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Galway – The European Capital of Culture 2020

Galway is one of Ireland’s most picturesque and vibrant cities, with musicians striking up in its atmospheric pubs and busking on its streets, a seafood-driven culinary scene, jam-packed calendar of events and a true bohemian soul.
As Galway is a food capital of Ireland, what can be better then starting the day with delicious meal?
Moran’s Oyster Cottage is a world famous seafood restaurant with a traditional thatched cottage that dates back over 250 years. Enjoy wild flat oysters, fresh crab and traditional seafood chowder with a beautiful view on the Kilcolgan river.
For a true cultural immersion in the Gaelic way of life, visit Cnoc Suain – cultural and creative retreat, a restored rural hill-village set in 200 acres of Connemara wilderness, only 20 minutes drive from Galway city. Make the most of illuminating fireside stories on aspects of the Gaelic language, music, customs and traditions. Learn how to make famous soda bread and dance like a native Irishman.
If you are lucky enough you can see Connemara Pony on the way to the Connemara Airport from where you can fly south-east to the Co. Clare Coast, along the Cliffs of Moher for the best possible views, then north-west along Galway Bay to see the three Aran Islands including views of the Dun Aengus Fort on Inis Mór.

*I was lucky enough to be a co-pilot and have all the 180 degrees views that will never abandon me! 
After a short drive – you arrive to luxurious Asford castle. Dating back to 1228, with 83 spectacular rooms, suites and the Hideaway Cottage, a wealth of activities and plenty of thoughtful touches, Ashford Castle offers guests perfect Irish hospitality on a grand scale.
In the morning explore the grounds of Asford castle and choose one of their infamous activities. Take on the challenge of the castle’s nine hole private golf course, visit the Ashford Equestrian Centre or fish on the great lake and rivers that pass through the estate.
After a day of outdoors castle fun drive back to beautiful Galway and just stroll around the city. One of the joys of wandering through Galway is stumbling across its small speciality shops selling everything from Irish-made fashion to local art and jewellery.
In the evening the culinary walking tour of Galway is waiting for you, providing an overview of the produce and people that make Galway one of Ireland’s gourmet jewels. You will be able to meet artisan producers and sample their products with a guide, who offers insight into local favourites and their ingredients. Finish the night at the traditional Irish pub with live music.
After noisy and fun night enjoy your peaceful stay at the beautiful Glenlo Abbey. Arriving through the doors of the reception area is like stepping back through glorious time. There is a real feeling of the 19th Century grandeur from the beautiful gold wallpaper, to the finely polished wooden furniture and floors.

If you choose to explore the estate in the morning, you certainly won’t be bored. Choose from falconry, 140 acre lakeside golf course, a 21-bay driving range, and golf lessons, archery, fishing (on Lough Corrib, rods and tackle are provided), cycling, a range of walks and rambles, and an on-site nine-hole course. The award-winning Pullman Restaurant aboard the Orient Express at the Glenlo Abbey Hotel offers a unique dining experience. These historic Pullman train carriages are rich in history. 

A special thank you for pulling together such a great weekend to Rose Finn from Galway Convention Bureau, to Lorna Toher from Meet In Ireland and Judy Till from RAM Org!
Thank you for hospitality to Eilish from Ashford Castle and Steve from Glenlo Abbey.

Author and lucky participant: Ruslana Nychay

Projects Team @ C–WISE