One of my favorite things to do is to walk around places there are normally tons of people when nobody is there. You see things you don’t normally notice when it is crowded with people. It is also easier to take photos when nobody is around to get in the shots, and you can take photos without people looking at you weird. This is why my favorite time to go for a walk to take photos is at dawn, when everyone else is still asleep.
The first city I really realized how good of a time dawn is to take photo and walk around in is Galway. For those who do not know where Galway is, it is located on the western shore of Ireland. The town is the fourth largest city in Ireland. It is a quaint city filled with artists, performers,university students, and backpackers. As one Galway resident put it “Galway is the end of the line for most backpackers, you can’t go any further west in Europe. Many people arrive here and fall in love with the city, and try to make their way here.”
Galway is also a university town. University of Galway is a leading Uni in Ireland, and a large portion of the population of the town is there for the University. This makes the party scene a little interesting, the bars are far more busy Monday-Thursday than you would expect, many people go home for the weekends.
The sun rises far later in Ireland than back where I live. I would get up around 5am and not want to just sit in the lobby until my tour group woke up at 8am. On Beltane I looked at the time for sunrise and decided to take a walk. All the photos from this article are from the two morning walks I took while I was there.
When everyone is asleep all the bars are still hard at work. 5 am Is when it seems every pub gets their kegs delivered, and there are service people around most of the major pubs. Another thing that was interesting was how many trash collection and cleaning people were around. They really do make an effort to keep the city clean for the tourists and people.
Walking around the streets that are normally crowded with people and the air filled with street music; seeing them empty and the only sounds are trucks backing up in the distance is a little surreal. To a certain extent it feels like you somehow woke up and everyone else in the world had disappeared. It is a calm and peaceful feeling though to not have to worry about bumping into anyone, or being in anyone’s way.
The animals of the city, ducks,swans,ravens, pigeons are about the only ones awake alongside me. They are far calmer when there are not people trying to scare them away. They let you get fairly close if you just walk quietly, its like they know you don’t mean to disturb them. They are a bit like me, just out for a morning stroll before all the people in the city wake-up.
The best part of all of this is that if you walk from the Kinley Hostel where I was staying to the coast of the town a half hour before sunrise, you will arrive at the bay in time to watch the sunrise. This was a great time to just reflect on my trip. Both the Sunrises I saw were stunning, and made it worth it to wake up early to see them.
As a person who grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts Galway felt very familiar. Galway is the more spiritual and artsy city in comparison to a city like Dublin. If Dublin is like Boston, Galway is like Salem. It is truly a place that I know I will need to go back to at some point.
As always hope you enjoyed reading,
Go With The Winds.
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