Last weekend I got to head down to Galway for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race Galway 2012 celebrations. Sent down by work I decided to take advantage and stay a few extra days as I hadn't been there in ages. Despite the torrential and persistent rain, lugging boxes through fields of mud and having to resign a pair of my runners to the bin it was worth it. Once the work event was over I had a few days to get reacquainted with Galway and discover what the Volvo Ocean Race had to offer.
The Galway Volvo Ocean Race is divided into two areas - the Global Village and the Race Village. The Global Village offers a food pavilion, a fun fair, a craft quarter, an innovation hub and lots, lots more. There are loads of activities happening for both adults and kids from cooking demonstrations to exploring life under the sea. The Race Village is where all gigs are happening and a huge stage has been purpose built for this. Lots of the events are entirely free.There is a bridge which connects the two sections so accessing both areas is fairly manageable. The Food Pavilion and craft area is where I spent a lot of my time tasting cheese, drinking craft beer and helping my mother with her art stand (blatant plug for the mammy!). The Food Pavilion was filled with Irish Food producers including some of my favourites such as Glenilen Farm, Just Food and The Foods of Athenry and new ones such as McGeough's, who do amazing smoked sausages, and Roscommon Chocolate Company.
Even with the rain Galway City was packed and the atmosphere was magic. I also managed to get to a few of the restaurants I have wanted to try for ages but that is another post entirely! If you can manage it, get yourself to Galway for even a day as the event has so much to offer. Unfortunately I couldn't stay longer but if I was there tonight I would be staying up late and helping to celebrate the arrival of the boats who are due in around 1am. The way into Galway harbour will be lit with bonfires from Eeragh on the northern tip of Inishmore and at the Black Fort and the Point. The arrival of the boats will be a sight to behold. The Volvo Ocean Race Galway continues until Sunday 8th July. As the tagline goes 'The race started in Alicante but the party starts in Galway' - it's already well underway!
|Transformer's Roadshow: Impressive models|
|Just Food makers of one of my favourite soups!|
|Lots of Craft Beer on offer|
|Urban Arks: I want this preferably with the chickens!|