The sole purpose of my visit to Galway was to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day for the first time. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get to celebrate this day due to the horrid weather. Instead, my friends and I decided to do a self-organised walking tour through the most depressing city I have visited in a while.
St. Paddy’s Day
For those who don’t know St. Paddy’s Day, it’s a cultural and religious celebration held on the 17th of March. This is the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. You can celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in almost all Irish pubs, so basically everywhere in the world. If you don’t want to experience only the drink fest, the most logical decision is to check out Ireland and the US (Boston and Chicago for example) for the parades.
I have friends who celebrate St. Paddy’s every year in Ireland. This year they chose Galway and I decided to join them.
A Failed St. Paddy’s Day in Galway
I left Dublin in the morning and I could tell that the rain would be relentless that day. People who are from the UK or Ireland will know what I mean. You know, when the sky’s completely dark and the rain is falling in a straight line to the ground. This day stood in stark contrast with the one previously when I visited the Cliffs of Moher in the sunshine.
I arrived in Galway and ran straight to my hotel to drop off my soaking bags. My hotel was located near Eyre Square, so it was close to where the parade would take place. The only people parading was a group of Indians, when my friends arrived in Galway they only saw a group of Chinese people. Apparently, the main show was cancelled due to the relentless rain.
In order to show you guys the horribleness of the parade I took this picture. Goes to show that this day was filled with fails all around because my cell phone was set to selfie mode…
Enough complaining, let me show you the uninspiring photos I took of Galway on a very dreary day.
These two are probably the ones that cheer me up most.
The first stop on this “walking tour” was Galway Cathedral. I have to be honest here, I think I could really like this sight on a sunny day. The exterior of the building is pretty beautiful and the location by the water provides great view points.
The second stop was in the main shopping street, aptly named Shop Street. Lynch’s Castle, which now houses the AIB bank, is an example of a medieval fortified house. The castle is four storeys high with embellished carved windows, gargoyles and ornamental mouldings and cornices. It easily goes unnoticed to be honest.
St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church
The only reason we visited this church was to get away from the rain for a few minutes.
Spanish Arch & Galway Bay
I had high expectations for the Spanish Arch and for Galway Bay. Whenever I hear people talking about Galway they mention this so-called Arch. Let me pop this bubble straightaway. It’s really nothing spectacular.
The best place to stop the walking tour is Shop Street. That way you can jump into some pubs for some dinner & drinks.
For those who like Galway, I don’t mean to bash your beloved city. I’m fully aware that my visit was fueled by disappointment that St. Paddy’s Day was basically cancelled, and by the fact it would rain all weekend. If anything, if I ever visit the city again I’m sure I am bound to like it much more because I can’t like it any less.
I’m not going to end this Ireland series on this depressing note. My friends and I decided to visit a few sights on the way back to Dublin and I really loved those sights. So, more about that in the next post!