One of the places I am most anticipating is Galway. County Galway is where we’ve traced some of our ancestors to, so I am excited to see and experience the city. As the song goes, I am a Galway girl (dark hair and blue eyes!). That has been one of my favorite songs as I have been planning and preparing for my trip. So I am excited to see the Salthill Prom!
The Salthill Promenade.
I am also looking forward to getting a Claddagh ring from Claddagh. I used to have one, but I don’t know what happened to it. I have considered buying a new one, but wanted to wait until I get to Ireland and get an authentic one! For those of you unfamiliar with Claddagh rings, they are traditional Celtic rings given, according to Wikipedia, out of friendship, love, or marriage. I think they were originally Celtic engagement/wedding rings. The crown represents loyalty, the arms friendship, and the heart love. I used to think that the only “rules” to wearing them is that you wear it with the heart pointing out of you are single (representing that your heart is open) and pointing in if you are taken. But that isn’t the whole story. Here’s the proper protocol: on the right hand with the heart pointing out, it means that you are single and looking for love; on the right hand with the heart pointing in, it means that you are in a relationship and that your heart has been captured; on the left hand with the heart pointing out, it means that you are engaged; and on the left hand with the heart pointing in, it means you are married. Claddagh is situated across the Corrib River near Galway Bay. It is essentially in Galway.
This is the ring I like. Silver, not gold. Never gold. You can also get them with jewels, differing widths, etc. This is the classic and will probably be the one I will get. Who knows!
I mentioned above the concept of a Galway girl. The people of this region get their dark coloring because this was where the Spanish armada landed in western Ireland. A remnant of that time is the Spanish Arch, which was built in 1584. It was a passageway that allowed ships to enter in order to unload goods.
Galway is also home to Eyre Square, which is Galway’s central public square. It is apparently formerly named Kennedy Park after JFK, but everyone refers to it as Eyre Square. I think I will, too!
Finally, you can’t talk about Galway without talking about its hookers. No, not THOSE hookers. Get your mind out of the gutter!! A hooker is type of sailboat that is well-known in Galway. They are wooden and the hull is black and the masts are rust-colored.
I cannot wait!! Just over one month!!