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Entries in Republic of Ireland (8)

Tuesday
Apr202010

A Drive up the West Coast of Ireland - Day 3

Another day of driving.  It’s starting to sound incredibly redundant.  And now the scenery is somewhat redundant as well.  It’s another day of green sloping hills.  Another day of driving along the coast on the wrong side of the road, in a car I generally disagree with, on roads that are way too narrow.  County Mayo was… well… not as exciting as mayo should be. At the end of the day, the roads start to straighten out a bit and I experience the 5th gear for the first time on this trip.  I won’t bore you with the rest of the details because, well, I honestly don’t remember them.

We have lunch at a really cute little café in Dromore West.  The place was incredibly charming and we dined with a police man, a priest and a woman who may or may not have been alive.  After a couple of hours, we arrived in Donegal.

The most exciting part of the day was when we pulled into Donegal into a hostel parking lot and I make the HUGE mistake of parking facing down a hill towards a 2 foot stone curb and the road below.  In order to back the car out of this space (after 3 or 4 failed attemps) I had to maneuver some sort of emergency break jump into reverse which was, for all intensive purposes, a complete mess.  However, after the e-break back up dance, I finally get the car in the right direction (not without having a minor heart attack first) and we end up at the most amazing hostel I have experienced yet.  It was basically a HUGE old manor home that had been converted into a hostel run by the cutest and nicest little family. 

The hostel dad built us a nice fire when we arrived and we cooked some dinner before heading to bed early, after having a LONG chat about Ireland, the Irish language and our lives with the hostel mom.  I ran into a friend from Inishmore (small freaking world) and we chat about what we’ve been up to since that fateful night at the American Bar a couple of weeks prior. 

Marde and I walk into town to check out Donegal but are rather unimpressed.  We walk to the Donegal Castle which looks nice, but was closed (at 3 PM?!).  We asked around for a pub showing the Liverpool Game (of which there was only one) and after that tried to find a place to sit down and connect to the wifi and have a pint (no such luck).  I go to bed early, as we have a decently long day of driving ahead of us (even on American standards, a full 8 hours likely) especially since hostel mom convinced us to take a rather large detour to the cliffs at Slieve League. 

Thursday
Apr152010

A Drive up the West Coast of Ireland - Day 1

After my driving fiasco on the first morning of my drive, I really thought I was in for it.  Marde and I drove up and out of town a bit and then did some practicing.  I pulled into an old parking lot and practiced starting and stopping, then we found a nice hill where I could practice the same again.  From a driving perspective, the rest of the trip went on without a hitch.  I still had the occasional stall, but it was less panicked.  I got through several towns without losing any hair and I managed to pull into Belfast on the 3rd day in rush hour traffic without killing anyone or causing any major traffic jams.

Thankfully, this allowed us to really spend some time marveling at the amazing scenery that is Western Ireland. 

After we left Galway, we headed west along the coast.  The weather was beautiful and the scenery even more amazing.  We drove past hundreds of houses all lined up nice and neat on the hillside and passed miles and miles of green luscious sloping hills.  We drove up through a cute town called Oughterard and then onwards towards Clifden.  We knew we were “close” to Kylemore and thought it would be nice to take a detour off to see the Kylemore Abbey.  Turns out we weren’t as close as we thought and when I saw a sign saying to turn right for the Kylemore Abbey, we embarked on an hour long detour in a redundant loop we would pass again the next day.

On the way to the Abbey, we passed through miles and miles of untouched farmland.  The scenery was beautiful and exactly what I pictured rural Ireland to feel like (only not as green – the one downside to the amazingly perfect weather I’ve had since I’ve been here).  The roads were terrible – incredibly narrow and littered with potholes.  We had to stop about every 50 yards or so to let sheep cross the road – many of which were apparently not aware that cars can kill them as they leaped gracefully in my direct path.  After about 45 minutes of this weaving and stopping, we rounded the corner at the Abbey. 

The Kylemore Abbey was absolutely spectacular.  It’s a large Abbey that sits on this little lake with a rather large mountain behind it.  The building was originally called Kylemore Castle and was a private residence before being handed over to some Benedictan nuns who fled Belgium during World War I. It has since been turned into an all-girl's boarding school run by the nuns, but Marde informed me that they will be shutting the school down at the end of this term.  Not sure what will happen to the site after that.

After we had our fix at the Abbey, we turned right back around where we had come from and down towards Roundstone which we were told was a place we HAD to stop at.  Unfortunately, I found it completely unremarkable so we breezed through, through Ballyconnelly and finally up to our destination for Day 1, Clifden. 

Clifden is a modest town with not a lot seemingly going on.  The hostel we were staying at was nice, cheap and has hot showers, so I was happy.  After a cleanup and a walk around town, we settled at a pub called EJ King’s and watched a great American cover band before retiring relatively early.

Wednesday
Apr142010

I am a terrible driver

I’ve been told that you can’t see the “real” Ireland without leaving the comfort of public transportation and the big cities and really get out and drive in the countryside.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to do just that as I needed to rent a car to go pick up Brian, Emily and Diana in Dublin on the 16th anyway. I had tried with no success to ask around friends to “borrow” a car for the week, but most people in Galway, come to find, don’t have cars – or at least the ones I was asking didn’t.

So I dragged Mr. G up to Budget with me to pick up my new little friend and start the journey cross country.  Now, those of you who follow me regularly have already heard my horror stories of driving a car with a manual transmission.  Last time I drove a stick, it was Dan’s lovely Wanda and it was on the open roads of the northern Midwest of America on some LOVELY wide interstates with relatively no traffic. When I picked up the car with Mr. G, I knew it wasn’t going to be a pretty event, but I was confident that I could figure it out and that at this point, the only thing that will improve my driving is practice.  We made it back to the house with relatively no incident (only a couple of stalls, but nothing major and not in any major area, considering it was 6 o’clock rush hour traffic when I picked the thing up, I was pretty impressed). 

I was accompanied on my drive by the lovely Marde, a couchsurfer from Melbourne I picked up who was looking for a ride out of Galway and a much welcomed companion.  Marde met me at the house before noon on Saturday and we casually packed the car up with all of our gear and got ready to get out of town.  Marde didn’t know how to drive a stick, so it looked like I really was going to have to make this work, but at this point I was pretty confident everything would be ok.  So we pull down the hill in Salthill down towards the main ocean road and I start some idle chatter about how great the trip is going to be.  We arrive at the bottom of the hill to take a right turn (our left turn, since I’m driving on the left side of the road… so I have to cross traffic). 

Stall.

Ok.  Calm down, Hesser.  You can do it.

Stall. Stall. Stall. Stall. Stall. 

by Jim LinwoodUhh…. Wtf do I do now? I’m blocking both lanes of traffic.  People are honking.  Pedestrians on the strand are staring and laughing.  I am stuck.  I keep starting the car up, shoving it in first gear, moving about 4 feet and stalling again.  Again.  And Again.  At this point I am having a full on panic attack.  I have no effing idea how I’m going to keep going. 

A knock on the window and I jump 100 feet.  A man opens the door, asks Marde to step out and he gets in the passenger seat.  Blah blah blah… I don’t know what he’s saying, I can’t even see straight.

“I’m a driving instructor.” Wait what? My ears perk up.  “Do you know how to do this?” he asks me calmly.  Yes, yes, I do. I realize I haven’t said anything, I’m just thinking to myself.  “Yes, I can. I’m just panicking,” I sputter out, “I can’t concentrate.”

For the next 5 minutes, the man sits there by Robert Couse-Bakerand talks to me.  Not about what I’m doing wrong.  Not about how terrible I’m driving.  He talks to me about America and his first time to visit.  He turns on the AC full blast . He tells me about his son who is doing a year study abroad in Boston.  He chats me up about the upcoming journey and takes my map to show me some castles I must see along the way.  All the while, we’re sitting blocking half of the left lane of traffic, but not so much that people can’t pass me.  Suddenly, I’m not shaking as much.  My face gets some color back and my arms feel a little less like Jell-O. 

“Well, best of luck to you, Abbey.  This is sure to be an epic journey for you! Are you alright now?” Strangely enough, I was. He got out of the car and let Marde back in.  He walked to the back of my car and stopped traffic behind me.  I let out the parking break.  Foot on the clutch and the break.  Slowly release and give it some gas and… well looky there.  I got the damn thing to go all by myself after all.

See you later Mr. Good Samaritan Driving Instructor Man.  You saved many lives today.

Wednesday
Apr072010

Being a Tourist on Inishmore

The post to follow is part of a series of posts of my honest opinion of my time on Inishmore, however it should be noted that some of the expenses of this trip were waived or paid for by the Aran Island Hotel and the tourism board for the Aran Islands. Don’t hate me for taking free stuff and I promise, if I didn’t love the island, I wouldn’t write nice things about it.

by jmenard48When I came to Inishmore, my only real priority was to immerse myself in the Irish language and culture for a bit. Fortunately, I was kidnapped by James (aka “Blue”) who works for the Aran Island Hotel and who promised me an amazing day of site seeing. Our day started early (as early as I could muster: 11) at the Aran Island Hotel where I was greeted and shown around even though the hotel doesn’t open until April. The hotel looks simple enough from the outside, but is absolutely amazing on the inside. Adorned with rich dark wood paneling and vibrant colored decorations (including beautiful stained glass doors), it was love at first site. The hotel boast a huge banquet hall and conference room and an even bigger bar room with extensive bar space, loads of tables and stools and a real Irish feel. They have live music from either locals or mainland Irish acts shipped over for special occasions. I can tell that this place is a blast when the room is full. I had originally planned on staying at the hotel while I was on Inishmore but because I decided to come in low season, they pointed me towards Seacrest B&B instead.

Seacrest is a super cute bed and breakfast with a great location just off the main drag leading from the docks up to the top of the hill and less than a 5 minute walk from the ferry port. The room was comfortable, clean and quiet, which was just what I needed. My room also boasted a mounted television which I definitely watched considering I haven’t watched television in… who knows how long. The best part of Seacrest for me though, was the amazing full Irish breakfast that was waiting for me when I woke up after a long night of drinking. My first course was muesli, cornflakes, yogurt and fruit. Of course I had a large glass of orange juice and tea to go with it. Second course were generous portions of bacon, sausage, eggs and toast. I felt like a million dollars after I ate. And I was glad for the added energy as I had an exhausting day of semi-hung-over sightseeing to do.

I met Blue at a pub and over a coupleby celesteh of glasses of cider he offered to spend a day driving me around the island to show me all there is to see. We started the day by driving up the incredibly steep hill up to Dún Aonghasa which is an old three walled fort on the west side of the island. Three wall forts have three walls (obvi) but the less obvious part is why, unless you’re looking at it. The third “wall” of protection is the sheer dropoff of a 400 foot cliff. The fort had several layers of walls, with various modes of protection dividing them. The first was a series of rocks piled up loosely with their sharp ends pointing up meant to stop any mounted attack, the second, a ditch dug around a taller wall meant to stop people. The fortress truly was an amazing site to see and I spent a good hour just sitting on the edge of the cliffs marveling at the long drop to the water. I didn’t feel as vulnerable as I had the day before just a bit farther south because these cliffs were a bit more stable feeling and there weren’t as many crumbled up rocks on the edge. So glad I didn’t die yesterday.

After Dún Aonghasa, Blue drove me up to the most northern part of the island which looked out onto a lighthouse on a separate island, hosted a bunch of lobster cages and fishing boats and had a stunning view of the Connemara coast. We drove back on the ocean road (passing a dozen or so bikers who dared to tackle the huge hills – I was happy to be in a car) and made a stop at Ti Joe Watty's where we grabbed a pint and a bowl of chowder and chatted about the island and about Tedfest (the festival in honor of Father Ted of the Irish sitcom Father Ted – learn more about it here) and how crazy the event had been this year. After another pint at the American Bar, Blue bid me adieu and I headed for the ferry back to Galway. But this island hasn’t seen the last of me yet.

I was blown away by the amount of Irish culture you’ll find here. In addition, it really captures the small town feel without losing conveniences (since It is such a major tourist hub) so it really has everything anyone would ever need. I was amazed that every person passing me said hello and every car gave me at least a nod as I walked along the coast road. No, I will be back to Inishmore for sure.

Monday
Apr052010

Getting Lost on Inishmore

The post to follow is part of a series of posts of my honest opinion of my time on Inishmore, however it should be noted that some of the expenses of this trip were waived or paid for by the Aran Island Hotel and the tourism board for the Aran Islands. Don’t hate me for taking free stuff and I promise, if I didn’t love the island, I wouldn’t write nice things about it.

Taking a trip to the Aran Islands was something I wanted to do since I learned of their existence and their importance in the role of preserving the Irish language. However, with the launch of my new site and a plethora of writing commitments hounding me day in and day out, I found myself in my last couple of weeks in Ireland still having not gone. So I just went. I had originally planned to take the 5 PM ferry over, spend the evening and night on the island and then had a day of sightseeing put together for me by the Aran Island Hotel before hopping on the 6 PM ferry back to Galway. However, the insomniac that I am, I found myself awake at 7 AM (damn you Home & Away reruns) and so I decided to pop on the early ferry and spend a day of exploring on my own first.

by krat-osAs soon as I arrived on the island, I was hungry. After checking into my B&B (A lovely place called Seacrest which comes highly recommended) I headed to the American Bar which happened to be the only place open at the moment. As I mentioned in my post on the Irish language I sat in this bar for quite a while listening to the gentlemen sip their Guinness and banter about man stuff. I ordered a fresh tuna and sweetcorn sandwich (one of my favorite foods these days) and a cider (which has become like water for me) and listened to a conversation I couldn’t understand for a good couple of hours. A bottle of Jameson sat on the bar open and apparently available for anyone to pour into their glass at anytime. I really felt welcome and at home here. No one really gave me notice, but no one outcast me either. I was casually invited into conversation here and there, but for the most part, we all just enjoyed the comfort of other bodies near us.

After my gastric needs were satisfied, I decided to walk down and around the southern tip of the island. There’s really only one main road that runs down the island, so I knew I wouldn’t get lost, but I also didn’t really know what I was looking for to begin with. Like Galway, the tides here are extreme. At low tide, the beach is almost 100 yards wide, but at high tide, the water comes nearly up to the break walls keeping the water off the road. I found some amazingly perfect seashells, chased some birds digging for crabs and marveled at the strange sand formations created when half of the life of the beach is spent underwater.

I walked down the road past severalby celesteh houses and an old cemetery (which I found out later is actually several layers deep with relatives constantly being buried on top of one another and forming a sort of dome of graves). I found a hiking trail and decided to follow, not really knowing where it went. I walked through some fields that looked like a natural golf course and when I approached one of the “holes” to see if that was, in fact, what it was and learned very quickly that I was on top of an enormous rabbit field. I saw the rabbit dive into the hole and pop up about 20 meters away. Now looking for them, I saw the rabbits. Hundreds of them. Absolutely littering the field. Every step I took sent 2 or 3 dozen rabbits scattering for burrows or mounds of dirt to hide behind. And this went on for a good ¼ mile. At one point, I turned around to see if the rabbits came back out after I passed them and they did, it was like I was this orb of rabbit free zone. When I came out of rabbit town, I was on a cliff. It literally just ended like that.

I stood there about 20 feet over the water and looked over the black rock into the ocean. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so I took off my coat and balled it up as a pillow and took a little nap. When I awoke, I was accompanied by an old fisherman trying his luck as the tide came in. Nothing coming in today, he said. And he disappeared back around the edge of the cliff. I wondered now, if I could continue all the way around the base of the island and walk back on the West coast. I started up the hill to find a large old stone circle watchtower filled with stones. I was walking on incredibly unstable ground, climbing over piled stone walls used to divide livestock and sure I was going to fall off the edge of the cliff into the ocean at any minute. I threw a rock into the watchtower (not sure why, but looks like other people had done it) and proceeded across the unsteady ground around to the West, hoping to find, well, anything.

by Rusticus80Then I was there. And don’t ask me where because I don’t actually know. It was just… this thing. The cliffs I was on stopped and I was on an overhang. This oval carved out of the side of a mountain. The cliffs were at least 400 feet high here, and I was on a sliver of rock jutting out over the seemingly unforgiving churn of ocean below. The waves thrashed against the walls and I watched the water rise and fall at least 50 feet in a small cave/blowhole thing. Do one thing every day that scares you, do one thing every day that scares you, I kept repeating to myself. Any Holy Jesus I was scared. I am not afraid of heights, I am not afraid of jumping off cliffs, but Oh. My. God. I was scared. Don’t be a statistic, don’t be a statistic, my psyche suddenly shifted. I gotta get out of here. But not before I video tape it. I'm having some difficulty connecting my camera to my laptop but I will upload a link to the video once I have it up.

It was starting to get dark and I needed a beer ASAP, so I headed back to the American bar and spent an amazing night with some really awesome people: a mix of locals, people working on the island and tourists like myself just in for the night. We stayed up late playing pool, drinking and talking about how we never want to leave this place. It truly is as magical as everyone warns you.

Thursday
Mar252010

Castle Hopping and Cliff Diving in County Clare

I was fortunate enough to be invited along on a driving tour of some of Western Ireland’s most treasured scenery the other day with Mr. G and his cousin Orlaigh – who happens to be the daughter of one of the only “Burrenologists” and brought with her a book written by her dad with enough information to fill a couple brains.  Naturally, she ordained me a burrenologist myself (along with her her father and one other, we’re the only ones in the world).  So I feel like I can speak to the area.

There’s a place just south of Galway City where you are transferred to a place that seems completely out of it’s element of both time and location.  I’m talking about The Burren (pronounced BURN) which is a national park contained within County Clare in Western Ireland. The Burren is only an hour or so drive from Galway city and is a fantastic day trip recommended for anyone.  The scenery is out of this world.  Giant rocky cliffs covered in green peat moss. The road is incredibly windy (and not recommended for anyone who just started driving, either on the left side of the road or a manual transmission) and the hills don’t make the driving situation any easier. 

Along the way are several castles.  The first of which is the Dunguaire Castle located just outside of Kinvara.  This castle dates back to the 16th century and was home to some ancient kings (don’t ask me who).   The island the little castle resides on is a tidal island and the castle is completely surrounded by water at high tide. Tides here in Western Ireland are more fluctuating than any other I’ve experienced.  At low tide, I live on the beach. At high tide, I live next to a rock wall that holds the ocean out of my house.  It’s crazy.  Anyway, this castle is a must see stop and is absolutely beautiful.  In the summer time you can walk inside, but during the winter, the gates will be locked, so don’t try.

Another great castle is Leamaneh Castle.  This castle has a really interesting history being inhabited by the same woman, Mary O'Brien, through several successions of husbands.  Mary’s first husband was killed in a battle against the English.  Knowing that her beloved home would soon be acquired by the British army, she offered to marry any Cromwellian officer who would have her as long as she could remain in the castle – thus retaining her estate, and living the rest of her life in her home.   This castle isn’t the most beautiful to look at, but it is a nice site and a good break in the windy drive.

If you happen to be near Ballyvaughan, another great site to see is the Corcomroe Abbey.  This old church dates back to the early 13th century and is a must see on a nice day.   The Abbey is home to beautiful carvings, a crowded cemetery, lots of very old tombs and an effigy.  There are even eagles that nest in the old tower so keep your eyes to the sky when you first walk in.

If you are inclined at this point, you are only about a half hour from the Cliffs of Moher (pronounced MORE) which, in my opinion, are a must see for any tourist who is in Western Ireland for more than a couple of days (sometimes even then).  The cliffs are located near the town of Doolin and can be accessed from the north or south.  You will have to pay €8 to park or you can take part in a charter tour (of which several run from either Galway City or Cork City).  Some people don’t think too much of the cliffs, but I was absolutely blown away.  Possibly because I had no pre-conceived idea of what they would look like.  These cliffs TOWER over all that is below.  Seagulls look like houseflies near the ocean which crashes into the side of the mountains in itty-bitty-tiny 20 foot waves. 

On a sunny day from the tops of the cliffs (which I was lucky enough to experience), you can see all three Aran Islands (Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer), Galway City, Connemara, the cliffs and the vastness that is the Atlantic ocean.  There is also a cute watchtower (O’Brien’s Tower) at the top of the hike where you can walk in and up for an even more stunning view of the panorama.  The cliffs are equipped with an informative and new visitors center which is built cleverly (or annoyingly, as some locals will tell you) in the side of one of the cliffs.  Oh and don't actually cliff dive off these.  There is nothing but rocks at the bottom and the anti-suicide lines right before the gates will remind you that it's not a joke. 

The details:

The Burren
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Burren
Open year round, best seen in the daytime, castle opening times vary, check individual sites for more information.

The Cliffs of Moher
http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/
Opening hours: 9-dusk (varies, check the website)
O’Brien’s Tower has shorter visiting hours so check the website
Contact Number: +353 (0)65 7086141
E-mail: info@cliffsofmoher.ie

Thursday
Dec202007

Turn her down the Rocky Road

map dublinLocation: Killiney, Republic of Ireland

Ireland is literally my favorite place on earth. The cafe I'm in right now doesn't allow USB access so I can't upload my pictures, but when I do, you'll see what I mean.

Dublin is such a great city. There was so much character and so much to see. I went to a couple different churches, my favorite being St. Patrick's Cathedral. Even though it was under construction, it was absolutely breathtaking. It had this great little park behind the church with some great fountains and a wall devoted to famous Irish literaries. I sat there for quite a while and managed to get some great pictures of the fountain with the sunrise in the background as well as the cathedral which was very medieval. After this, I walked to the Guinness brewery which I didn't have time to go into, but I did down a Guinness real quick and move on. I went to another great church in the middle of nowhere called St. Augustine & St. John's. It was a Catholic church and it was HUGE. Right in the middle of this little residential neighborhood.

After that, I went by the Jamison Whiskey distillery (thanks fo rthat newspaper article about that dad) and then to what I thought was the Dublin Castle. I'm not exactly sure what it was but, it wasn't the Dublin Castle. It was still beautiful though and had a nice park as well that a bunch of people were sitting in reading the newspaper and what not.

After this, I went down to Mary Street where the main shopping area is. It's kind of like a 6th street of shopping. They have the street blocked off for most of the day so people can walk accross it while they're shopping. There are vendors in the streets with their little booths selling fruits and sweaters and blankets and homemade toys. Anything you can think of. All I bought was a sandwich (a sweet corn, chicken and cheddar cheese toastie :) cute name... I thought it sounded interesting so I tried it, it was wonderful!!) Right in the middle of the center is this HUGE spear thing. It looks like a 50 story flag pole. I can't even begin to guess how tall it is, but it is literally the tallest thing in the entire city. I believe it's called the Spire. The base of it is about as big as a car and it just gets smaller and smaller until it goes to a point at the top. Not really sure what the purpose is, but it sure does look cool!! :)

After this, as advice from the the hostel owner. I got on a train to go to Bray. It's this small coastal town south of dublin and I really wanted to get out of the city and see some country side. He had told me it was about a 30 minute train ride, and I had mapped out my timing based on this so when I had been on the train for 40 minutes, I started to get worried. Suddenly, we rounded a corner and there was the beautiful beach. I didn't know where I was, but I just got off. Turns out I was in this tiny little town called Killiney. I went through the town a little and then went down to the beach. The weather was fantastic (it was 10 degrees C which I'm not sure exactly what that translates to, but I do know that it was -3 in Liverpool yesterday, so this feels like summertime). The beach was all polished pebbles and the sun was setting over the mountains. I sat there for a good 30 minutes watching the locals walking down the beach and playing with a couple of dogs that were running with their owners.

After this, I went back to Dublin, visited Trinity college and then picked up my bag at the hostel and headed to the airport. My plane was delayed slightly, but I got in just in time to run into Kimmie and Mike heading to my hostel to meet me. I dropped off my bag and then we went and had a beer and watched the first half of the Liverpool vs. Chelsea football game which was really fun. It felt so good to have some meaningful conversation. Afterwards we went to this cute little Chinese restaurant that Mike really loved from when he was a kid and it was so much different from what I was used to. We had fried duck which was AMAZING. They were so great to take me out and I was so glad to see them.

After that we just walked home (since all the bars were closed at 11... so interesting... and people were okay with it?). The hostel I stayed at last night was wonderful. The rooms were much smaller, I just shared with three other girls and we had our own bathroom. The girls were all asleep by the time I got home and had left when I woke up so I never got to chat with them. But I'm not sure either, that they spoke any English. They were all from China (atleast that's what the cute guy at the front desk told me :)

Alright, it's off for another day in Liverpool. The family comes in tonight!! I'm so excited and I'm sure I'll have much to update about tonight.

XOXO

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Now playing: Michael Bublé - How Sweet It Is
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Wednesday
Dec192007

Sweet Emerald Isle that I love so well

map dublinLocation: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

The flight to Dublin was lovely. I flew on this airline called RyanAir (the ticket cost me $35 round trip from Liverpool to Dublin). If you had taken a plane out of the 1970's and replaced the one I rode on today (crew and all), I may have not noticed. The plane was neon yellow inside with bright blue plastic seats. There were no tray tables, no reclining seats, no seat back pockets... they were just chairs bolted into a plane. The flight attendants had on these lime green jumper things. There were also advertisements all over everything. Vodka ads on the overhead bins, hertz ads on the backs of every seat. It was a really interesting experience.

The flight itself was great. Ireland is literally, the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The countryside is this color of green that I would have claimed was fake if I had not seen it myself. The hills rolled forever, it seemed and every once and a while, we'd fly over a farm with a HUGE cottage house and dairy cows or sheep dotting the pasture. Amazing. Once I got into town, it was almost dark. The traffic was out of control (trying to navigate downtown Dublin in 5 o'clock traffic was not fun). I'm going to just call it a night for now. Take a much needed shower (I've never wanted one so bad) and get up early to go look at the stuff around here. We're literally within 100 yards of the Dublin Castle, some huge church and the Guinness museum and brew house. Yum :)

XOXO

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Now playing: Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly
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