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Galway Bay
Treasures of Ireland:
Galway Bay
(Dispatch #15)

Story and photos by Tom Weber

Galway Bay

traddling the border between counties Clare and Galway in the province of Connacht, Galway Bay is a 50 km X 30 km (30 mi X 18 mi) inlet brimming with oyster and mussel beds and surrounded by layer upon layer of spectacular scenery. Like Kinvara, a colorful seaport village with, purportedly, the most photographed castle on the Emerald Isle, Dunguaire.

Dunguaire Castle at Lake Kinvara

street sign at Galway City

Normally an obligatory photo-op stop for tour operators, our motor coach, with the intrepid "band of merry media" aboard – 18 travel writers and photographers invited by Insight Vacations to sample a portion of its Treasures of Ireland itinerary – just zips by the iconic 16th century tower-house and past small fishing boats and colorful cottages, as Eugene, aka The Quiet Man, puts pedal-to-the-metal around the bay and guns it to our next port of call: Galway City.

Steeped in history – her roots go back to the early 12th century – Galway is a prosperous bohemian, artsy cosmopolitan city. Widely considered the Emerald Isle's cultural heart, Galway, in a word, is COOL.

How come?

For openers, the sixth most populous city in Ireland is considered one of the "sexiest cities in the world," one of the "great cities of the world," one of the "best travel destinations in the world," and, the foam atop a pint of Guinness, the "friendliest city in the world." The latter according to readers of Travel + Leisure.

Admired for her vibrant lifestyle, colorful storefronts and pubs, exceptional dining and overall festive nature, Galway plays host to a burgeoning calendar of organized events that attracts visitors from around the globe.

oyster

Designated a UNESCO City of Film, she hosts the annual Galway Film Fleadh, the International Arts Festival and the Tulca Festival of Visual Arts. There's also the International Mussel and Oyster festivals, and the Gathering of the Boats festival, featuring 100+ uniquely Irish craft: the Galway Hookers.

another view of Galway Bay

Why, there's even the Dip in the Nip, the first-ever skinny dip for charity.

And, that's just the tip of the iceberg for the city considered by her peers to be the "most Irish" of all.

One of the most scenic and lyrical spots in all of Ireland, Galway Bay was immortalized in the eponymous song penned by Dr. Arthur Colahan and turned into an international hit by Bing Crosby.

Galway Bay sunset picture with lyrics from a song about Galway Bay written by Dr. Arthur Colahan

Pure melancholy for Irish immigrants who longed to return to their homeland after settling in America, Galway Bay seems like the perfect tune to quietly bring the curtain down on our short stay in Galway City along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Insight Vacations brochure

For complete information on Insight's 100+ premium and luxury-escorted journeys around Europe, including the Treasures of Ireland itinerary, just click HERE, or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.

Pardon the cliché, but as the sun slowly sinks in the west our man Eugene is at it again, making fast tracks for today's final destination: Ashford Castle. If we don't shake a leg, a piper in full regalia, waiting patiently at the front gate, just might let the air out of his bagpipes.

Related Articles:
The Burren; The Cliffs of Moher; Remembering the Great Famine; Along the Banks of the River Shannon; The Dingle Peninsula; Grazing on The 19th Green




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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

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Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

* * * *

Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: http://www.compagniadeicammini.it/en/. Thanks for stopping by and commenting..

Tom

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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal



Ed Boitano's travel blog/review
Journey to the Bottom of the Globe: Exploring the White Continent of Antarctica

nguins on  shore as writer's cruise ship passes by, Antarctica
As a travel journalist I am constantly asked what are some of my favorite travel experiences. The list is endless. But there is one destination that seems to raise the most eyebrows. That destination is a cruise to Antarctica. Sadly, that cruise line I was on is no more, but today there is a plethora of cruise lines that offer similar packages. Here's a look back at my Antarctica cruise.

Go There

Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Discovering Art, Culture and Cuisine in Lancaster

Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, Lancaster

Lancaster has always been one of those cities that I pass through on the way to some other destination. But last week was different. I finally took the time to explore the place and wow, was I surprised! I discovered a downtown full of charm, culture, cuisine and community spirit. My recent getaway began when a friend and I drove about 60 miles north of Los Angeles toward the Mojave Desert and checked into the Towneplace Suites Lancaster.

Go There

John Clayton's travel blog/review
Would You Believe She Can Carry 800 (Yes, 800!) People!

Emirates Airbus A-380
As she came around the corner we could not believe how big she was. Massive, and yet incredibly beautiful – almost elegant in fact. Her lines were so symmetrical she seemed to blend into a classic example of astonishing good looks. The other fact that amazed all of us was how quiet she was. We felt sure that with the obvious overwhelming power she evidenced, she'd be extra loud. It's a cliché, but she was as quiet as a church mouse – or "as quiet as dreaming trees."

go there

Skip Kaltenheuser's travel article
Bring Carnival Redemption to Washington. Please.

a float of Trump in Nice, France

An American expat pal in Hong Kong sent me a picture in the South China Morning Post of Jeff Sessions swearing in under oath. My friend asked, “Are we really to become the laughing stock of the planet?” My favorite social barometer, carnival across different cultures, gives us the edge. Last week, Basel, Switzerland completed Fasnacht, a carnival starting at 4 AM the Monday after Ash Wednesday.

Go There

Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Lake Charles’ Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras

dressed-up for the Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their children’s eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from last year’s Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already fed and are rubbing their stomachs.

go there

Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing as the Man who Lived There

Cedar Hill, Washington DC
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from the president during Black History Month – Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job... – it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC – surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself – would be a good place to start.

Go There


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