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From: "Jean R." <>
Subject: [IRELAND] A Dozen Galway Highlights
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 16:49:31 -0800

SNIPPET: Galway Bay has been immortalised in poetry and songs of old,
Galway Bay stretches for 31 miles (50 kilometers) along the west coast of
Ireland. Whether it's sailing, cruising, deep sea fishing or simply a
coastal drive you're after, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful, and
famous bay in Ireland to be enjoyed.

The Gaeltacht: Immerse yourself in Irish culture in one of its most
original forms with a visit to the Gaeltacht area of Galway. Many of the
Irish speakers work and study in Galway town.

Thoor Ballylee tower, not far from Coole, was home to poet William Butler
Yeats and the Yeats family until 1929. In 1965, the Norman tower was
restored and is now a Yeats museum. Winter visitors can arrange viewing the
castle by calling 091 537700.

Roisin Dubh: Located in the west of Galway City (the 'heart and soul' of
the town) is perhaps the west of Ireland's most famous live music venue.
Host to some of Ireland's finest home-grown musicians, like Christy Moore,
Damien Dempsey and Snow Patrol, Roisin Dubh has certainly cemented itself as
a diverse music venue, and one of Galway's biggest night life attractions.

Atlantaquarium - The National Aquarium of Ireland is located in the suburb
of Salthill. A major visitor attraction, it is the home to Ireland's
largest display of marine and fresh water life. Over 150 species are on
display, as well as talks and tours from the enthusiastic staff.

Connemara National Park covers over 7,500 acres (3,000 hectares) of
mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. The Park is mainly
responsible for the west of Ireland's reputation as one of the most
beautiful, unspoilt places in the world. It is also home to varied
birdlife, and the park's own herd of Connemara Ponies.

One of my favorites -- Lake-side Kylemore Abbey and Garden, the oldest of
the Irish Benedictine Abbeys, offers a warm welcome in the Benedictine
tradition, which spans over 1,500 years. The visitor center enlightens its
guest to the Abbey's rich history, while the walled gardens provide six
acres (2.4 hectares) of flower, fruit and vegetable gardens in a truly
beautiful, peaceful setting abounding in lush greenery. Stroll at your

Make a trip to Roundstone in Connemara, to see one of the most spectacular
coastal drives in Europe, overlooking the Atlantic ocean, and right at the
foot of Errisbeg Mountain. A popular holiday resort town, it keeps
tradition alive through its craft center. Pottery, jewellery and musical
instrument making (bodrans), fishing and quarrying, are all features of the

The Bold Art Gallery: At the heart of Galway city, you will find this
vibrant gallery, where thirty contemporary artists have their original art
on display at any given time.

Another gallery well worth a visit is The Kenny Gallery, which has been
showing works of art for over fifty years including the works of Jack Yeats.
The gallery hosts 18 exhibitions each year, including those of visiting
artists from Europe and the United States.

The Claddagh Ring Museum: The Claddagh ring is synonymous with the west of
Ireland, and originated in a small fishing village near the shore (or
'claddagh') of Galway Bay. Visit this museum to see some of he first
Claddagh rings every made, dating from the 1700s, as well as gaining some
insight into the making of the Claddagh. Adjoining the museum is Thomas
Dillon's Claddagh gold jewellers, the oldest makers of the Claddagh since

Connemara Smokehouse - a family run business near Ballyconneely, it's one of
the world's leading names in seafood. Stop in to see how local, smoked fish
is hand-produced, using traditional smoking methods and, of course, try some
of the delicious produce.

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