We made it to Galway, but it wasn’t easy. Challenges like weather-delayed flights, an unplanned refueling stop, overbooked planes and long waits for assistance almost turned our one-day journey into five. Thanks to help from Delta staff I started calling our travel angels, we arrived just one day later than planned.
Systems May Not Be Working, But People Are
Among the many travel angels who helped us, the most memorable was Candace, the gate agent at JFK, who got us on our connecting flight to Dublin. Deplaning just minutes before our next flight was scheduled to leave, I literally ran to the gate. Out of breath and quite disheveled, I arrived just after the boarding door closed. All of the flights the next day were sold out so missing this flight would add another two days to our travel time. Still breathing hard, I shared with Candace all our traveling snafus and begged her to find a way to get us on the plane.
This dear woman called the plane staff for approval. When she got the OK to let us on, we all exchanged exuberant hugs. I have never hugged a gate agent before. We didn’t realize what a big deal letting us board was until we watched her drive the jet way to the plane entrance. She knocked on the plane door just like you would knock on a neighbor’s door. After she pulled a little lever, the huge door opened. After thanking Candace for probably the twentieth time, we boarded the plane.
Sweaty, sleep-deprived, thirsty and relieved, we collapsed in our seats, not quite believing we were finally on a plane to Ireland.
We arrived at Dublin airport, got our rental car and made the two-hour drive to Galway drama free. Well, we did have one small problem-our luggage was still in Atlanta. Knowing how unreliable flying has become, Paul added a few days in Galway at the beginning of our trip. We wanted some wiggle room in case we were delayed. Thank you, Paul!
Galway Is Still Great
We settled in to our lovely little apartment in the heart of the city and met the owner and manager, an opera singer and a painter. Meeting interesting people is one of the perks of staying in airbnbs. It was fun to revisit pedestrian-only Shop Street, an area we loved for its street performers and energetic vibe.
This great video really captures the Galway energy.
Paul had his first Guinness of the trip at the Buddha Bar, a great Asian restaurant recommended by our hosts.
Making up for two nights of almost no sleep, we slept almost ten hours our first night in Galway and got a bit of a late start to our day. But not too late to catch the Galway market
and the varied music of the many buskers along the street.
The only downer to our day was learning our luggage would not be delivered in the afternoon because it was still in Atlanta..
We ended our last day in Galway with a lovely dinner and stroll by the Corrib River to the Spanish Arch. Built in 1584, it is an extension of a 12th century Norman-built town wall.