Random Thoughts and Info about Random Things
Galway sits on the Galway bay and is cut in half by the river Corrib. The town center, on the left bank, is basically 8 blocks or so of medieval pedestrian only streets. My apartment sits one block off this main drag, which goes from the river in the north to Eyre Square in the south. Along those 8 blocks are about 30 pubs or so, dozens of restaurants and the rest is all shops and stores. On the other bank of the river is NUI’s campus, about a 20 minutes walk from my apartment. Anyway, the city is great; its exactly the kind of small city that I've always wanted to live in - you can walk anywhere and everywhere, and it's really got the feeling of a small village in terms of the atmosphere etc... From the friendliness and openness of the locals in the pub, to the open air farmers market at the church, it really is a great place. I guess calling it a city compared to philly or something is wrong, since its only about 80,000 people I think, but still its a great to be.
First of all, it is quite a part of Irish culture, at least as far as I’ve seen it. Never before have I seen so many people out every night, and not only that but people of every single age, and … well that’s basically the most diversity you get here, but you get the point. What I like about the culture here a lot more than in the states is that drinking isn’t the thing to do … its just well … assumed that you will do it. The things to do are ridiculous amounts of live music … 7 nights a week, usually twice a night, at every single pub; Irish dancing at basically every single bar every night (wait for a more detailed post on the Irish dancing scene till next week when I hopefully build up enough courage to get out on the floor); and the best thing is how pubs are actually just the center of life around here. Everyone from the city is in one and every single one of them will gladly talk to you if you want or even really if you don’t. The stereotypical friendliness of the Irish really is quite true; whether it’s the culture or the drinking ... or I guess both are the same.
So it really is true what they say about the Irish weather. I can’t whether I like it or not to be honest with you. On the plus side, it never really gets too cold; however it also never really gets warm … at all. 40-45 degrees is the high and the low pretty much every day. It rains, a lot; but the rain here isn’t really rain, its more of like a cool mist that barely gets you wet at all. Personally, its my favorite type of rain to be honest with you. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the sun is up for maybe around 8 hours at the most, which can get kind of depressing at some times. However, on the plus side I hear that around May that the sun is out for 12-14 hours a day or something like that. I guess that’s what you get this far from the equator. (For some reason I always seem to think that Ireland is right there at like New York City or something, but its actually on the same line as like the Hudson bay in Canada…) So anyway, that should be another interesting experience.
A slideshow of a few pubs: