The Crane Bar

The Crane bar was on two of our lists – one recommended to us by my cousin and its also the the Galway Bars Tshirt. This place has many awards for its traditional music offerings. Tonight would just be a jam session which is maybe the best to see! Upstairs in a crowded room but we got close to the band.

But first we went there for a pint in the late afternoon, far too early for the music which never seems to start until 9:30ish. The bartender was very friendly and later saw us – and recognized us – on the street and back at the bar later – so can we say that they “knew our names”?

We also met a nice local gentleman, the only other patron at 4:30-5:00. We did get into a small political discussion – everyone liked to talk about American politics and the election. We did not like to…

Old timey music in older times

A bit early for dinner so we walked to the Galway Cathedral which is the youngest stone church in Ireland, opened in 1965.

Remains of an old mill- I just love how things like this are just interspersed with newer modern buildings, parking lots, etc.

Dinner at the highly rated kai cafe and restaurant – some wonderful food and very pretty presentation. We didn’t get the beef strip steak but it was the prettiest with nasturtiums as garnish.

Brill Ceviche, Salted Cucumber and Avocado was excellent

Mountain Lamb, Pecorino Sardo and Grilled Nectarines – Bill like this one best and I was glad because I liked my ceviche. But his was good too.

We shared a Chermoula Swordfish

And of course… some mash (potatoes)

Then it was back to the Crane Bar for the music. The group was more diverse or at least their music was. Two people, the lead singer and guitarist and accordian player are part of a band, the others had just joined in, with more people coming up during the evening. Ended up with three fiddlers, one man who played mandolin and guitar and sang old ballads with little accompaniment, one man on a flute and the two band members. We got old Irish ballads, some more modern songs, some Irish instrumental music. Best fiddler I’ve EVER heard live – the video does not do him justice and it was very dark which is too bad because his technique was fascinating.

After a couple of his songs, I asked him if he was a professional – some of these musicians are and some just do it for fun. His answer: “God, no!”. Just wow.

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