On Saturday, everyone boarded a city bus in Ballyvaughan at 9:30 in the morning, and headed for Galway, approximately 50 km away, for a day of shopping, exploration, and relaxation. Rain threatened but for most of the day it held off and we were able to enjoy the sights and sounds and food of the big city.
Galway is a very energetic place with a large pedestrian center making walking both safe and easy. Shops line the many connected squares of the city and people gather to watch the variety of street performers who sing, play instruments, make balloon animals, or sit as statues covered in silver make-up.
Perhaps the highlight of a visit to Galway on any given Saturday is the farmer’s market where fresh vegetables, breads, seafood, crafts of all types and clothing can be purchased.
Our students thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the city. They were also able to purchase gifts for folks back home or replenish art supplies needed back in the studio. Although the rain held off, it was still gray, cold and windy and almost everyone found a warm cozy pub for an hour or so to eat lunch and get warm.
We returned to Ballyvaughan at approximately 7 pm where most everyone looked forward to a hot shower and a hot meal at the end of a terrific day.
I am writing this on Sunday morning while you are all deep in sleep.
NEWS FLASH! THE SUN IS OUT!!!! We have come out of perpetual darkness.
Today is a day at the races. Horse lovers from all around County Clare and beyond will gather to race their prize animals at the newly revived Ballyvaughan pony races. I don’t know enough about the history of this event to report accurately, but I am told that this was an annual affair for years and years until fairly recently. It was brought back in 2010 with great success and it could be a fantastic afternoon for our students to share in the activities of the local community and to gather additional source material for their work. I will include the day’s events in the next blog entry with photographs so that you will be able to experience all of this along with us.
Tomorrow we will be taking a day long bus tour of the Burren, which will include stops at the Cliffs of Moher, Bridget’s Well, the Famine Memorial, Lisdoonvarna, and other attractions along the way.
Tuesday will be a busy workday and then it’s off to the Aran Islands on Wednesday and Thursday.
Enjoy your Sunday, think of us, and although we are very busy, we miss you.