Notes from Ireland: Road to Galway

This is the day we traveled to Galway for the International Quilt Festival of Ireland. We visited the Cliffs of Moher along the way and it was a stunning experience. When we got there it was raining heavily in a gale force wind. Many of our group ran straight into the visitor center, but several of us decided to give the potties and coffee shop a temporary pass and climb along the headlands (on a safe path of stairs and terraces) to the tower nearest to us and then we climbed up tiny, tightly-circular staircases to the top of the tower and stood there like figureheads plowing into the waves of wind and rain. It was unforgettable.

Photo 15 1 Notes from Ireland: Road to GalwayThis is a close-up photo of one of the steps. I just love the basalt formation in the rock… it reminds me of crazy piecing!

We finally came back to the visitor center which is built into the hillside and which was a huge surprise. It has the most amazing exhibit explaining the history of the area and the cliffs themselves. It’s just remarkable, especially the Imax-like video of the cliffs, both above and below water, through the eyes of a seabird.

We drove on to Galway, got to our hotel, changed clothes, and went down to the lobby to drink champagne before the Grand Reception. We’d been there a few minutes when a cry went up because someone spotted a piper in a kilt descending in the glass elevator. It was pretty darned entertaining to see a slew of women getting as close as they could to the elevator enclosure to have a view (so to speak). However, the piper spotted them and took measures to guard his modesty. I laughed out loud. The piper exited the elevator, walked to the rear of the room, and started playing the pipes. He circled the room at full volume and then led us all to the reception hall. Too bad I forgot my camera!!

The entertainment was fabulous. Really, really fabulous. World champions of Irish dancing and music performed for over an hour and knocked our socks off. One man had a voice like I’ve seldom heard… it was so perfect, so controlled, and so moving. And this tiny little Irish woman, beautiful, about 26 or so, played all of the native percussion instruments in a way that made me want to stand up and dance in the aisles. It was awesome!

Now I’m in our room, drinking tea and chomping on clove candy…tomorrow it’s on to the Festival!

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3 Responses to Notes from Ireland: Road to Galway

  1. Dorothy Ragland says:

    I’m envious! I do appreciate the posting so I can live vicariously.

  2. My husband and I also climbed the cliffs in April, to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Since I am a stroke survisor, I was impressed by my climb! I thought someone should have given me a gold star!

  3. marianne grosso says:

    My husband and I climbed the path Back when we were at the cliffs, September, 1990. There wasn’t any coffee shop or bathrooms at that time….But what a beautiful view.. I saw so many sea birds and Frank (husband ) saw a puffin…I didn’t but being there was so much to see and so special I really did not care. Have a grand time and have a smith-wicks beer for me. Marianne

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