Galway, Ireland

So after breakfast at Avoca (thanks for the tip Ailbhe), we rented a car on Monday and began our road trip around Southern Ireland. In Ireland, they drive on the left hand side of the road, a small detail that changes everything. It took some adjusting, but Dad eventually got the hang of it and we began driving through the teeny tiny, twisty turvy, roads of the countryside. We wound up in Galway, a town crowded with tourists and dozens of shops for Chlddach Rings (the ring with the two hands holding the crowned heart).
A quick lunch of fish and chips and we went exploring around the city. The Spanish arch, built in 1584 by the river, stands as a reminder of a 16th century bastion, later added to the town's walls to protect ships from looting. Beyond the arch were hoards of swans, but aside from this the city was relatively quiet, especially coming from crowded Dublin. We found a hotel room at the swanky Hotel Meyrick and settled on dinner at a small restaurant on the main street. Butter crab claws, fried goat cheese balls, assorted salamis, plenty of wine, and Irish coffee later we left the restaurant clutching our stomachs. It's a rough life, but hey, someone's gotta do it.