We travelled up by train on Friday morning and returned on Monday morning, so it was a good chunk of time to explore Galway and the surrounding district. First priority of course was to see Galway Bay, as instructed by Marg who has never recovered from hearing Pip sing the parody version many, many years ago. So get out your guitar, Marg, and sing along – this photo’s for you! Pip adding in some thoughts, in italics. See below.
It happened to be the weekend of their annual Oyster Festival so the town was buzzing. We were lucky enough to catch the Parade on Saturday (the Irish love a Parade) and here are some of the highlights. The pipe band is a bunch of serving police officers from Seattle. I got talking to one of them. He and the band leader and a couple of others have Irish ancestry, but despite the Irish flags waving from their pipes, the rest of them don’t.
Just prior to that we visited the Saturday markets: Where I managed NOT to spend too much money for once!
And in the afternoon we spent a happy three hours or so in a pub listening to a brilliant music group that were so good, we followed them on Sunday night to another pub! If they were put out by the age of their groupies, they were kind enough not to show it. If the videos I took turn out to be any good, I will include them in a later post. Three of the band were Irish, the fourth, a fiddle player, was Swedish. He sang a most peculiar folk song about a man who disliked his mother-in-law so much, he blew her up with dynamite. It did make me think of Guss (for the Swedish connection, of course, not for any alleged strained relationship with his m-i-l). In the meantime, a few photos of the band, the pub and the street outside. What is it with Scandinavians and gory stories? See much earlier blog from me about the “Music of the Celts and Gaels” concert! The Danish mult-instrument player told us a VERY gory story about the harpist in that.
Oh, and big thanks for my colleague Clare for her hints about where to go in Galway. We owe her for Neachtains pub, and a rather delightful tapas restaurant called Cava, that Himself has managed to avoid blogging about here, but where we had some delicious and reasonably-priced tapas.