Back in Dublin now, the second of three arrivals I'll be making here as part of the most poorly planned trip ever. But who cares - I've already seen more Christmas markets than Starbucks, so totally worth it.
Merry Christmas from Claregalway, a place I did not know existed yesterday. But Cormie spotted there was a market at Claregalway Castle so away we went, about 20 minutes from Galway by bus.
Claregalway Castle. We didn't go into the tower because as part of the market there was puppet show inside and we caught a peek at one of the puppets and it was more terrifying than any number of armed guards would have been.
Claregalway Castle dragon. Given where it's perched, I don't want to know what its hoard consists of.
Claregalway Friary. It's pretty much a ruin, but still with an active graveyard, within which I gave Cormac a dramatic recitation of my poem about Symonds Street Cemetery:
Upon a cold and stormy night
Two drunken bums got in a fight
'Twixt gravestones was the battle set
And ghosts arose to place their bets
...while crows provided the requisite creepy atmosphere with occasional cawing and swooping in and out of the tower.
Back in Galway we visited first St Nicholas's Church, where that cross started flashing a warning signal, clearly detecting mass amounts of sin and cynicism in the vicinity soon as we approached.
We then swung by Galway Cathedral. Guess how many hundreds of years old this place is.
Half. Half of one hundred years - construction finished in 1965. I feel like the residents of Galway tried to put one over on God here, like "what are you talking about dude, this has been here the whole time, it's CLEARLY ancient".
We capped off Galway with a quadrang at the university campus, where we pondered deep questions such as whether we'd have been inspired to put more effort in at uni if we'd been studying at an institution as impressive-looking as this. We also coined the verb 'to quadrang', which is, to traverse a quadrangle - our small contribution to a fine academic legacy.