By Bláthnaid O’Dea
Every year thousands of balding British men and their wives visit Galway to traipse around our small, friendly, but very, very wet city — and nobody bats an eyelid.
This Thursday when Prince William (who is balding) and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate (who is his wife) visit Galway everybody’s eyes will be out on stalks to see where they go and what they do.
Galway Pulse has compiled a brief list of recommendations for the royal couple on the very off chance they like to read this publication with a pint of bitter of an evening.
Without further ado, here’s what we think the royals should do in Galway:
1. Eyre Square
No trip to Galway is complete without a walk through Eyre Square. The royal couple are both very sporty and they would no doubt be amazed at the athleticism of the skateboarders who like to congregate there to practice their kick-flips, terrorising pigeons and passersby alike in the process. William and Kate could find a dry patch of grass on the square and huddle up together to take in Eyre Square’s interesting aromas to say the least… and whatever it is the skaters are smoking.
Lots of couples like to buy expensive hand-knitted aran geansaís and Claddagh rings when in Galway as they are the fashion items most synonymous with the city. We say, forget those and go to Penneys. In their native Britain, Penneys is known as Primark and royalty would never be caught dead there. But William and Kate might enjoy an hour or two bargain hunting with the native Irish. Just imagine Kate’s mates when they ask her where she got her new frock and she comes out with the famous line: “Thanks hun, Penneys!”
It is a no-brainer that the Cambridges should go to McCambridge’s for lunch on Thursday. They could sit upstairs by the window and watch us plebs below side-stepping the puddles on our way to work and college. Galway Pulse recommends soup and a sandwich. Simple is best. It’s advisable to leave room for the dinner…
Touring is a tiring business and sometimes one needs a little tonic. Enter Buckfast: Galway’s tonic wine of choice. William would look really sharp toting a bottle of this as he is paraded up and down Shop Street. A bottle of Buckfast is like the young, happening Galway man’s equivalent of a handbag on a night out — a must have. It’s caffeinated too so he won’t be yawning after his early start.
5. The Cathedral
Unfortunately, the royal couple have just missed the novena, but they should still visit the cathedral and say a few decades of the rosary. They could pray for the Queen and atone for the Crown’s 800 year colonisation of Ireland.
Foreign holidays aren’t cheap, and William and Kate probably want to get a few presents for their three children — and perhaps something shiny for Prince Philip. They should go to Ireland’s equivalent of a pound shop, which would truly be an exotic experience for both of them in Brexit-affected Britain. Also another chance for them to mingle with us common folk.
Galway’s finest dining experience. Need we say more? For the most authentic experience the royal couple should pop in for a carton of taco cheese fries around 2am. If William has had his Buckfast (see tip no. 4) he should still be wide awake at that hour.
Avid Galway-goers may have noticed we have not yet recommended any of the city’s fine pubs and nightclubs to William and Kate. That is simply because there is so many to choose from — and they’re mostly all great. William and Kate should do a pub crawl, but we recommend starting off with a sneaky naggin of off-brand vodka down at Spanish Arch. Weather permitting, of course.
9. The bog
They’ve just missed the novena, and unfortunately the royals are coming at the wrong time to experience another of Galway’s quintessential activities. They might be a couple of months early for saving the turf but William and Kate should make it their business to visit a bog.
10. A GAA pitch
If they truly want to fit in with the people of Galway, William and Kate should go to a GAA pitch. Any pitch will do, but preferably one out in “the sticks” so they can pick up the regional Galway accent. They’ll return to Buckingham with a very impressive array of phrases to try out, such as “bad ref!”, “mark up!”, “find yer man!”, “wake up Donie!” and other colourful examples which Galway Pulse couldn’t possibly repeat. We imagine any of the above would go down splendidly at Wimbledon.