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Day Two

May 30, 2003

Today started with our first real Irish Breakfast. We had some idea what to expect and had already decided "when in Ireland, do as the Irish" when it came to eating breakfast in Ireland and the conflict it posed to our semi-vegetarianism. Still, we were not prepared for the enormity of the Irish breakfast until we were well underway. We started with a bowl of cereal. Bowls and various cereals were out buffet-style for our consumption. I would usually have corn flakes while Carolyn would mix-n-match just about every choice they had, always with a base of Wheat-a-Bix if they had it. Sugar and fresh milk were at the table, as was fresh brown bread, and often home-made jams and jellies. Oh, and orange juice. That would get us started until they could determine if we wanted coffee or tea (always tea for us), and so they'd bring that along with some toast. In my experience that was a nice, complete breakfast. But in Ireland, we'd just got started. Following that would come a plate for each of us of fried eggs, bacon, sausage (2 kinds), tomato, and in one place mushrooms. Eventually, instead of ordering a full Irish breakfast, we settled down to just getting fried eggs and bacon, though Carolyn would sometimes order her eggs scrambled. Bacon there was more like what we'd call Canadian Bacon in the states. A fairly large slice of ham fried up, rather than the thin, crispy things we call bacon. Other than the time it took to get moving after a breakfast like that, it was clear that we had what we needed to go out and have a long day of farm work after a breakfast like that!

So, when we finally did get up from the table and start moving, we decided to do something that we had considered doing yesterday, and check out the "prom" (promenade) on Galway's beach, called "Salt Hill." A little exploration and map-reading indicated we'd not gotten that far the day before. Salt Hill's really the next town over, but it's not far (~3miles?), and you'd never know you left the city except for the fact that the downtown Galway map has a little arrow in the bottom-left that says "to Salt Hill", and it gets a little more residential on the way there. We walked there along Claddagh Quay and came across a rugby match (right) which didn't surprise us, and a palm tree (left) which did surprise us.

Once we arrived at Salt Hill, we settled down for a leisurely day of people watching, reading and sunning ourselves. We were joined in our little section of beach by a couple of dogs, then by a pretty young woman who looked to be of Italian or Greek descent who played with those dogs for a bit. Then two other guys and another woman who seemed to know the first. I played frisbee with one of the guys who was there from Australia. He would work in Ireland long enough to build up a cache of Euros, then wander around the rest of Europe until he ran out and return to Ireland. He admitted it wasn't a long-term plan, and I admitted it still sounded like quite a bit of fun. I also played with the dogs a little, and even went for a swim, though it was mighty cold. We snacked a little during the day, but didn't eat again until dinner. We ate at a place that seemed a bit like the Irish equivalent of Ruby Tuesday's. A family type place where I had a rather tasty (if quite buttery) garlic chicken.

After dinner, we walked back to Galway City, and again noticed a prevalence of "Fahy"s. Carolyn's grandfather was a Fahy until he dropped the "h" after too much teasing by compatriots in W.W. I. The large number of Fahys and the large number of pubs, lead of course to the inevitable... A Fahy pub! (left) Had we known the joys of Irish whisky by this point, we'd probably have gone in. As it was, we passed it by, pausing only long enough to document its existence.

By 9:00 PM, we were meandering toward the B&B, but still impressed with how light it was. The shot on the right was taken about 9:10 PM, a full hour before the sun would actually dip below the horizon. We wandered a bit further than we had map for, but found our way back to the B&B with no real difficulty and settled in for our last night in Galway on this side of the bicycling.

 

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