Last week I visited a very old and dear friend, and marked the first of my ventures out of the UK, to Galway, Ireland. Exhausted from the bulk of our midterms and the first few weeks of my new job (!!!), I was in need of a break. For three days we wandered around the historic harbor city: Onni, me, and Aoife. Our parents were friends from before we were both born making her the first friend I ever made, and my oldest. Aoife attends the Galway University full-time, and has a large familial basis in the Galway area. She was able to provide us with a local's perspective to the city, and as Onni and I didn't really have any expectations tourism wise, we were thrilled to have Aoife share with us some of her favorite spots in the city for a long scenic walk, good food, shopping, and general cultural meanderings.
After spending our first day in the Hole in the Wall, a local pub where Aoife and her mates usually convene, day two was dedicated to getting some fresh air, so we took a long walk along the bay from the docks over to Salthill. As the usual, wind and rain coming off the sea hit us hard and by the time we arrived in Salthill we were soaked through. I found Ireland significantly wetter than Glasgow, although it might have just been proximity to the sea that gave this illusion. It has been awhile since I have been that close to the sea, and for Aoife and I most of our childhood together in San Francisco was spent on the shores of Crissy field and Baker beach, so this recreation, on some level, of a childhood sentiment was lovely. Seeing Aoife and Onni bond together over life as ex-pats, and other general post adolescent revelations was so great. I love when important people of your past intersect with important people of your present; the converging of worlds, old sentiments and new, proves how much time has passed, how much has changed and how much has stayed in the same in my life. Unfortunately most of the photos we took of each other were on our black and white Pentax for the photography course Onni and I are both taking at Glasgow School of Art. So having not developed those yet, most of the photos here are of walks around the city, our visit the the Galway Saturday market, and some of the delicious food we enjoyed together. Not pictured was our walk around Aoife's lovely university campus, and our venture to the Galway Cathedral, where we popped in for a quick visit to get warm, and ended up sitting and participating in the service, singing along for a few songs before going back to the market food trucks for lunch.
Aoife took us to a handful of her favorite places for food and drink in Galway, where we indulged in delicious food made, for the most part, with local Irish ingredients. Here are a few of the places we visited, and some information on what we choose, and ultimately what I recommend you get if you're ever in Galway and hungry. The above photos are from our brunch at Ard Bia at Nimmos on our second day.
Griffin's Bakery - historic bakery in center of the city. They serve all day food, we went for brunch and got dirty chai lattes, porridge, and a full Irish
Ard Bia at Nimmos - quirky cafe near the docks, for breakfast get the poppy seed pancakes with orange zest, marinated berries, and mascarpone cream or the all day avocado and eggs on sourdough toast with spinach, herb pesto, and toasted seeds
McCambridge's - restaurant, deli, and fine foods shop in central Galway, get the warm Goat’s Cheese Salad with roast sweet potato, caramelised red onion, cherry tomato & balsamic glaze