Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ireland- Day 2: Carrick-on-Shannon --> Galway

In all the times I've been to Ireland (2000, 2006, 2008, 2009 and now 2010), I've never used the bus or train station as my main mode of transportation. I've always rented a car. But Amy and I have had such loose plans and seemingly simple ones that it just didn't make much sense to rent a car. Although we both had that thought, "Why didn't we just pick up a car in Dublin?" about 10 minutes away from the airport while we were taking the bus into the city.

But after talking with Gene and the B&B owner's daughter, we went to bed with options: Gene would run us to Galway in his one-seater VW Golf "One of you will have to lie down in the back." Why neither one of us batted an eyelash at this plan is beside me. Or, we could catch a bus in Carrick-on-Shannon and go to Galway by way of Sligo (needing to go pretty far out of our way) to eventually end up in Galway.

With not much more than four hours of sleep and a lot of alcohol still coursing through my body, I was delighted to wake up at half past eight feeling nothing more than a little fuzzy and a lot tired. We padded down the hall for breakfast. Evelyn had swung by the Thatch the night before to find out what time Amy and I wanted breakfast. When we said 830am, she thought 9am would be better. But Amy and I stuck to our original request and said we'd see her at 830am. So when we sat at the table for breakfast at 830am and no one came out for more than five minutes, we happily went back to the room to catch another 25 minutes of sleep. At 9am Evelyn was ready to serve us breakfast. I guess we should have listened to her all along!

We silently ate our breakfast- cereal, eggs and toast. And then not so silently wondered how we were going to get to Galway. The abstract plans made the day before weren't feeling any more solidified and we knew we weren't going to will ourselves there- not with the fuzzy sleep deprived issues. Before we could ponder this much more, Gene drove up in his car, got out, came thru the sliding glass window, asked for a glass of our orange juice (which I happily poured and handed over) and then produced the plan to get us to Galway.

Thank the lord above someone was figuring that out!

In the light of day it did seem impossible that he'd be able to get us to Galway with the golf clubs, the musical instruments and who knows what else taking up permanent residence in his car. We didn't have much time to get our stuff and ourselves pulled together before we needed to catch the bus. So we said our goodbyes and thank yous to Gene and went to get ready as we heard Gene say to Evelyn, "Please make sure these lassies get to the bus station. Maybe you can drop them off."

Sure enough Evelyn made sure we got to the bus station and after waiting a bit longer than Gene's outline instructed, we hopped on us bus that would get us to Galway in about three hours. The bus provided a great opportunity for us to catch up on sleep. We dozed on and off and then arrived in Galway and meandered our way to Robin's hair shop to get the keys to her apartment.

It felt good to be in Galway and to actually get there without that much drama or fanfare. And being the crazy planner that I am, it basically felt like a miracle that we got there in one piece due to nothing on mine or Amy's part! Sometimes it does help to just leave things up to other people ;)

We met up with Robin for a late bite to eat and then headed out to Crane's pub- a recommendation from my friend and college professor who said it had good traditional Irish music. It gave me and Amy another good opportunity to walk around Galway and explore a bit.

All in all, it was a relatively easy day and a nice follow-up to our crazy night at The Thatch.

Memorable pictures from Day 2:

Happy that I'm not all "bearish" like I was last year TDATT (the day after The Thatch)

Waiting outside Quigley's for our "connection" to Galway

Pub goer at The Crane Bar who was totally unaffected by my charm

The Crane Bar, Galway

Night time in Galway


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