Northern Ireland, despite its name and its location, is not part of Ireland at all. In fact, it is considered a region of United Kingdom.

That distinctiveness was quite evident to me when I stayed in Belfast after travelling from Galway. While I felt that Ireland was very much lush greenery and tall cliffs (and Guinnesses), Belfast felt more city-like, and there were certain parts of Belfast that reminded me of London.

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Galway City

When I decided to travel to Ireland, there were a million itineraries in my mind. Visit Skellig Michael, the monastic island that is known for being incredibly hard to travel to. Visit Killarney, the quaint town that is also the hometown of a certain Michael F. As I started planning, I realised it was impossible to visit all of these places during my short trip. But there was one city that I never even considered taking out – Galway, the cultural heart of Ireland.

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