IrelandTravel Writings

Glowing in Galway

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I am glowing in Galway. I am in tip-top shape baby, hip, happening – there is something going on here. You don’t just walk down Shop Street, you glide. Galway has an energy that you can feel and you know, you know, that there is no place like it in all the rest of Ireland. Slide baby, glide baby, crawl honey, it doesn’t matter – just do your thing.

You can creep through the medieval streets at night drunk on stout, high on hash, energized from espresso or sober as hell. You can bounce from Trad session to Indie rock, swanky lounges to old man pubs. “What do you want lads?” Galway seems to whisper. “Whatever it is, we got it.”

Ah Galway. It was on the wire from the second I landed in Ireland. I was tired of walking into tiny pubs in tiny towns and getting the hairy eyeball from all the locals; not so here. You can let it all hang out in Galway.

Dingle was cool, a tiny little place with eccentric shop owners and charismatic bars. It’s good for a night and a day, two if you plan on seeing the friendly dolphin in the bay. Then there was Limerick, good old “Stab City”. Not nearly as dangerous as the moniker suggests (especially when you’ve been living across the Bay from Oakland, CA for the past four years of your life). And now, Galway. Did I mention that I like this place?

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It was from here that I caught a ferry to the Aran Islands, 3 tiny little pieces of land surrounded by water, where the locals speak mostly Gaelic and the ruin-filled landscape looks like the deities got too lazy to give the place proper vegetation. It was wet and it was cold and it was beautiful and it was old. I hiked up to Dun Aengus, which is a roughly 2000-year-old stone fort whose back end is perched upon a sheer cliff. Up there I imagined myself as an ancient warlord looking out across my domain satisfied that I had properly protected my people. I also got rained on, a lot.

I’ve got plenty of photos of The Aran Islands but unfortunately Galway cast quite a spell on me and I didn’t get around to taking many photos. You’ll understand what I mean when you get there.

Stuart’s Euro Saving Secret of the Day: Make friends with bartenders and bar owners; when you do, shots of Jaegermiester flow like the River Euphrates.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.