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If you believe the locals, then Galway is the beating heart of Irish culture. You can’t go far without tripping over a castle or abbey, and parts of the city have strong Latin and Spanish influences.
Start with a relaxing stroll round the medieval Latin Quarter. It’s full of charming shops selling arts and crafts. You can look for traditional knitwear, cute pottery and lovely jewelry. Even if you don’t buy a thing, the live music in the streets will keep you entertained.
At the south end of the Latin Quarter, pass through the 18th-century Spanish Arch. Sit on the grass and enjoy tandoori chicken, pizza or crepes — the Irish love all foods and aren’t fussy.
Get your daily steps with a walk to the Claddagh, a former fishing village where the River Corrib feeds Galway Bay. Watch kayakers enjoy the river, or people diving off the board on Salthill Promenade.
Budget some time and money for a day trip to Kylemore Abbey.
The abbey was founded in 1920 by nuns who fled Belgium during World War I. They’ve been in Kylemore Castle since then. Take a tour of the abbey to learn about its fascinating, sad history. Then, get some fresh air with a walk of its large Victorian walled garden.
It’s a 15-minute drive from the abbey to Dunguaire Castle, a 16th-century castle overlooking a bay and the small village of Kinvara. Parts of the castle have been restored, and the rooms give a taste of what life might have been like for its owners. Climb the spiral staircase and step out onto cramped battlements for a great view of the countryside. (T)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.