Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Irish Adventures Part 4

One thing that you notice immediately when you arrive in Galway is that you are VERY OLD if you are over 30. There are two major universities in town and apparently, anyone our age (over ... um ... 40) doesn't come near the place.

Our hotel was located right on Eyre Square, filled with great little shops and quite a few pubs. Get this ... across the street was a TX Maxx (no relation to TJ Maxx) and a Penney's (no relation to JC Penneys ... or JCP).

What we also found out ... later that evening ... was that there was a nightclub behind the hotel that played loud music until 2AM and the walls in our rooms vibrated with every bass note. To get to the lobby, we had to crawl over drunken bodies and rivers of ... well, you don't want to know.

Undaunted, we decided to venture to the streets and found the greatest little restaurant/pub that featured Irish dancing and music.

The guitar player sang traditional ballads like Rose of Tralee, Danny Boy ... and Ring of Fire by Johnny O'Cash.

The bar even had two Irishmen who sat in their usual chairs and talked politics and traded barbs about each other's wives ... and then played who could drink the most Guinness before passing out in the black pudding.

We headed back to our Disco/Hotel for the night and got about 10 minutes of sleep before venturing out on our next adventure ... The Kylemore Abbey in Connemara.

The Abbey in inhabited by Benedictine Nuns but was built by a wealthy doctor from London for his wife. It has 33 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a Gothic cathedral and a family mausoleum. The wife must have been high maintenance ... either that or they had a lot of guests spend the night who didn't have alot of bathroom needs. Anyway, as the story goes, he sold it to a Duke who had a gambling problem (really) and went bankrupt.

It costs about $50 now to tour the abbey (some tour ... you can only see 5 rooms and a few statues).

The nuns bought it in 1920 and turned it into a boarding school for kids who liked to hide behind bear cut-outs.

They closed the school a few years ago (bears must have gone out of style) but continue to reside there.

After this tour ... we headed to the Ashford Castle to take ANOTHER tour. Fortunately ... it was closed.

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