As written for the Irish Bobcats blog:
Adventures in Galway
By McKenzie Powell
O n Wednesday, July 8, our group headed to Galway, an adorable, artsy city located on the western coast of Ireland. I had no idea what to expect, other than five days in an unknown city watching what I presumed (and hoped) to be interesting movies at the 2015 Galway Film Fleadh.
I was very excited for our excursion, but not at all prepared for what Galway had in store for us..
We arrived in Galway just a few hours before our first screening of the week, which was titled, “Lost Island Films.” After the long, four-ish hour bus ride, we were starving and decided to grab a bite to eat before heading on over to watch the films. Little did we know, there were dozens of places to dine at, including countless cafes, restaurants and corner markets.
As we continued searching for the perfect place to eat, we found ourselves constantly stopping on the street to watch the amazing street performers. Who knew there would be so many – and with so many different talents and crafts! There were musicians, artists, hair braiders, vendors, some man playing with fire, and, again, music – SO MUCH MUSIC!
We chose to eat at a cute little bakery and asked for takeaway sandwiches (Irish version of to-go). Once our sandwiches were ready, we headed over to a bench across from the park and enjoyed a late lunch complete with people watching, fresh air and some extremely obnoxious pigeons.
Throughout the week we watched an abundance of films, including “The Wolfpack,” “Older Than Ireland” and “The First Film.” Some of these films were a little rough to get through, however, others – like “Older Than Ireland” and “The Wolfpack,” for example – were absolutely incredible to watch. It was really amazing to not only watch these films, but also bask in the presence of some of the directors and cast members while listening to them speak about their journey.
Whenever we weren’t watching pieces at the Galway Film Fleadh, we would frequent the surrounding streets of Eyre Square with delight. There were so many cute shops to visit, awesome restaurants to eat at (the Buddha Bar was delightful) and fantastic street performers to watch. We couldn’t stay away, and we also couldn’t stop spending money!
The money spending continued when I discovered an incredible artist named Caro, who creates beautiful synthetic and natural, crotchet dreads. Because I have been considering dreading my hair for quite a while, I decided to stop by Caro’s shop and have a chat.
Long story short: my dread adventure ended in a load of money being spent, two other girls getting a few dreads in their hair as well, a stop at a tattoo parlor for an ear piercing, and a scheduled tattoo appointment (I only got the dreads, mom).
Our five days in Galway created some of the best memories of my entire time here in Ireland – so much that I couldn’t possibly fit all the great moments into this short little blog post. I am so grateful that we were given the opportunity to attend the Galway Film Fleadh, as it allowed us to explore this artsy, creative town full of intelligent, crafty minds and fun times!
My hair now holds a constant reminder of Galway and my promise to Caro, my wonderful, French, dread-loving friend. I guess I have no other choice but to return next year!