JWU Student Blogs

Galway Girl: Delighting in Ireland’s Rich History & Dramatic Weather

The bedarkened sky, filled with churlish heather clouds, has begun parting like the Red Sea, revealing the source as an enigmatic disc of light. The beaming rays land gracefully within the vicinity of the apartment’s upper bay window, showering all inside in happiness.

It is an unexpected gift but one that is greeted far and wide across County Galway with gratefulness.

Taking advantage of the weather, Sadye and I headed into town to the farmer’s market and then over to the Galway City Museum. The first two floors consisted of the history of Galway, laid out in a rather dry manner. As each floor progressed, the layout and information became more and more intriguing.

The third floor was an art gallery displaying local artists' depiction of the 100th year remembrance of the Easter Rising, “A Century of Galway People, 100 Portraits from 1916 to 2016.”

For those unfamiliar with Ireland’s history, this momentous event is the fight and ultimate victory over Ireland’s original ruler, England. The country became divided, with almost all of it becoming the Republic of Ireland, and the remainder, Northern Ireland, staying governed by England. The exhibit captured a photograph of a person born every year since the Easter Rising of 1916 to the present day, all from County Galway. It is a provocative exhibition that demonstrates the progression of Ireland within such a short span of time. It is a progression of freedom, the generations that were born on the eve of it and the generations that only know it as a mark on their country’s historical timeline. Another area of the museum focused on Galway’s port and explained a fisherman’s lifestyle in-depth. For the people who inhabit here, the sea is relied on profoundly for being the origin of their livelihood.Galway City Museum Photo credit: Samantha Riley

The weekend after that, we expanded our tour of Galway to include the outer limits and beyond. After admiring the beautiful National University of Ireland Galway and Galway Cathedral we soon made the discovery of a gourmet cheese shop. Located in the heart of the city, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers is nestled behind the main street and is truly a hidden treasure. There were free samples of creamy Gruyere and it was outright heavenly.

Besides finding the best kept secret in the area, we also went inside every shop, finding that Galway is truly a place born from a bohemian soul. From vintage clothing to antiques to hand-crafted jewelry, I understand the reason why fate brought me to this one-of-a-kind city.

Topics: Study Abroad