June 5 and June 6
Our next destination after Killarney was Galway. Galway is a comparatively busy sea town. Initially our plan was to stay two nights in Galway. There is a famous Irish show called “Strum on the Trad” shown in Galway. We were keen to see this show as it gives an insight to Irish culture and dancing. We found the tickets were available only for the Sunday show and according to our plans, we stay there on Wednesday, Thursday. We decided to spend only one night in Galway, that is Wednesday. Then we go to Sligo on Thursday, spend Friday and Saturday in Belfast and then come back to Galway again on Sunday. We were wondering whether it was worth making all these changes and travel back and forth just to see this show. We will be writing about our actual experience after attending this show.
Normally you can cover the distance from Killarney to Galway within three hours. We decided to take the more difficult and time consuming route via Cliffs on Moher.
This is a very scenic route and Cliffs of Moher is one of the major tourist attractions in Ireland. Each year, more than one million tourists visit this place. In Ireland, normally this time of the year, the average temperature is 14 to 18c. Strangely the weather has changed and the average temperature was 22C. When we arrived at Cliffs of Moher, we found a cloudless sky, a perfect Summer day.
The Cliffs of Moher is a naturally formed range of cliffs sharply dropping into the sea. At their highest point, they measure 214 metres high and they stretch along the coast for a length of eight kilometres. It has become one of the major tourist attractions in Ireland and this place is visited by more than one million visitors a year from all over the world. They have been used in many films and the latest was “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” produced in 2009.
The name Moher means a ruined castle. They believe there was a castle built on this location though there are no visible ruins. There is a tower called O’Brien’s Tower where the castle existed. The tower was built on the cliffs in 1835 by local landlord Sir Cornellius O'Brien as an observation tower for the hundreds of Victorian tourists that frequented the cliffs at the time.
On a clear day the view can extend as far as Loop Head at the southern tip of Clare and beyond to the mountains of Kerry. Looking north from O'Brien's Tower on clear days, the Twelve Bens in Connemara beyond Galway Bay can be seen, and typically the Aran Islands to the west.
We spent some time at the cliffs and drove along a coastal route to Galway.
Our hotel in Galway Park hotel was in the middle of the city. It took a long time for us to come in to the city due to city traffic and we found the hotel has very limited parking. Luckily we found a vacant slot. We decided to keep the car without moving till we leave the next day. If we take it out, we may have to sacrifice our slot and park on a side road which is not a good option.
The hotel was very nice and the room was of a very high standard. It was late when we arrived at the hotel and we decided to have out dinner in the hotel. We have eaten too many things in the evening and we were not hungry. Anyway the hotel restaurant looked very good and the menu was attractive. We decided to have dinner at the hotel.
I ordered a grilled Salmon fillet with vegetables and Mala ordered something called a Chicken Maryland. In Australia we understand Chicken Merryland as a portion containing chicken leg and thigh. What the serving girl brought was something totally different. It was part of a chicken breast crumbed and fried. Mala called her to find whether they got the order right. She normally prefers chicken thigh and leg. Yes, in UK, they serve a portion of the chicken breast and that is called Chicken Maryland. We learned something new from that experience.