I returned to Ottawa last week after spending 5 days in Ireland. I didn't visit this country the last time I was in Europe, so I was happy to experience this part of the continent as well.
I spent 4 days in Galway where I stayed in Ashton Castle. It was an old building that had since been renovated with a restaurant below and apartments above. It was beautiful.
I did some sightseeing, but the typical Galway weather is no myth. It rained most of my days there, not making for the greatest conditions.
I came across a historic site called the Hall of the Red Earl. In 1997, a renovation was taking place on a building, where the remains of a medieval hall from the 13th century was discovered. The city immediately changed their construction plans to build around and preserve the remains.
The pubs, in Galway were very warm and welcoming. I found them to be a bit more intimate than the pubs in Ottawa. Many of them had people packed into small rooms, with acoustic bands playing in the corner.
It didn't take long for me to notice that the Irish love their beer, especially Guinness, which is originally Irish. I saw many piles of empty kegs like this outside of pubs.
I did some street performing, but in Galway I found it was a bit more difficult to get an audience compared to the other cities I've visited in Europe. I'm guessing it's because of the smaller population. However, I still had some good reactions.
One thing that I love about traveling in Europe is that I get to see many cultural specific performances. Here, a tap dancer and a drummer playing a cajun box drum are performing in the streets of Galway.
I was surprised to find a magic store in one of the malls. This store was a bit more for children, with games and puzzles, but also had a few good tricks in there too.
Next stop was Dublin. This was an enjoyable train ride from one coast of Ireland to the other.
Street performing in Dublin was awesome. The population here is much greater than Galway, making it easier to build the perfect audience. Here's a picture of me performing on Grafton Street. Both the tips and reactions here were great.
On my last night in Dublin I went to a lively pub called The Temple Bar. Again, it was packed with people singing along to live Irish music. I figured it was appropriate to make my last beer in Dublin a Guinness.
I'm now back in Ottawa where I have a very busy holiday season approaching. I think there is a good chance that my traveling adventures will continue in the new year. Until then, happy holidays!