They say that it’s a rocky road to Dublin Town but we experienced nothing but smooth sailing as soon as boarded our train in Belfast. We began our Ireland vacation on Monday, June 17th, when we landed at Dublin Airport and hailed a taxi to take us to Connolly Station in Dublin. We then rode on the Enterprise train all the way to Belfast Central Station where we grabbed a couple of cabs to take us to our hotel. On Monday, June 24th, we said goodbye to Belfast and more or less traveled in reverse back to Dublin.
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There are several ways of traveling between Belfast and Dublin: by car, by train, by bus, even by boat. Some are faster and some are cheaper than our choice which was the train. But I think our choice was the most comfortable of all our options. So I booked roundtrip tickets on the Enterprise (the cost for the six of us was 400 euros). As you can see, our daughter and her family enjoyed their brunch as we journeyed south to the Republic of Ireland. My wife and I had a table for two on the opposite side of the aisle. We already had breakfast that morning and so we didn’t eat on the train. We did consume the complementary beverage that was given to us at the start of the trip, though. All of us chose orange juice.
We rode on the first class cars which featured these tables. There was also space on the car for storing our luggage.
We had lunch at Madigan’s Bar and Restaurant in Connolly Station and then hailed a couple of taxis to take us to Burgh Quay where we would board the bus to Galway. It was only a few blocks from the train station to Burgh Quay and we could easily have walked if we were not loaded down with our luggage.
I only had to buy three tickets for the GoBus trip to Galway: two adults for my wife and myself and one family ticket for my daughter, her husband, and their two kids. The roundtrip fare was 120 euros. Two and a half hours after we boarded the bus at Burgh Quay we pulled into the Coach Station in central Galway. And there in the station waiting for us was our older daughter, her husband and two kids. They left San Francisco Airport the day before and then flew Air Canada to Toronto and from there to Dublin, landing at Dublin Airport about the time we were finishing lunch at Connolly Station. GoBus has a route to Galway direct from Dublin Airport and so my older daughter and her family hopped on board their bus and beat us to Galway by about a half hour. We had to purchase three adult tickets and one child ticket for this family because our grandson was over the age of fourteen.
After lots of hugs and kisses we walked from the station through Eyre Square to our hotel, the Eyre Square Townhomes, which is actually about two blocks west of Eyre Square. We rested for awhile on this long travel day and then got together for dinner at McSwiggan’s Bar and Restaurant down the street from our hotel.
These two cousins were glad to see each other.
We all retired early that night so that we could be well rested for our expected six fantastic days in Galway. Then the sea gulls began to shriek at four o’clock in the morning. More about this in a later post.
See here for more information on riding the Enterprise from Dublin to Belfast and back. See here for more information on the GoBus from Dublin to Galway and return. See here for more information on Madigan’s restaurant in Dublin’s Connolly Station. See here for more information on McSwiggan’s restaurant in Galway.
Irish Music Bonus — Galway Bay by Tommy Fleming
My siblings and I grew up in the 40s and 50s listening to our Dad’s record collection of 78s. Among our favorites was an album of Irish songs sung by Bing Crosby. One of these was Galway Bay, a song written by Doctor Arthur Colahan in 1947. Doctor Colahan was born in Enniskellen, County Fermanagh, in 1884. He studied at St Joseph’s College in Galway and graduated from University College Dublin in 1903 with a degree in art. He later studied medicine and graduated from University College Galway in 1913. He served with the British Army during World War I in India where he suffered from the effects of mustard gas. After the war he worked as a neurological specialist in Leicester, England. He died in 1952 not knowing that Bing Crosby would soon record his song and make it famous.
Galway Bay was also included in the 1952 film The Quiet Man and was also sung by many others including the Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners. Tommy Fleming, one of Ireland’s most popular singers today and a former member of the famous Galway musical group De Danann, also sings Galway Bay. Let’s listen to Tommy Fleming’s version of the song.
There’s another song called Galway Bay that was written way back in 1900. This song is more popular in Ireland than the Colahan song which is more popular everywhere else. We will hear this other Galway Bay in a future post. Stay tuned.
Noel loved Tommy Fleming’s singing☘️☘️ Thanks, Jerry