The next day was gorgeous, and we headed off to Galway in brilliant sunshine. There were a scenic stop or two along the way.
In Galway we had a guide, who was very charming and entertaining, but we noticed several instances where his patter was more amusing than accurate. He did show us a number of the sights- our first stop was to view a remnant of the old city wall- which is currently preserved in the middle of a shopping mall.
We went by Lynch's Castle, a 16th century fortified house which had belonged to a prominent local family. It is now a bank.
We strolled down William St, a pedestrian shopping area, filled with touristy shops and restaurants. That's okay, since we were, after all, tourists. We later found a delightful little meat pie shop just off the main drag to give us lunch.
We saw St. Nicholas' church- note the line of bricks in the end facing, showing the original roofline, which was subsequently enlarged. St. Nicholas is the Anglican church. We got a quick peek inside, just missing a chorus rehearsal.
After that we were turned loose to find lunch and explore. After lunching, we mostly walked around. We took in the harbor:
By happenstance we found the Presbyterian and Methodist church- evidently they share quarters.
And then we went on to complete the whole set and visited the Catholic cathedral. This is a very new cathedral- constructed starting in 1958 and dedicated in 1965. The mix of traditional and modern worked surprisingly well. Have a look at some of the online photos- mine don't really do it justice.
From there, we strolled in a large loop back to our pickup point- by the salmon weir-
-by the river gardens-
-past charming views-
-and finally back to the bus which took us to Ennistimon and our next hotel, the Falls Hotel. There were in fact falls:
No sooner had we gotten access to our room when we were back out and ready to explore. We took a walk down the path by the Inagh River. (No, I don't know how to pronounce that either.)
And up a path into the woods. The path eventually petered out and we had to turn back. Wild, isn't it? I didn't edit that photo at all- those are the colors it was.
Since we still had some time before dinner, we took a turn through the town, which was charming.
And we can disprove any rumors that the colors are due to leprechauns. We caught real live Irish people in the act of painting the buildings cheery colors.
And then it was time to turn back to the hotel for dinner, music and our next day's adventures.