I made it to Galway Thursday night after leaving my passport and wallet in the hostel safe deposit box in Dublin, turning around and traveling 160 km roundtrip to get them, and then getting lost after getting back on the road to Galway. Martin Kennedy drove me out and I gave him 20 euros for diesel. Gasoline is crazy expensive here—about $7.50 U.S. per gallon. Anyway, he missed the point where the main road veers off and we wandered around some back roads before he admitted we were lost and stopped to ask directions, after my insistence. Geez, men and directions. To his credit, the toll booth operator says she misses it sometimes and she drives it all the time.
Galway is a coastal town on the west side of Ireland in about the center of the country north to south. Someone told me that the population of Galway city is 120,000. In the city center is Eyre Square-a gathering place for people to hang out, read and relax. My hostel is Kinlay House and is a block off the square. I woke up and ate breakfast in the hostel dining room and it was a bit nicer breakfast than they had at Four Courts hostel in Dublin. It’s quieter here at Kinlay House also; there are less people and I think they’re out doing stuff most of the time. I didn’t post my blog this morning because I went back to sleep after breakfast. I think that being here in Galway has been the first quiet opportunity to catch my breath since leaving the U.S. Most of the time I should have a post up by 6 a.m. in the morning Pacific time in the U.S., Mon-Fri and some weekends, although I probably won’t blog every weekend.
I decided that Galway may be a good place to settle for 8 weeks, so I got a local paper and decided to look for an apartment or room to rent. I asked around and felt that the Salthill neighborhood was a possibility. So, I walked and explored the area. It’s right on the ocean and the promenade, a very long paved area with a few beach areas, runs right beside it. People bike, run and walk, as well as practice their various musical instruments, on the promenade. In a close-in area to city center or Salthill, your own apartment can cost around $750 or more U.S. and sharing an apartment or house with 1-3 other people costs about $350-$400 including all utilities. I am looking at shared houses and apartments. At the end of the promenade is a large fitness facility. I met with the manager and am considering whether or not I want to join for 2 months. It will depend on where I find a place. The hostel costs me about $480 U.S. per month and includes several things I don’t have to pay for—free breakfast and some toiletries and supplies, but if I’m going to be here for several weeks, I want a little space to stretch out and be able to put my things away and have a private space to write and skype.
The main pic above is of my first meal in Galway—veggie pizza with goat cheese and French wine, overlooking the Corrib river. It was so good.