Galway3_WM

Straddling the border between counties Clare and Galway in the province of Connacht, Galway Bay is a 50 km X 30 km (30 mi X 18 mi) inlet brimming with oyster and mussel beds and surrounded by layer upon layer of spectacular scenery. Like Kinvara, a colorful seaport village with, purportedly, the most photographed castle on the Emerald Isle, Dunguaire.

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Galway4_WMNormally an obligatory photo-op stop for tour operators, our motor coach, with the intrepid “band of merry media” aboard — 18 travel writers and photographers invited by Insight Vacations to sample a portion of its Treasures of Ireland itinerary — just zips by the iconic 16th century tower-house and past small fishing boats and colorful cottages, as Eugene, aka The Quiet Man, puts pedal-to-the-metal around the bay and guns it to our next port of call: Galway City.

Galway1_WMSteeped in history — her roots go back to the early 12th century — Galway is a prosperous bohemian, artsy cosmopolitan city.

Widely considered the Emerald Isle’s cultural heart, Galway, in a word, is COOL.

How come?

For openers, the sixth most populous city in Ireland is considered one of the “sexiest cities in the world,” one of the “great cities of the world,” one of the “best travel destinations in the world,” and, the foam atop a pint of Guinness, the “friendliest city in the world.” The latter according to readers of Travel + Leisure.

Admired for her vibrant lifestyle, colorful storefronts and pubs, exceptional dining and overall festive nature, Galway plays host to a burgeoning calendar of organized events that attracts visitors from around the globe.

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Designated a UNESCO City of Film, she hosts the annual Galway Film Fleadh, the International Arts Festival and the Tulca Festival of Visual Arts.

There’s also the International Mussel and Oyster festivals, and the Gathering of the Boats festival, featuring 100+ uniquely Irish craft, the Galway Hookers.

Why, there’s even the Dip in the Nip, the first-ever skinny dip for charity.

And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the city considered by her peers to be the “most Irish” of all.

One of the most scenic and lyrical spots in all of Ireland, Galway Bay was immortalized in the eponymous song penned by Dr. Arthur Colahan and turned into an international hit by Bing Crosby.

Pure melancholy for Irish immigrants who longed to return to their homeland after settling in America, Galway Bay seems like the perfect tune to quietly bring the curtain down on our short stay in Galway City along the Wild Atlantic Way:

For complete information on Insight’s 100+ premium and luxury-escorted journeys around Europe, including the Treasures of Ireland itinerary, just click HERE, or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.

Treasures of Ireland | ©thepalladiantraveler.com

Pardon the cliché, but as the sun slowly sinks in the west our man Eugene is at it again, making fast tracks to today’s final destination: Ashford Castle. If we don’t shake a leg, a piper in full regalia, waiting patiently at the front gate, just might let the air out of his bagpipes.

 ©The Palladian Traveler

Borsalino w/ props SMALL | ©Tom Palladio Images

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Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches along the cobblestone via TravelingBoy.com.

6 comments

      1. I also want to add to the enormously fine shots of scenery, it refreshed my soothing thoughts of Gala-way Bay. Nice narrative as well.

        Like

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