Thursday, June 26, 2014

Exploring Galway, Part 1

If so far it seems like all we do here in Galway is eat delicious breakfasts and go to class, I understand why it might seem like that. And, honestly, that would be a pretty sweet life. But we do more than that here in Galway, like exploring the city and discovering Galway culture. Here are a couple snapshots (literary) and snapshots (literal) to give you an idea of what we've been up to.

The city of Galway itself is more like a town, especially to us 'Muricans who are used to the word "city" meaning New York or even DC. It's really not very big, with a population of around 75,000, and it only takes about twenty minutes to walk from one end to the other (the short way, probably double or longer the long way). The River Corrib runs through the center of the city, and canals spring off from the sides, irrigating the area around the city and controlling the water flow, which changes dramatically with Galway's frequent rains. Here are some pictures, courtesy of Sarah.


Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas


The Eglington canal.


Houses on the canal.


Flowers on the canal.


Galway has a surprisingly vibrant graffiti culture.


Shop Street.


Low tide by the Bay.


Beach art.

***

One of the first things we did in Galway was locate the grocery store and go to buy some food. The grocery store everyone told us about was about a thirty-minute walk from where we were staying in Corrib Village. We set off along the road , across the river, to a small shopping center in a suburb of Galway (to the extent that Galway has suburbs. Wikipedia says that of the 75,000+ people living in Galway, 315 live in the suburbs of Galway). Along the way, we saw some cool stuff.

A ruin on the way to the grocery store. Just chillin' there on the side of the road. The steel support beams in the picture appear to have been added later to keep the shell from collapsing.

The River Corrib, with a view of the University on the other side of the river.

Crossing the canal.

In the grocery store, everything was stacked in low aisles. Almost everything that could be fresh was fresh, and everything was cheaper. Apples, for reference, cost 7 pence each (about 10 cents). We also found this gem:


That's right, folks. People in America eat hot dogs out of cans. All the time.

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One of my favorite things we've done here so far is go to the Little Cinema at Kelly's Bar. On Tuesday night, we went to a little venue with a big attic, along with the rest of the William and Mary students in the program, for an event called "the Little Cinema". It's a monthly "film festival" for independent filmmakers in Galway, who can sign up to have their short films shown at the events. Last night, we saw nine short films, ranging from avant-garde French films to goofy horror sketches. Apparently, Galway has a thriving indie film community, and we got a brief look inside last night.

***

So that's a little taste of what we've done so far. And we'll do a lot more. Stay tuned.

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