Ireland - Traditional Ireland (August 14th - August 19th)(continued)
They also had one race with some greyhounds chasing that mechanical rabbit that they can never quite catch. I imagine there would be quite a show if they actually caught it.
On Monday, we all piled into the car and headed off to Galway. Irenee had a medical check-up and then we walked around the lively University town on one of those rainy days you are glad to be off your bike. We ate a fish and chip dinner at a popular restaurant (McDonaghs) and then went to the pub for some live Irish music. I should note that the pubs in Ireland are not just for drinking and they allow kids in until 9:00 pm. The traditional pub is more of a social meeting place where families would gather to visit with neighbours. The number of pubs in Ireland has decreased which is hard for me to believe as they are everywhere. In Canada, very small villages will have a small store and a gas station and in Ireland, they will have the same but also a pub. In some cases, they forget about the small store and gas station, but still have the pub. There is a lot of drinking but it's not in proportion to the number of spots available to drink. This pub had some more live music.
On Tuesday, Laurence went back to work and Irenee and the kids and I drove to Achill Island, also on the far coast. The island has a circular "Atlantic Drive" that reveals spectacular coastal scenery.
One of the best ways to learn about a country and really experience it is to live with a family but it was time for me to move on and Wednesday August 18th was the day. Irenee made a traditional full Irish breakfast and it was time to go at the bright early hour of 2:00 pm.
I cannot express in words my gratitude to Irene and Laurence for their generosity over the past 4 days. I have wanted to visit Ireland for the past 12 years and it will always be a very special place because of you both. I hope that someday I can repay your kindness.
I made it to Galway and spent the next day walking around the city. Galway is a University town and the fastest growing city in Europe.