My excuse? Ireland almost froze me.

Obviously the timely documentation of Irish adventure was inevitably going to falter at some point. Sorry to prick you with that sharp end for an unacceptable period of days, yet hopefully by acknowledging my recent inconsistency, we can follow a road paved in my deepest and most sincere apologies for those closely following what now have been termed suspenseful ‘episodes’ of my life abroad.

To put a positive spin on this dampened introduction, the pictures have been edited, the memories are in tact, and I sit here sipping a warm cup of Lyons Gold Blend tea with several splashes of Hazelnut milk. Aka, I have updates for you all.

Recently one of the several words inquired about by the curious minded Vicky, my Greek flatmate, was spontaneous. Contextually directed toward the spur of the moment decision made by four members of Robin 59, the use was definitely holding up to its definition. After a taxing week of modules, homework, and lack of slumber, we sat together in our family room simply enjoying each other’s silent company. Shattering the mood of the room however, Yves opened with the proposal of spending the next day, Sunday, in Galway. Since arriving in this polar bear residence typically termed Ireland, this city has been featured in several conversations expressing its magnificent contribution to the isle.

“Galway is the the best city of Ireland; you must go!”

“Galway. Wow, just go.”

“You haven’t been yet?!”

After an hour long debate about logistical aspects of the possible day outing, we gleefully went to bed with our Bus tickets purchased. Little did I know this particular Sunday would entail a frozen Annie.

Since venturing to Limerick, the impressively biting winds have lessened, and the air doesn’t seem to tie an icy blanket around your system…to an extent. Let’s be clear: it’s still flippin’ cold, but this increase in temperature certainly contributed to our optimistic outfitting when traveling to Galway. Clad only in a long sleeve blouse, light sweater, and ‘leather jacket’, of course the one time I leave my double-lined Marmot jacket at home, Ireland quickly targets the struggling Californian as a cruelly performed joke. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to say, “Well the jokes on you Ireland!…” Initiate self-pity…

Despite the frigid nature of this coastal city, Galway was especially vacant on Sunday morning leaving ample imagination for our tourist minds. With an entire main district lacking the lively population of the previous evening, our group strolled along the cobblestones taking note of its history + shops.

After about an hour and a half sleeping with a gaping mouth, our team arrived!

After about an hour and a half sleeping with a gaping mouth, our team arrived!

Seeing that this event definitely is classified as being spontaneous, I was a bit apprehensive our visit wouldn’t be as meaningful seeing that no designated tour guide had been appointed. However, to my satisfied surprise, Yves had taken the time to outline various sights the previous evening while also providing energetic commentary and facts for our delight. That’d a boy!

First Stop? Eyre Square. A large perimeter featuring Ireland’s iconic green grass, as well as the fountain, one of the more modern additions to Galway’s artistic and architectural heritage. As the backdrop to our eventual modeling contract, the copper sails represent the Galway Hooker, a traditional fishing boat, important to the port, and used as a symbol for the county of Galway appearing in the coat of arms[emphasizing the maritime influence on the community].

Interpretive modeling.

Interpretive modeling.

So Vogue should be knocking on our resident door any minute.

So Vogue should be knocking on our resident door any minute.

Adjacent to this sculpture was the The Browne doorway, originally the doorway to the Browne family mansion on Lower Abbeygate Street but was moved in 1905 to Eyre Square. I wouldn’t mind staying a few nights in such accommodations. Whose unopposed to time travel?

Impressive even from a tall 5'11"er like myself.

Impressive even from a tall 5’11″er like myself.

After oo-ing and aw-ing at these sights, our group headed toward Grafton Street, apparently the ‘it’ strand of pub crawls galore, but quite dead when we entered. While heavily sprinkled with mainstream department stores, and souvenir stops, we also noted the quaint colors and homely exterior of various restaurants and mom-and-pop  shops. I should mention at this point, my mind was picturing a sweltering expanse of grainy desert for my entire body could have been mistaken for a snowball. Let’s face it, I was miserable, yet good ole American culture taught me if a camera is present, ‘Smile and say cheese!’   No sightings of hardship would be permissible; in good spirits, Galway’s coastal winds would not rain on my parade[metaphorically because it always rains in Ireland].

One of the many catherdrals I have stumbled across...interior photos later in this post.

One of the many catherdrals I have stumbled across…interior photos later in this post.

"Lynch's

"Be yourself; every one else is already taken." My all time favorite quote spoken by the dapper Oscar Wilde, I was privileged to become quite close with him & his brother.

“Be yourself; every one else is already taken.” My all time favorite quote spoken by the dapper Oscar Wilde, I was privileged to become quite close with him & his brother.

 

Lynch's Castle, located on the corner of Abbeygate Street and Shop Street, fuses the past of Ireland with its modern ties. Town castles were once popular homes for wealthy merchants in 15th and 16th century Ireland and Lynch's Castle dates back to this time. Over the years the castle has been modified, even though the original structure remains intact and beautifully preserved. It is particularly notable for the quality of stone carving on the exterior which features the Lynch coat of arms and a number of decorative windows.The building is now occupied by AIB Bank and features a mini-museum at the front which is open during normal banking hours.
[galway.net]

Lynch’s Castle, located on the corner of Abbeygate Street and Shop Street, fuses the past of Ireland with its modern ties. Town castles were once popular homes for wealthy merchants in 15th and 16th century Ireland and Lynch’s Castle dates back to this time. Over the years the castle has been modified, even though the original structure remains intact and beautifully preserved. It is particularly notable for the quality of stone carving on the exterior which features the Lynch coat of arms and a number of decorative windows.
The building is now occupied by AIB Bank and features a mini-museum at the front which is open during normal banking hours.
[galway.net]

Typical shopaholic, Sofia couldn't be more obsessed with one of Ireland's infamous upscale department stores, Brown Thomas.
Typical shopaholic, Sofia couldn’t be more obsessed with one of Ireland’s infamous upscale department stores, Brown Thomas.
Representing my membership to Alpha Gamma Delta, a squirrel sighting meant throwing up the paws!

Representing my membership to Alpha Gamma Delta, a squirrel sighting meant throwing up the paws!

In line with my new obsession for doors, this one was painted just for me: Annie Green :)

In line with my new obsession for doors, this one was painted just for me: Annie Green 🙂

One of the restaurants I found to be pleasant to look at.

One of the restaurants I found to be pleasant to look at.

Reluctantly heading further into the gusty sea water winds, my frozen knees followed the others toward an open view of the River Corrib extending out toward a fogged horizon. Yves was set on walking past the bobbing harbored boats to the edge of the angsty waves, but with four women outnumbering his decision, we snapped a few photos, [one exception to my rule showcasing our sheer suffering] and luckily stumbled upon an open cafe.

Bundling myself up as best as I could, I still appreciated the cutesy houses bordering the waters.

Bundling myself up as best as I could, I still appreciated the cutesy houses bordering the waters.

The Spanish Arch neighbored this white building feasting on the eerie fogs.

The Spanish Arch neighbored this white building feasting on the eerie fogs.

Yves reviewing our agenda on his iPad...such a Swiss man.

Yves reviewing our agenda on his iPad…such a Swiss man.

Pure Vida may as well have been renamed ‘Annie’s Salvation Sanctuary’ right on the spot. It’s got a nice alliterative ring to it wouldn’t you say? Certainly, you reply, but what made it so special? A barista with the dashing wise ora of a Richard Gere type welcomed us into the cozy cafe, genuinely engaging in conversation as he manufactured our various drinks. As an avid tea drinker[they don’t call me Annie Green Tea for nothing], their surplus of FairTrade teas ranged in exciting flavors instantly brightening our rather darkened day.

Chocolate Chai Rooibos Tea. Uh, yes please?! Sadly I didn’t snap a photo for its subtle taste of cocoa dancing with hints of soft  ginger, cardamon, & cinnamon couldn’t be accurately captured in a photo, I present to you Vicky’s choosing: A Hot Chocolate with mini Marsh mellows and chocolate swirl.

Yes, I'm an instagrammer. Follow me at anniegreenyo

Yes, I’m an instagrammer. Follow me at
anniegreenyo

Not sure if it was the tea or the pure heat emanating from the cup that stole my heart.

Not sure if it was the tea or the pure heat emanating from the cup that stole my heart.

After departing from a spot of warm air, we continued our journey in the direction of Ireland’s National University. Walking along the river canal, we again were intrigued by the architectural beauty of the city. Vintage lampposts,  stone encapsulated waters, and naturally dispersed greenery slightly distracted from the crisp air, but only slightly. Again, still smiling for the benefit of you, my much appreciated reader!

Imagining the warm comforting arms of my Irish prince, I was taken away for a moment.

Imagining the warm comforting arms of my Irish prince, I was taken away for a moment.

Could Russell Crowe be in these waters?

Could Russell Crowe be in these waters?

Yet another glimpse of their distinct buildings.

Yet another glimpse of their distinct buildings.

If only this referenced the weather...

If only this referenced the weather…

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I wasn't about to dip my feet in these waters...

I wasn’t about to dip my feet in these waters…

I definitely thought at first glance this read, "McSwaggin's" I got a bit excited.

I definitely thought at first glance this read, “McSwaggin’s” I got a bit excited.

After the short walk along the river, we had arrived Ireland’s National University featuring several aged buildings, and meticulously gardened fields. As any tourist would do, the iPhone’s were retrieved yet again to capture the sights. If Vogue doesn’t call us, I think the University will for our dashing good looks, and obvious charm, perfect for applicants considering their enrollment at this fine Institute.

On the model: all her own pieces.

On the model: all her own pieces.

Are we at a Castle or the School?

Are we at a Castle or the School?

We know where we are finally!

We know where we are finally!

Keeping me warm! :)

Keeping me warm! 🙂

My absolute favorite photo. From left: Chloe, Sofia, Myself, Vicky, and Yves sprawled on top.My absolute favorite photo. From left: Chloe, Sofia, Myself, Vicky, and Yves sprawled on top.

From the University, we realized the Cathedral’s Sunday mass would have ended and that our presence would be allowed. Having seen a few glimpses of the remarkable church, we were excited to see what lied within.

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Impressive domed roof, and sectioned seating again made this stop unforgettable.

At this point in the day, our rumbling stomachs could be heard over the roaring waters surrounding Galway. Yves and Chloe had insisted we dine at an eatery apparently known for their assortment of Fish & Chips varieties, but not open to the public until 2:00pm. The arms of the clock were pointing close to two signifying less torture from the cold, and most importantly food for our ravenous bodies. When we arrived, we still had to shelter in the doorway for about ten minutes causing my sincere empathy for those who are homeless. You’re cold, you’re hungry, and there is nothing you can do to relinquish these tortures.

The raved about eatery featuring the best of Fish & Chips.

The raved about eatery featuring the best of Fish & Chips.

Our huddled group waiting for FOOD.

Our huddled group waiting for FOOD.

As one who simply is not a fan of Fish & Chips, I was satisfied to consume anything at this point. Distinctively different from other restaurants specializing in this dish, McDonagh’s allows customers to choose from an assortment of fish meaning I could have Salmon basked in the fried batter exterior while also opting out chips for their mushy peas.[Yes they call them mushy peas…quite the appetizing name huh?] And that’s what I did.

Enjoying our meal in the drafty, yet slightly warmer restaurant.

Enjoying our meal in the drafty, yet slightly warmer restaurant.

After fulfilling my bodies dire wish for food, our group’s level of energy was inevitably elevated ironically when the locals and tourists alike were venturing outside their homes to join us.

I will say Sofia was the most excited of all of us: can you guess what was next on the agenda?

Shopppppppppping.

From Galway itself, I couldn't resist buying a pinky ring.

From Galway itself, I couldn’t resist buying a pinky ring.

claddaugh ring

The Claddagh ring (Irishfáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional Irish ring representing love[the heart], loyalty[the crown] and friendship (hands) The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old city walls of Galway, now part of Galway City. The ring as we know it was first produced in the 17th century. (Wikipedia for the win.)

We ventured into a few of Ireland’s well known clothing shops, particularly Topshop which really excited Yves and Sofia…enough to spend 170 euro. But hey, whose counting the price tag when you look fashionable?

To finish up our day trip in Galway, we spotted a popular Cafe on the corner featuring seats in the sun[eventually coming out to say hello in grand fashion], and an Americano for my delight. Bidding Galway farewell with this extra boost of caffeine, our group settled into the packed bus for Limerick; for a spur of the moment outing, I’d say the days in front of us were off to a good start. All and all, we agreed our presence would again be had when nightlife was on the agenda…the question still remains however, when the return of Robin 59 will occur. Until next time…

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Annie Green Tea.

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