Day seven: Driving a rental car to Galway

I’ve done it several times before — driving on the left side of the road, that is. But somehow when I planned to do this as part of my traveling in Ireland I forgot the small detail that I always had a passenger or many in the car with me to navigate or just shout out “stay on the left” whenever I was taking a turn. No passengers makes it a bit more nerve wracking. I guess if you want to do something you just need to face the risks….

After a morning of visiting and saying good bye to family, I boarded a bus to the Dublin Airport and rented my car for the next 10 days. A tiny car (which is a must in Ireland given its notoriously skinny roads with little to no shoulders) with automatic transmission (can’t drive stick and even if I could, shifting with my left hand sounds even more intimidating). Still expensive, but I used miles to pay for it.

One thing I give the good ole U S of A credit for is the signage on our roads. In Ireland, you need to be on your toes for as soon as you see a sign for an exit, it is right there. Very little warning. Missed one exit on way to Galway but was able to turn around after some time and trouble.

Got into Galway and checked into my B&B. Happily left car parked at B&B and walked into Galway. Most streets in central area are closed to cars, so able to walk on lovely roads. Thought of Harry Potter and some town near Hogwarts, or Diagon Alley. Beautiful with music coming from both street musicians and out of most of the many pubs along the way. Stopped in many and ended up in Spanish Arch pub where four guys were rocking it. Irish music with a modern energy. A guy sitting on what looks like a box playing drums on it (second time I saw this), a guitarist and an accordion player. And the lead who played every type of pipe you can possibly imagine. And the Irish bagpipes (which have much more versatility and sound than the Scottish version, IMHO). He was a sight to see and they were fantastic to hear.

More pubs, more music. I can get used to this life…