Day 23 - Road Trip...1st stop...Galway

We hopped in the car after breakfast, and no this was not early in the morning. We seem to be taking our time getting out of the door these days, but we are totally loving the pace. We did, however, pack our lunch to eat on the way to Galway. 

With no real itinerary in mind and no place booked for the night, we headed out to see what the day would bring. 

About an hour or so into our drive we got to the city of Oughterard and saw signs for the Aughnanure Castle.  We decided to stop and check it out. The weather was perfect, and the castle was completely uncrowded. With plenty of green grass surrounding it, the kids played a few rounds of tag before we headed inside.  There was also a very friendly dog that just pranced about the grounds and liked to chase after the kids.

We had fun exploring the castle. There is no furniture, but perhaps this was better as we were able to go through all the rooms and check everything out. 

After our visit, we figured that to keep everyone happy we better eat our lunch. We have this characteristic in our family that when we get hungry, we get very very cracky!  It somehow applies to every single one of us, without fail :) 

Since we couldn't eat on the castle grounds (there was a "NO PICNIC" sign), we just hung out and ate in the parking lot.  Clara (the dog) was very interested in our meal and really wanted to share with the kids.

 Picnic lunch in the car :)

Picnic lunch in the car :)

With everyone's stomachs filled up, we continued our journey south on the west coast.  We arrived in Galway around 4PM. We parked the car and started walking. From what we saw (and we happened to be there during the art festival period), Galway is very lively around Shop Street and Eyre Square. We saw lots and lots of street performers with good quality acts and music.

We enjoyed our walk, but remembered that we had no place to stay yet, so we started back towards the car and got side tracked by an Irish Tea House. A cup of tea was just what we needed.

We headed out of the tea shop and started our walk back to the car...this time suddenly the sign of the Barnacles Hostel grabbed my attention. Just to check it out we went inside and I asked if kids were allowed to stay and they said yes. Ok then, let's try out a hostel stay just to see what the big deal is. 

The best part about the hostel was that it is right on shop street. Shop street is a pedestrian only street with lots of shops and restaurants. So we were right in the center of it all. We got a private en-suite room with 2 bunk beds. This amused the kids greatly!! 

 Barnacles Hostel (the green building) on Shop Street in Galway

Barnacles Hostel (the green building) on Shop Street in Galway

After we dropped off our stuff in the room, we walked a bit more and then decided to go to Thai Garden for dinner. 

The atmosphere was very authentic and the food was very good but admittedly the prices were much higher than we expected. In the end, though, we were really in the mood for some Thai food so we enjoyed every bite :)

After dinner we walked around a bit more and saw more street performers and checked out a few stores.

 Irish viking hats

Irish viking hats

And we wrapped up the night with 2 chocolate ice creams for our little traveling companions. 

 Kian trying Hannah's ice cream since they had different sprinkles

Kian trying Hannah's ice cream since they had different sprinkles

Mmmmm Mmmm....A delicious end to a wonderful day of sight seeing.