Friday April 1st-  Shannon to Galway

Bill had “driven” the first few roundabouts several times in advance on Google Maps street view, figuring it was a dangerous road, with so many new-comers to the “Right-side, Wrong-side” driving.  It wasn’t too bad, but it also wasn’t too busy.  We were able to stay on fairly major roads (M-class – divided highway) about half way to Galway.  So for a while the only thing to adjust to was sitting on the “wrong” side of the car.  Closer to Galway the roads were more narrow and the “wrong” side of the road required more concentration.

In Ireland the speed limits are set by the “class” of road – M-series gets 120 Km/Hr, N-series 100 Km/Hr, R-series 80 Km/Hr.  This is the limit whether it is even humanly possible to keep a vehicle on the road at those speeds and some particular spot.  Bill realized the speed limits should be considered a guideline and not a goal.  He quit trying to maintain the limit at all points and backed off where the curves were ugly.  A rough first few days for passengers Patti Sue & Joe. 

Out the window of our room in the Petra House B&B we could see onto the sports field (and greyhound stadium) next to us.

Patti Sue took a nap and Joe and Bill reconnoitered (with a map and suggestions from the owner of the B&B).  Galway has a pedestrian-only section that was PACKED Friday noon, as well as into the evening.

Before we left, Jack Stewart had told Bill of the Quays (pronounced “keys”) Pub which he had frequented during his work visits to Galway.  We didn’t go in, as we were still in “Tourist Trap defense” mode and figured too many places would rip us off and their menu was a tad high compared to some others (maybe Jack was on an expense account during his visits, but we weren’t).  But we took a picture of Bill in front of it.

We rousted Patti Sue - about a ½ mile walk back to the B&B – and went back into Galway.  We studied and stressed over where to eat and finally ate lunch at a sandwich place just before the pedestrian area (see “Tourist Trap defense mode” above).  No pictures were taken.  We had fish and chips (possibly the only time of the entire vacation – they were fine, we just aren’t much for breaded fish).

We went to “Tis Coili” Pub and had our first pints – Guinness & Heineken.  Right behind the Pub was a Church, St. Nicholas Church of Ireland.  We went over and took some photos inside.  The church is very old with many stories inside.  Free, we just walked in and there were pamphlets.

We went back to the B&B and took naps and then went to the Rugby match.  The local boys of Connaught took on the Edinburgh guys.  The B&B guy had called them “The Russians”.  We didn’t realize it was Edinburgh until we bought the tickets.  It was pretty expensive for a local game – 55 Euros total for the three of us.  But it was fun.  It started raining during the match but they played on – we were under an overhang and somewhat out of the rain.  The local team Connaught won.

We went back to the B&B (a mercifully-short ½ block walk) and got our first night’s sleep.  Very good. 

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