Trip to Ireland
September – October 2006
Monday 25 September
9:10 train Dublin Heuston to Galway
Skeffington Arms Hotel, Eyre
The Skeffington Arms
hotel is a 23-bedroom hotel situated in the very heart of historic Galway and is run by the Callanan family with
the help of
their friendly and enthusiastic staff.
The Skeff has been
caring for guests for over one hundred years. Overlooking Eyre Square
within distance of rail and
bus terminals & just a short walk from an array of shops,
bars, theatres and entertainment venues. It enjoys an enviable position
heart of bustling mediaeval town of Galway.
We are justifiably
proud of our fine food served in the Skeff restaurant, which is very
with both locals and guests alike. The hotel also incorporates one of
known pubs "The Skeff Bar". You may want to enjoy a drink in one of
the Skeff's six bars where the friendly atmosphere reflects the essence
of Galway itself.
The Irish happy go lucky attitude is well known
but I think
it is an excuse for a don't care attitude which is found so frequently. Maybe the influx of immigrants with a
different work ethic will alter this.
The alarm went off alright this morning and, as we
plenty of time, we decided to walk our cases to Heuston station. After latte we boarded the train with plenty
of time and after a struggle to get our cases under the seats found two
window seats with a table.
Our train was a five car push-pull unit hauled by
Canadian-built GM locomotive. There is
one man on the locomotive and two in the train, one to read the paper
the announcements (twice) and one to check that the driver had opened
closed the doors properly and to take tickets.
The crew were joined by a third at Athlone who was just along
ride. There was also a tea trolley lady who spent the first hour shut
up in her
compartment at the end of the train with her trolley and the last hour
down. Unless our watches have suddenly gone badly out, we left a couple
It is single track from Portarlington. We made funeral progress through bucolic
countryside. The train dates back to the
1960s but at least CIE have the seats coincide with the windows.
Lunch at Martines in Galway
Mediterranean vegetable soup with home made brown
and Irish butter/duck wrap and salad
Grilled salmon and potato cakes/(large) selection
cheeses with chutney:
Brie - smoked Gubbeen - Cashel blue
Chilean sauvignon blanc/proseco.
In the afternoon we went to the tourist office to
bookings for the next two days and we were also able to buy our bus
ticket to Tralee for Thursday.
Then followed a walk around the town including a
Sherridan's Cheesemonger (www.sheridanscheesemongers.com)where
variety of cheeses and bought some Ardrahan.
We made it back to the Skeff for a drink. The
bar is remarkable, there are six of them,
all joined together and on two levels.
It is fitted up with wood and they make use of stained glass.
The bar at the Quays is even more impressive,
a similar style to the Skeff. We had a
oysters and Guinness followed by Irish coffee. The oysters were pretty
for the size of shell and were quite sweet.
They had not been separated from the shell so there was a bit of
to be done.
There are several people with sandwich boards
from the main street. It seems that signs
are not allowed but must be carried by people.
Two of these were French, one from the Alps and one from Paris. They
didn't seem too sure what they were
doing there and wanted to go back to France.