Cen cháoi bhfuil tú?

In Ireland, Photo, Travel 2011 on February 19, 2011 at 5:45 am

To the west coast and back in one night or less. A bit of a whirlwind sure, but now I can say I’ve been to both the east coast and west coast of Ireland, and it was certainly an enjoyable trip.

In an effort to not sound like a walking guidebook, I’ll skim past the sights and skip to the good parts.

Galway is an old port city with absolutely loads of charm. I took a little walk by the river, right along where the little fishing boats are docked. The coast on the edge of the city is very cute with rows of little colorful houses along the shoreline. I also had a little look at Claddagh, which is actually a town – not just a ring. Obviously it’s where the ring gets its name though.

That’s pretty much all there is to see in Galway. . . Unless of course you have any interest in pubs (which I do). Pretty much everyone in Ireland will tell you that you haven’t been to Galway unless you’ve gone to the pubs. So it would have been simply sacrilege for me not to partake in a bit of Irish “craic” (Gaelic word for fun – sounds like crack).

I carefully selected my spot for the evening by walking up and down the main street (read only street) until I heard some loud traditional music and laughter – two sure signs of a good time in Ireland. Taaffe’s is where I ended up and where I spent the rest of my night.

Now I didn’t drink a Guinness, on account of the fact that I do hate beer, but I happily settled into another favorite of mine that happens to be native to Ireland, Bulmers – delicious cider that has been a buddy of mine since Sydney.

The Irish are extremely friendly. So, it didn’t take me too long to strike up a bit of a conversation – a relief as it can be a bit daunting walking into a crowded bar on your own. Patrick and Pádraic (paw-rick) sussed me out as new to Galway, refilled my Bulmers, and brought me up to speed on Irish music, a bit of history (turns out the Irish really love JFK), and a bit of language. Pádraic is from the Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway, and grew up speaking Irish as his first language. When he heard I didn’t speak any, he promptly remedied it with a quick lesson (as well as poking a bit of fun at me being a bit of an ignorant American).

“Cen cháoi bhfuil tú?” he coached me carefully.

Pronounced: can (hack)we will too . . . The hack is sort of similar to the throat thing the french do.

It means “how are you?” (stellar by the way), and no, I’m no expert at it, but it certainly provided for a bit of entertainment, at least for Pádraic anyway.

Back to Dublin the next morning and then two hours later my first shift with the JDIFF. Most certainly a busy couple days. So looking forward to a bit of a sleep-in tomorrow morning and then some time at the market and just enjoying Dublin – fingers crossed for a rare bit of sunshine on this island.

Pictures from Galway below. Xx

The little harbor side houses across from Claddagh.

As a solo traveler, I get the pleasure of taking pictures of myself – here’s one of me on the river walk in Galway. I’ll try to remember to smile next time : )

Some of the fishing boats tied up on shore.


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