We travelled there by plane - I know, shock horror, I'm meant to be reducing my carbon footprint. Unfortunately my pocket won out - plane is cheaper, and so much quicker too. Plus, I'm pretty sure driving from Leeds to Holyhead, getting a whopping great ferry to Dublin then driving again to Galway would have incurred far greater carbon emissions than a drive to Manchester, a flight to Galway airport and another drive just up the road to our hotel. Plus, we flew with Aer Arann who claim to have 'the world's greenest aircraft' - which, if it was the one we went on, will be because it's so small it doesn't look like a real plane:
We stayed in the Western Hotel in Galway city, which was very nice. The staff were really helpful, the room was nice, and the breakfast was great! Our first night wasn't great, they had a group of what sounded like about a dozen staying who decided to spend the night shouting, singing and banging on each others' doors until about 5.30am - thankfully, they checked out the next day and after that we had no more problems!
Because the pound is quite weak against the euro right now, we couldn't really afford to do anything fancy, but we had a hire car so we did a lot of sightseeing. I know, I know, cars = carbon, but there was just no way of seeing all the beautiful landscapes without one, I really doubt public transport would have covered the areas we went to. We tried to make up for it by supporting the local economy - mainly by eating!
I don't think I've ever been as full as I was in Galway. We ate in the hotel restaurant on the first and last nights, and very nice it was too. In between, we ate at an Italian restaurant, a small cafe attached to a garden (which we didn't see because the admission fee was too much), a proper Irish pub, a little cafe by the coast in Lehinch (OK, we didn't eat, we just had hot chocolate to warm us up on a windy day) and a Spanish restaurant. Spoilt for choice! Everywhere we ate the portions were very generous, especially in the pub - I've never seen such a full plate! The garden cafe did organic, vegetarian food and the pub used locally sourced produce, so that's all good. It just goes to show how much variety there is in the area - we could have had Japanese, Chinese, Thai and lots of other cuisines in Galway city as well.
I really recommend Galway and western Ireland for a holiday. It is so beautiful, with lots of different landscapes to see, and Galway city is great for shopping, eating and probably drinking (not that I know, I'm practually teetotal, but there's plenty of pubs)!
Hmm, looks like I've put a 'Generous' twist on this post without noticing - perhaps it does fit into a category after all!