Ireland Part 1. The West Coast

This is my first trip to Ireland.
My husband and I wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary and wanted to make a special trip to celebrate it. Bob has been wanted to come to Ireland for years and I wanted to attend a workshop held by Róisín Curé, a talented artist native of this country whose work I've followed for over a year. So Ireland was the choice to go. My trip to Ireland began in the United States. I received an Irish blessing/poem from a friend printed in paper. Her intentions came through. The blessing for this  trip proved to be true, as I will show in the following posts of our adventures.

Through the window of our night flight I could see nothing but the shining moon. Sometimes I take for granted its beauty, and here it was. A bright spot in the dark night, illuminating the clouds over the Atlantic Ocean. The lack of sleep made me grab my little portable and very handy sketchbook and drew this unforgettable view.



A6 Hahnemühle Sketch Note, pen, ink and watercolor.


Driving on the left side of the road on the right side of a car is not our cup of tea. So my husband and I decided to use buses as our media of transportation that seems to be very reliable and affordable. We were fortunate to sit in the first raw with nothing obstructing our view. It was like if we were driving our own vehicle but on a second floor. The ride from Dublin to Galway, our mid destination, was pure joy, the country landscape was becoming familiar: green landscapes, big and healthy cows, the country walls made of stone and those spectacular clouds that Róisín Curé has wonderfully mastered. Here is a humble attempt to render that beautiful sky during our ride.


A6 Hahnemühle Sketch Note, pen, ink and watercolor.


Once in Galway, I needed to use my laptop to write this lines. I then just realized we forgot our European electrical adapter kit and in search for one we went off. From our hotel in Eyre Square was easy to walk everywhere. I found it amazing, after asking questions and talking to locals, how friendly and happy the people in this place is. Those big green and blue eyes, looking at you with genuinely interest to help you and those big smiles made us feel soooo welcome. We confirmed what we have heard about Irish people, friendly people with a warm heart. This is the hardware store we ended buying our electrical adapter. Later we return to finish the sketch and to buy a second adapter we needed. A man came out the store and asked me if he could see my sketch. Of course I showed it to him. He was so pleased that he sold me the adapter for half price. This is another example of many of the happy experiences that sketching can give you. People seems to respond to you in a friendlier way, despite you are a completely stranger.

A5 Moleskine, pen, ink and watercolor.


Later that day, after a 3 hour nap, (hey! we were very jet lagged!) we met at a bar with another fellow sketcher from Paris who was going to take the same workshop than me. We loved the ambiance of the bar where we met. Everything was made of carved wood. The ceilings, the hand rail stair was richly ornamented, even the lightning. I sketch a young man who was in front of us. The table (made of wood was well) look so heavy but it had a décor that belong to the style of the bar. Our friendly bartender offered us local beer, Galway Hooker beer. Clear beer. It was good… to start. A party of ten young men arrived and sat around the table I just sketched. They looked like people who just finished their shift and went out for fun. I noticed all of them have very short hair, giving them a particular look, something I noticed as well during the rest of our trip. Most of these local men order draft ale. Bob ordered the same too. Boy was that amazing! I had tasted bottled Guinness beer before but nothing this quality. Wohoo! By experience I know dark beer is very deceiving, since the flavor is very smooth and the level of alcohol is undetectable, it goes down your throat easily, so we were aware. The happy party of men and our own joy made us take the route to whiskey. Again we listened to our bartender recommendations and we got Green Spot and Yellow Spot which are a rarity since they are limited produced in the island. The whisky was aged 7-10 and 12 years. Smooth and rich in oak flavor………[sigh] Whiskey, spot,  my new favorite drink.

A5 Moleskine, pen, ink and watercolor.



Next morning, we took the bus to Kinvara, a charming fishing village on the West Coast where the workshop was going to be held. The displayed of flags in white and maroon color in the area showed how proud they were to support this big tournament of hurling, a very traditional Irish sport. Later I learned that those colors were the colors of Co. Galway team. 

Finally, that evening, I was going to meet Róisín Curé. Click here to read part 2.

Comments

  1. I love the sketch of the street with the colorful buildings. It is so full of life and promise!
    Congrats from Portugal

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  2. Love your blog Adriana. Glad you enjoyed Galway. The hardware store is my husband's shop 😊 Your sketch is amazing 💜

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    1. Oh my! Thank you Deirdre. I loved Galway. You have a charming store and quite well stocked!

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  3. I'm already getting weepy and you've only written the first day. So glad to see it all together. Much love to you. X

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    1. Thanks my dear friend. It's' all good memories. OX

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