August 29, 2011
Galway turned into kind of a blur after the awesome homecooked meal we made at Snoozles. I woke up with a sore throat and heavy limbs. I still blame those ignorant French guys from Dublin for coming into the hostel late and obnoxiously loud and then coughing all night. Their germs plus the lack of quality sleep really did me in from the beginning.
Snoozles is a pretty rad hostel. It’s super clean, has a community living room, a huge kitchen, wonderful eating area and free breakfast. Be sure to give your key card back – they charge a 5e deposit. Groggy and exhausted, I slept in the back of the car on our way up to mountain bike at Derroura Mountain Bike Trails. Derroura is a system of 19km of trails about 45 minutes north of Galway. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything about these trails other than the fact that my travelmates had an awesome time on them. I woke up feeling horrid and encouraged my friends to go on without me. I slept the whole time they shredded…
Feeling a little more alive but starving, we stopped at Texaco and bought baguettes and cheese with orange juice for 4.90e. Coming to the end of our trip, we were on a tight budget.
I’ll be honest: the baguette was nice and fluffy, the cheese was really good and the orange juice gave me some much needed recuperation energy. Gas station food in Ireland is not so bad. We made a habit of also stopping and getting powdered soup and using the coffee cup and hot water at the gas station to have soup for snacks and lunches. It was an awesome way to curb hunger and in cold, windy, danky Ireland, it was a perfect option for in the car eating.
Boozy wanted to see more old stone shit so we complied and stopped in Gort and looked at a monastery from the 7th century. This monastery has a really interesting history. Kilmacduagh is the site of several churches from over the centuries, including an old cathedral. The large spire tower in the center was built by monks sometime in the 13th century as the location was known for its wealth and historical significance. The monks built the spire to hide in during the plundering. There are no doors on the tower – you have to get in from underground.
Gort itself is a really colorful town with a funky feel. We found our best dinner in Ireland while in Gort – at O’Grady’s. A definite ‘locals’ kind of place, Boozy insisted on pointing us out as tourists, “What’s the most Irish thing you have on the menu?” Phunner and I cringe…
The barmaid looks at him as though he just threw up on her counter. “Well, the menu is right there. I guess the beef stew?” She answers with a hint of humor.
Phunner and I ordered chicken pascal with steamed veggies and French fries – it was, hands down, our best meal in Ireland.
We drove on from Gort and back into Shannon, our trip having officially become full circle. We checked in at the Shannon Court Hotel for the online booking rate of 45e. We suggest trying to book online as it was significantly cheaper. We also hid Boozy out of the way so we didn’t have to pay an “extra person” fee.
We unpacked the car and vegged out in front of tv and checked out all the pictures of SSWC on Facebook. We were highlighted several times!