On the way out of Derry we stopped in the town of Sligo to visit the graveyard where W.B. Yeats is buried. Yeats was a beloved Irish poet and even served as senator for a while. He had a rather troubled life, love-wise; he was turned down several times by the woman he loved and in the end married a woman 30 years his junior. They had two children together, but Yeats carried out multiple affairs anyway.
“Cast a cold eye
On life, on death
Horseman, pass by”
There are many beautiful old headstones and crosses and outside the graveyard walls you’ll find green pastures and sheep! If his’ grave isn’t really your thing, I’d recommend making a visit to Lough Gill in county Sligo. Yeats’ poem “Lake Isle of Innisfree” is one of his most popular and was written about this lake.
On our way to Galway, we made a quick stop in front of Strandhill Beach in Sligo. It’s a gorgeous beach and is popular with surfers. Along the road in front of it are many shops and restaurants which is why it made a good place to stop for lunch.
Galway and Pub Crawling
Galway is a college town, so there are a lot of young’uns and pubs and even some clubs. It’s also a really fun place to explore – the high street is full of fun shops, pubs and restaurants, and excellent street performers. And downtown Galway is surrounded by water on three sides, so there are plenty of lovely riverside areas to enjoy.
That evening we went on one of the Viking Pub Crawls which I think operate all around Ireland because we saw a sign for one in Dublin as well. The cost was €12 per person, but you get a free shot at every pub you visit (you should end up with 4 drinks, so the price isn’t all that bad). Now, these Viking Pub Crawls have some interesting rules. Potatoes are involved, and of course viking helmets are to be expected. Basically, whoever has the most potatoes at the end of the night wins a t-shirt that says “Craic Dealer.” (Once I saw the shirt, I decided I didn’t really care if I won anymore.)
You can earn potatoes through the night by winning drinking games and performing talents. For example, a friend of ours earned two potatoes by singing. Depending on the age group you’re with, these “talents” become awfully questionable before long. With our group, stupid girls with daddy issues started making out with people for potatoes. I moved myself to the other side of the pub at that point and accepted that having the most potatoes was synonymous with having the least dignity. Luckily it was still a fun event overall and there was a lot of live music, so I was happy. And I discovered that I’m better at flip cup than I thought!
Oh! And if you’re lucky enough to be given a helmet at the beginning, do NOT let it go! The people in charge of the crawl don’t tell you until halfway through that the helmets will earn you an extra five potatoes at the end of the night. After that, watch out for helmet thieves!
Day 4’s entry – the Cliffs of Moher, and a lot of other stuff!