Galway Spring Sunday Musings

Charlie Byrne's Bookshop

The magic of a day in a place like Galway can keep your spirits up even in the most dreich of spring days. I’m stuck in PDX waiting to get back to a magic city like Galway, I need to get back out of the American flatness that seems to be happening this spring and I am being called to the verdant lands in the west of Ireland.

So what’s on in Galway this week? There is rain in the forecast for the week with Saturday being filed with Thunder and Lightening. Love a great thundershower? Some do. Not a great way to get the spring going, but you can always walk in the rain. People ask me why I go to places like Ireland with all the rain, shouldn’t you seek hot climes. I tell them I am used to it. I live in the Pacific Northwest and we live in a parallel world to Ireland and the UK weather wise. But when we get heat waves, we get them. Traveling to a place like Ireland and experiencing it’s people and places in all weather is still exciting to me. And in this case it is definitely the grass is greener.

So walking the parks with a brelly or hood up will mean a magical walk in the rain. Start your day with coffee or breakfast at some of the great eateries. Coffee or tea is first on the walk. Fun, eclectic Coffeewerk + Press in Quay Street has a soft, cozy muzzy morning feel to it. However, since much of the seating is outside and it’s raining you may want to get mobile with the brew, or go to a large shop with space to duck out of the rain. Try Urban Grind in William street. Serves up a brew that is changing as new beans varieties become available, pricing ranges in 2.70 to 3.00 ranges. For more of a sit down meal check out Ard Bia, it’s a brunch to dinner cafe in the Spanish Arches area. They serve pancakes, French toast and a host of other yummy foods in a great atmosphere. They also have traditional Irish fare and international dishes. There are some great murals in the neighborhood. So you can start an art walk after you get out.

Since it will be raining so much, checking out indoor activities is the key for ducking out in between the rains. Bookstores are always a fabulous rainy day adventure, because you need a book for reading later with your tea. Check out Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, a massive rambling place with new, bargain, used and anything in between books. Can’t find your book for the stack by your bed there, take a peruse in Kenny’s Books. Always on the hunt for used books in Galway or Ireland,

It’s afternoon and may rain still. Keep walking the streets and grab some lunch. Get your organic on at Kai Cafe and  Restaurant with great textured stone walls and warmth. Dry out a bit and check out the local exhibits or cinemas you could go to, just try not to fall asleep. There is the IMC Cinema Galway and the EYE Cinema for major releases, but for independent film fun, check out the Galway Film Centre and see what independent makers are doing.

Weather really got you down or just need to laugh about it? Go to a comedy show. On May 16 you can catch The Róisín Dubh Comedy Showcase every tuesday at Róisín Dubh.

But really if you can, keep walking and talking in this lovely town. Artwalks and neighborhood exploration in the thing to get you out and enjoying the spring. It may rain but the foliage is busting out and well work the dampening.

For more ideas about this week or the next, visit:


Photo Tom Macbeth

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