kill.  The Galway City Museum at the Spanish Arch was closed so I ended up going for a nice long walk past the Claddagh area (where the River Corrib empties into Galway bay) and along the coast and promenade to Salthill - an almost 2 hour stroll.  Some nice views across Galway Bay to the Burren region of Co. Clare. 

Back in town there was a very talented Puppeteer outside 'The Kings Head' pub - The puppet was jumping onto peoples bags, patting babies, riding people's bikes, and kicking people in the shins (including me) and doing Matrix-style kicks to take spectators caps off!

In The King's Head I ordered a tasty bowl of soup and a pint of cider and sat back to listen to the very good Jazz/Blues band.  Once that had been polished off I heading down to Woodquay to catch the Corrib Princess for a cruise up the River Corrib to Loch Corrib, passing the ruins of Menlo Castle on the way.  It wasn't an exceptional cruise, just okay, but nice and relaxing.  

The Claddagh, Galway Bay

Menlo Castle, River Corrib, Galway
(as seen from Corrib Princess cruise)

After returning to Woodquay I had a very quick look in both Galway Cathedral and St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church before grabbing my bag from the hostel and catching a return bus to Dublin at 5:30pm.  The St. Nicholas was built around 1329 and dedicated to the patron saint of travellers/sailers and children (he's also known as Santa Claus!), and Christopher Columbus supposedly prayed here before setting off to discover the new world.  The reason for my visit wasn't so spiritual though - I just wanted to have a quick nosey at the medieval grave-stones (from the 1700's) used as floor pavers!  Also saw a pub called 'M.T. Pockets'!

It was a good break away, although a bit lonely.  Only four more hectic days left in Ireland to pack and move out of the apartment and return to New Zealand! 


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