Ireland Day 3: Driving to Galway

If you’re behind on my Ireland recap, you can catch up here:
Day 1: Chicago to Ireland
Day 2: Dublin

P.S. Anyone that loved my blanket scarf – they just showed up on GroopDealz today! 

Blanket Scarf

But moving on to Galway. I wish I could say I love Galway, because I know people adore it, but unfortunately this was one of the worst days of the trip for me.

We got up, packed up our stuff at the Fitzpatrick and headed downstairs to eat. After eating, we hopped on the bus that takes you to the airport (that the hotel didn’t tell us about until AFTER WE PAID 55 EURO FOR A CAB A FEW DAYS PRIOR) and then got to sit and wait in line at Hertz for an hour.


While waiting in line and my dad was pacing around, I mumbled something about “maybe I’m not meant to be a world traveler” and a nice American woman turned around from in front of us in line. She spent the next half hour telling us that she is a travel writer and explaining all the ins and outs of driving and traveling abroad. She was super sweet to talk us through some things and I appreciate it so much from her! We finally got our car and GPS only to find out that Ireland doesn’t really have “addresses” so we tried to use the coordinates (which ended up being a nightmare later in the trip, so FORESHADOWING). After a bit of freaking out (and me almost having 18 panic attacks), we got on the freeway on our way to Galway. I only cried twice (on our way to Galway) and one of those times was once my dad started getting comfortable driving.

It ended up taking us just over two hours to get into Galway and then we hit a lot of traffic. So, not only did my dad have to deal with driving in a new country on the wrong side of the road, now he had to deal with city driving which is not something he does well even in the U.S. We got turned around a few times, he got mad a few times and I got quiet quite a bit. But we found the first Bed & Breakfast called Winacre Lodge.

Winacre Lodge

Winacre Lodge

After sitting around for a bit (it was only like 3:30 p.m.), we decided to drive to the city center to the Tom Dillon’s Claddagh Gold – the main reason I wanted to go to Galway. The store is the original maker of the claddagh ring and the oldest jewelers in Ireland! The only thing I had to buy myself while on this trip was a claddagh ring and it was not something I was going to miss out on. Unfortunately, traffic was insane and it took us almost an hour to get 4-miles and find parking. More crabbiness came about, I dropped my phone in a puddle and I literally left my dad in the dust while I RAN to the museum before it closed at 5. No way I was missing it after the hell day that we had!

Thomas Dillon's Claddagh Gold

Thomas Dillon's Claddagh Gold

Thomas Dillon's Claddagh Gold

Thomas Dillon's Claddagh Gold

We got there and the older ladies running the TINY store let me know they wouldn’t close and to basically calm the fuck down take my time. I looked through the rings and pointed to the ones I was interested in and the lady took my hand, glanced at it and grabbed a ring that fit perfectly. It was crazy! She told me she had been doing it for most of her life, so she easily knew what size my finger was. How cool!

Thomas Dillon's Claddagh Gold

My dad bought two necklaces there as well – a Celtic knot for my mom and a cross for my sister. We headed back outside and walked into a tiny little restaurant because my dad was hungry and we wouldn’t be able to find food once we got back to the B&B.

Druid Lane Restaurant

Druid Lane Restaurant

Druid Lane Restaurant

We had seafood chowder that was really good and my dad had some sort of dessert. And then we walked back to our car where I got my only photo of Galway. 🙁


Once we got back to our B&B, I hung out on my bed playing on the computer when a little friend hopped his way up on to the hill behind our B&B. It scared the shit out of me!

Bed and Breakfast

(P.S. It absolutely POURED all day if you can’t tell.)

And that was my “day” in Galway! The next morning was a little bit nicer, but you’ll hear more about that tomorrow. 🙂 Oh, and my mom/sister sent me pictures of my cat trying to get “acquainted” with one of my dad’s cats. Didn’t go so well.

cat fight

Have any of you been to Galway? Anyone else have super stressful travel? This whole trip was difficult!

This entry was posted in Ireland.


  1. Katie says:

    I had quite a few weird travel issues in Bolivia and Chile this summer. Thankfully I told myself it was an “adventure” not a “vacation” so anytime something not so great happened, we just laughed it off.
    Katie recently posted…Chance Chat #39: BonkersMy Profile

    • Jessie says:

      I wish that I could’ve been able to do that, but unfortunately my dad and I just weren’t in that state of mind. That’s definitely a better way to look at it, though!

  2. Sarah @ Sarah's on the Run says:

    I hate that you didn’t like Galway! That was one of my favorite spots. We only stayed for a day but my group of friends and I headed to one of the pubs in town (can’t remember the name) and had a BLAST! We were the only Americans there with loads of Irish college students–probably one of my favorite nights of the entire trip!!
    Sarah @ Sarah’s on the Run recently posted…TOTR: My First 20-miler.My Profile

    • Jessie says:

      I really wish I could’ve given it more of a chance! I hope to go back to Ireland some day, so I’ll definitely give Galway another chance. 🙂

  3. Megan says:

    Sounds like a crazy day but everything turned out for the better, right?! I’d probably panic about driving in a different country, especially on the other side of the road! I’ve never heard of those rings before but I love it! And love that picture of the cats, they definitely look like they enjoy each other’s company, haha.
    Megan recently posted…twenty questions.My Profile

  4. Taylor Knittel says:

    I just recently found your blog! Your Ireland posts are making me so happy because I went to Ireland in May (I’m actually in the midst of writing recaps of my days there, too! I’m a little late, haha!) and I miss it so much. There’s so much I can relate to, though. I think in one of your first two posts you talked about how you have to use your key card to turn on the lights in your hotel room. I can’t tell you how long it took my friend and I to figure that out! The whole driving situation over there scared me, though! We had a bus and a drive since we were on a study abroad trip, and even our Irish bus driver got lost and had problems, so don’t be too hard on yourself about it. Driving in a foreign country is so intimidating. We didn’t make it to Galway, but when I go back one day (hopefully!) it’s on my list of places to hit!
    Taylor Knittel recently posted…Ireland Day 2: GlasloughMy Profile

    • Jessie says:

      I’m glad you found me! 🙂 I’m totally going to read your recaps! I have a ton of them coming out, so keep checking back. And I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one having trouble with the driving situation!

  5. Liz says:

    I have no idea why your Galway story reminded me of when my friend and I decided to try and find the Great Wall of China alone, despite all the reviews saying that only the “most adventurous” should attempt it. And I’ve traveled to a lot of countries where they speak other languages, but China was a total WTF country. We didn’t have a CLUE what anything meant. We ordered all of our food from pictures for our ENTIRE trip. But we took a bus from Beijing to somewhere in the middle of nowhere. And that was impossible because nobody in the whole entire bus depot spoke English and everything was in Chinese and all the reviews we read were confusing as heck and we had NO IDEA where to even get on the dang bus once we finally decided on the one to ride. Before we got off that bus, we managed to tell the driver we were going to the Great Wall and he pointed to a bus across the street and said the bus number. We ran across to get on the bus and I was on it, but my friend flipped out and decided that the other driver didn’t know what we were saying and that there was no way that THIS bus was actually going to the Great Wall. My friend was almost in tears because this already took HOURS and her whole reason for even agreeing to go to China was to see the Great Wall. So I got off the stupid bus (even though I KNEW we were on the right bus) and then it left. And we were in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Well, there was one car shop or something there. But nobody spoke English. We had no phones. There weren’t any phones. Nobody had a freaking clue what we were asking them. We didn’t know when another bus would come. There was a black car with a man reading a newspaper, and eventually he hollered out his window at us (like an hour later, literally) and somehow we managed to figure out he was asking if we wanted to go to the Great Wall. And it was like $25 USD (probably some insane amount of yuan) but we didn’t even know what else to do. Then we got in the back of this crazy guy’s unmarked taxi and freaked out about how we had no idea where we were going and he could kill us. But then we ended up RIGHT BEHIND the bus number that we should have been on in the first place and it was the same number as the one we were on that my friend made me get off of (so I guess they had a lot of stops, since it had taken us so long to find our “taxi.” But anyway, we made it to the Great Wall of China and then I think it was way easier to get back to Beijing. That was a really long story. But shit happens when you travel and you just have to be positive. I mean, at least you’re lost in China, right? Haha, maybe not…
    Liz recently posted…Sunday BestMy Profile

    • Jessie says:

      Oh. My. GOSH. I can’t believe that story! Here I am whining about silly old Ireland haha. That sounds crazy. At least the Irish speak English!

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