Market Day in Galway

The second day of my stay in Galway was “Market Day,” and I had read about the “don’t miss this” opportunity with the colorful stands of the once-a-week Saturday morning market. I summoned a cab for a ride to the market—and was dropped off a block from Shop Street, the very same place where I’d spent my entire day on Friday.

Bike cart to haul goods around the market

True, there were carts and booths and plenty of sellers, but it was not at all what I had imagined—much less, and right back where I’d already explored. The first order of business was a fresh blood orange juice, squeezed while I watched and from the last of the season’s blood oranges.

The last blood oranges of the season–one of my favorites

Hand-pressed oranges to make juice

My precious bottle of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice awaits–and was soon gone

I strolled the sidewalks between the vendors, and there were all varieties—fishmongers, specialty breads and preserves, Irish ceramics, handmade jewelry (I bought two small rings), Indian carry-away foods (curries are very popular in Ireland), flowers and plants, and the expected vegetables and fruits. Although there was good variety, there were actually very few vendors, and soon I’d explored all that the market day had to offer.

The fishmonger and customers lined up

Serving the many customers

Fish piled high for sale

Irish smoked tuna, vacuum packed

A live lobster ready for purchase, packed in seaweed

Potatoes–and many varieties of them

Breads and pastries for sale

St. Nicholas, Church of Ireland–located right behind the booths

Three children of the vendors inventing a pebble game together

Peppers and apples for sale

A curry hand pie, and a happy little guy

Irish ceramics, with sheep, shamrocks, and Celtic knot themes

Fresh flowers–these are gorgeous peonies

In a mere block, I was back on Shop Street, finding new buskers performing, and a familiar one now playing bagpipe. One of my favorites, as I enjoyed another pot of tea and pastry from Gillian’s, was a very pretty and talented Irish dancer, who was a regular at one particular corner. She wore a green velvet dress and tap shoes, with some significant amplification equipment sitting nearby on the corner, where she took short breaks to choose songs from her medley as her mood dictated. She was always smiling and dancing, but then two little girls came up to watch, and soon joined right in dancing without a hint of self-consciousness. She stopped, took out her iPhone, and kept her Irish music playing while the little girls danced away. Smiling broadly, the dancer enjoying their joyful dancing, recording the memory on her phone’s video camera.

Right back to Shop Street, a block away

Clever handmade signs abound on Shop Street

Same musician, now with a bagpipe

Interesting mural I had missed the day before

Back to Gillian’s for tea and pastry, again

Irish street dancer at her regular corner spot

Young sisters passing by join in the dance

The dancer stops to film the little girls dancing

The claddagh symbol is everywhere–here on a headstone at St. Nicholas

Old friends chatting near the musicians

A new phobia I didn’t know I might have

Did a double take–almost looks like the California flag (animal changed)

I’m a great fan of the Gypsy Vanner horse–saw them rarely in pastures as I drove by–but here they are on artisan beer bottles

This musician remembered me from the day before (jazz guitarist and singer). Maybe 70% of the dogs I saw in Ireland were Jack Russell Terriers.

Youth band playing on the street–this an instrument I am learning to play in Italy. But it was in Galway that I finally found a case for my organetto (Irish call them “button accordions,” but they are made in Italy)

The Celtic harp player, youth band

Banjo player, youth band.

I spent another couple of hours cruising familiar Shop Street areas, with new musicians and a few new things to catch my eye. By afternoon, though, it was time to return to my hotel. There, beside the elevator up to my room, I caught the bathroom symbols on the doors nearby—the first time I’ve seen these particular symbols used anywhere.






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