Galway & The West - The City
When the Irish say the west, they are not normally referring to all of western Ireland, just the area west of Shannon River. This region is considered the most Celtic, or Irish, of all Ireland’s regions. Most of the others have at some point been occupied or influenced by the Vikings, Normans, Scots or the British, who did not leave Ireland until in the 1900s. It is really only the city of Galway that has been Anglified, the rest of the west has retained much of its Irish culture, as regards both when it comes to traditions and outlook on life. Unfortunately, the Irish language is fighting a losing battle against English, and it is only in some areas that it is still widely spoken.
Galway is a fairly small town on the River Corrib. It has the charm of a provincial town, but also surprising vitality and contemporary nightlife thanks to its university. In addition to the dance clubs of the student scene, there are many pubs featuring live Irish folk music.
The countryside is very beautiful: the wild inlands of Connemaras, the rocks of Moher, the ragged coastline and small towns like Cleggan. There are also several interesting islands, like the Arran Islands. Scheduled ferries can reach many of these.