Saturday, June 6, 2009

Failte go Galliamh

The River Corrib winding through Galway.

Sailboats on Galway Bay.

On the beach in Salthill.

Traditional music in Tig Coili.

Curry cheese chips make everyone happy.

On Tuesday morning we travelled to the final desitnation on our itinerary, the bustling city of Galway on Ireland's west coast. Galway is a vibrant university town that serves as a gateway to Connemara, the Burren, the Arann Islands, and the Irish-speaking areas of the west. Galway has historically been an important port (Columbus stopped here before leaving for the Americas) and is currently serving as a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race.

After a short walking tour of Galway's city centre and cathedral, we headed to the National University of Ireland, Galway, for a roundtable discussion with Anna-Marie and Dr. Shane Darcy. The Darcys - longtime friends of Sara's and mine - are both from the Republic of Ireland but lived for several years in Derry. The provided an interesting perspective on the impact of the conflict on those living on the border or far from the border, as well as the experience of being from "the South" and living and working in "the North."

Tuesday evening and Wednesday were free, and everyone enjoyed the continued good weather. A large contingent of students took a bus trip to the Cliffs of Moher on Wednesday afternoon, while others explored Galway or walked the Salthill promenade along Galway Bay. After a group dinner on Wednesday, we spent our final night in Ireland experiencing Galway's celebrated music and nightlife.

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