A Day in Galway
As hinted in my last post, our very first experience in Ireland was not very welcoming. Instead of the 2-3 months we’d planned to spend on the Emerald Isle, a cantankerous immigration officer only permitted us 5 weeks in the country. They not only needlessly limited our time, but they openly ridiculed us for our lifestyle. That set me off on the wrong foot before we even stepped outside the airport, but even that wasn’t the biggest problem we faced.
We had no place to stay for our first 4 nights in Ireland.
While we had already found a couple who had agreed to host us for a month on the island of Inishbofin (which is located off the west coast of Ireland), they wouldn’t be ready for us for another 4 days (a result of us buying airline tickets before lining up hosts). Despite the 40+ requests we’d sent out, no one could accept us on such short notice, and so we inevitably chose to rent a room through Airbnb. We booked a place that looked nice and was relatively affordable near Galway, and hopped on a bus!
The bus dropped us off in Galway city center, and to keep costs to a minimum, we decided to hoof it to our Airbnb in nearby Oranmore. By the time we arrived 3 hours later, we were absolutely exhausted. Just to recap: the day after our 8 hour walk around Reykjavik we had a 95 minute forced march with all our gear to a Reykjavik bus stop, an hour bus ride to the Iceland Airport, a 3 hour flight to Luton, England, a 12 hour layover in Luton Airport, an 80 minute march with all our gear to get non-airport food, a 90 minute flight to Dublin, a 2.5 hour bus ride to Galway, and a 3 hour march with all our gear to our Oranmore Airbnb — all with little to no sleep. We were simply and utterly beat.
Dismayed. Not an exciting story to tell, but it felt so damn good to just do nothing but relax! We didn’t even leave our Airbnb until our 3rd day there, on which we took a day trip to Galway. Guess what? There was a fairly cheap train that reduced our 3 hour walk to a 1 hour walk! Nice!
We spent a good deal of time simply walking the streets, peeking in shops, and appreciating the plethora of talented buskers. I of course had to buy a new pin for my travel hat!
After working up a healthy appetite, we indulged ourselves with a mouth watering burger from Burgerstory. I know, I know, It’s not exactly authentic Irish cuisine, but we were hungry and craving a taste of home! Also, the burger was much more affordable than other (more authentic) local restaurants.
After our delectable and incredibly satisfying meal, we headed over to the Kings Head for an indulgence of another kind, cider! We imbibed our drinks on the outdoor patio to the relaxing ambiance of irish street music.
After relaxing a bit, and enjoying the company of a local who was drawn to chat with us by the pleasant aroma of my pipe, we made our way back to our Airbnb in Oranmore. Along the way, Aubre made a friend!
Outside of our day trip to Galway, we spent the entirety of our 4 days inside the Airbnb. Our time was largely spent recovering from our chaotic journey, but we also worked very hard on our blog/vlog, and brainstormed the next step in our adventure (since immigration foiled our plans to stay in Ireland for 2-3 months).
The next day we awoke bright and early, packed our bags, and started our journey to our next hosts: Anthony and Julia! From Galway we hopped a bus to Cleggan where a ferry would… ferry us to the Island of Inishbofin!
Next time on Exploring Alexander: Experience a month on the island of Inishbofin!
As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions! You can comment here, or email me at ExploringAlexander@gmail.com