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Sights, Sounds, and Savories of Galway

This article was written by choir member, Kristina Valcarce

This morning the choir left Cork to head to Galway.  I woke up earlier than I expected and enjoyed the delicious breakfast that came with our stay at the Metropole Hotel.  It didn’t take very long to pack up, so I left my bags with the front desk and took advantage of the sunny day to do some last minute exploring around Cork.

I live in a city where a really old building is from the 1920s, so there is something so cool about seeing the modern meet the ancient in Ireland.  A building that once housed St. Peter’s Church is now a museum and cultural center. What looked like a small chapel or old school turns out to be a dental office.  

Soon it was time to board the bus for Galway.  I snagged a window seat and enjoyed watching the endless green pass by.  At one point we passed by a golf course with what looked like ancient castle ruins in the middle of it.  I juxtaposed this image against that of our local Southern California mini golf park that has a bright, cartoonish castle in the center.

Galway is now hosting an International Arts Festival, and we were arriving there on a Friday afternoon, so my roommate and I decided to be proactive and book a table at a restaurant called Dela, which got great reviews on Trip Advisor.  We found some other people who were interested in eating with us, so we booked a fairly early dinner, hoping to beat the rush that was sure to follow later in the evening.  I was hoping we didn’t come across as stereotypical pushy Americans as we filled in the Special Requests section on the form: One diner has Celiac, another is a vegetarian, and yet a third is lactose intolerant.

Our best laid plans seemed to be for naught as we hit terrible traffic on our way into the city.  I began to frantically worry if we were going to miss our reservation, and started imagining a nightmarish scenario in which we wandered the city for hours trying to find someplace to eat during a very busy Festival evening.

As soon as the bus arrived at the Menlo Park Hotel, we raced upstairs to drop off our luggage.  I drew upon my inner New Yorker to do my best power walk to make it to the restaurant.  My roommate had texted the hotel telling them we might be late.  When we finally arrived we found that they had kept our table for us, and when we explained about why we were late, the restaurant staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

All in all, six of us had a wonderful dinner at Dela.  The restaurant prides itself on serving greens that go from plot to plate in minutes, and sources their produce from their organic farm.  The servers were gracious and lovely, and made sure that everyone who had any dietary restrictions had something wonderful to eat.  All in all, it was the perfect respite for we weary travelers, and we were able to shrug off the tedium of traffic with great food and even better company.