Saturday, September 09, 2006


I fell asleep on the bus to Galway. When I disembarked, it was pouring rain and dark. I managed to find the hostel without too much trouble, but I was cold and wet, teeth chattering. My boots, which had gotten soaked on the first day in Ennis and were on their way to drying, tied to the outside of my backpack, got soaked again. The hostel was hot, and I slept fitfully. But the next day, my towel and shoes were dry!

Had a very frustrating time trying to call my credit card company collect. Couldn't do it from a pay phone. Walked to the water to decompress. A black dog initiated a game of fetch with me, first with a rock, then with a bottle! Very funny. He made me laugh and I felt a lot better.

We were blessed with a beautiful day. I took the self-guided walking tour...otherwise known as wandering and getting lost! Walked along the bay, by the commercial/industrial area. There were several individuals fishing, too. Talked to the fishermen. Henry, originally from Dublin, and I talked a long time. When I remarked that he had no bucket, he said, "I've got a bag in me pocket." There were many little fish swimming near the surface, the water was teeming with them. Sometimes a big fish (mackerel) would appear, hunting, and scatter the little fish, who seemed to move with one mind.

River walk
St. Nicholas Cathedral. There was some kind of service going on in a side chapel. Layers of voices, murmuring. The priest changing from high to low notes--eerie. Then the parishoners repeating again and again, "Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and in the hour of our death." Echoing, haunting cocophany.

St. Nicholas Collegiate Church. If memory serves, this church dates back to the 13th century. It smelled old, like cool stone. The accoustics were beautiful. Hummed a few bars of Gaudete. No picutes I could take of the interior could convey the grandeur. I'm not religious, but I see why they built the churches the way they did--they inspire reverence.
St. Nicholas Collegiate Church

I was ready to sleep in my own room, ready to splurge on a B&B. Checked into Petra's B&B on College Rd. Lovely oasis. After a brief rest and a nice chat with Joan, one of the proprieters of the B&B (she also loves animals and has a dog and a cat), I ventured out in search of music and craic (pron. "crack", means fun, good conversation). Ballad-type music playing in Monroe's. Had a pint of cider and wrote postcards at the bar. Met Sean, a fluent Irish speaker from Co. Mayo. He wrote (I didn't have to ask, he just offered) my surname in Irish. He is an organizer/campaigner for a political party related to (?) Sinn Fein.

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