The coast hugs Galway like a wool shawl, hoping to keep her wrapped in warmth. The gray and rainy skies have given way to a welcome sun.
Languages float on the air in the clipped staccato of German and Gaelic and the flowing song of Irish and French. Snatches of conversation born on the wings of laughter, reflect the relief felt from the ebbing bleak and cold day.
The rays glint gold through the mug of beer and the wine glimmers in the glass. It's Spanish beginnings harken to the arch around the corner that once carried the cherished elixir from far away lands.
Up the quay is Salthill. A place where the locals share stories of liners, queued in the bay, that brought visitors who smiled when the lilt of the greeters would welcome them to the Green Isle. A shared story of snowballs, that were once crafted, were thrown. But the air has warmed and it is no longer cold enough for such play.
Patients husbands watch wives who seek to capture the charm of the cobbled streets that are dotted with shops and hostels.
The land of a thousand welcomes opens her arms and gives the gift of history and lineage, while clothed in its modern garb. It's past has a tenuous grasp on the ground that once felt the footsteps of Vikings. A reluctance to embrace the future keeps the ghosts firmly entrenched and their hold on this city will not be easily loosed. If the veil between the two worlds could be rent, the mistakes of the past could be understood and less likely to be repeated.