I was keen to take Lalit away for a few days before he starts school next week. I work and he’s in full time childcare and I had this idea that we just needed a few days away from all of that – to have some time for us both to be on holiday. No work, no nursery, no laundry, no cooking, tidying, haring around etc etc etc. I was quite anxious however. Would it be lonely with just the two of us? Being a single parent family, we’ve usually tagged along with other friends’ and family’s plans as for some reason I have been almost afraid about going away as a twosome….
I decided to bite the bullet and booked four nights in a hotel in Galway – somewhere neither of us had been before. It was a city that we could discover together but not a million miles from home .. just in case…..
Well – it turned out to be one of the most special times we’ve shared together. I don’t think I’ve heard him laugh as much – ever! Galway was a brilliant destination and here are a few of the highlights of our stay
“A walk through the gardens is a journey through the cycle of the year. Each garden represents one of the Celtic Festivals Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtine and Lughnasa, that marked the beginning of each season. The gardens reflect the landscape of the West of Ireland and are managed to encourage biodiversity”.
We arrived half an hour before closing time and the admission fee was waived and we were told to take our time and to jump over the gate when we were finished if the staff had gone. This typified the vibe of the whole place. I cannot describe how beautiful this place is and what an incredibly peaceful atmosphere surrounds the gardens.
Aswell as the gardens, meadows and woodland abound and even a small loch, nature trail and huge sundial which tells the date as well as the time.
I loved this tree. Visitors were encouraged to pin their wishes to it and there were a few really touching wishes that made me want to know so much more about the authors…
My happy boy.
After a refreshing walk along the promenade in Salthill, we came to the Galway Atlantaquaria – Ireland’s largest aquarium. I’ve not been to an Aquarium before so maybe this is par for the course but WE COULD TOUCH THE FISH! Not all of them but a good few of them! I’m clearly not the target deomographic but I was fairly excited by this. Did you know that Rays feel like sandpaper and have little eyes and a mouth on their underside?? I loved this never mind the four year old… Again the staff were super friendly and helpful and let us feed the fish and enthusiastically answered all our questions. We loved it.
We had planned to visit the museum but being a Monday it was closed. We settled for delicious cakes, coffee and lemonade in the cafe next door – worth a visit. As we were leaving we happened upon some people dressed in costumes. I remarked to them that it looked like they were up to something exciting and was informed that they were just about to start a “Unique theatrical walking tour of Galway’s Latin Quarter”. It was a glorious sunny afternoon and we were fully embracing being tourists so I handed over my 10 euro (under 14s were free) and we joined the gang. We were given a stick (to bang if we saw a rabid dog and shout something I can’t remember in Irish!) and told which clan we belonged to (I was Martin and Lalit was Blake) and went on a journey back in time through medieval Galway. The actors played various characters from Galway’s past and made us chortle and laugh out loud as they educated us about the history of the City. They guided us around the streets and used the city as their living, breathing stage as they appeared from upstairs windows, inside pubs and generally popped up when we least expected it. We loved it.
In all, I was impressed by the friendliness of the Galway people and what a truly vibrant city it is. There is literally music on every corner. On our final night after a delicious meal and some chilli & chocolate ice-cream made in County Clare, Lalit suggested we go for a walk through the city. As he ran through the streets, twirling around crying out, “I love it, I love it, I love it!” over and over again, I felt so happy. Why had I been scared for the two of us to go away on our own? We were truly having a wonderful time. This trip was special for both of us and for that I will always have a soft spot for the city of Galway where we were made to feel so welcome.