Ireland

The breakfast role ..... and more

I spent two more day in Dublin, one visiting the wicklow mountains, and the other recovering from a big night out on the town with Jules and Hannah. Wicklow was truly spectular, but once again the weather did not follow suit. Then it was back for some serious grooming- by which i had never been subjected to, but were not surpised came from princess Hanah and Julie, who transformed me. after copius amounts of vodka, 7up (similar to lemonade) and cranberry juice, we headed out for a night of dancing and fun. AND dance we did, although it made me realise how lucky we are that we don't have to pay cover charges at clubs and pubs in OZ- 10 euro, and thats not even for a a posh place! I was getting very exitced about my 'breakfast role' showing by skipping around the streets of Dublin, singing 'breakfast role, breakfast role!' much to the embarassment of my irish counterparts. A breakfast role, as some may know, is a hangover cure, particular to ireland, so much so that there was a song written about it. anyhoo, like all good drinking food, it is a grease laden concoction of fried egg, sausage, black/white pudding, bacon all in a baguette. The initial plan was so avoid eating anything before we went home that night, so come morning we would be able to to justice to our breakfast roles, but that plan went out the window, when after being pushed out of the pub at 3am, we spotted the " GET IN HERE" fast food diner (what a name!!) anyway some nachos, a burger and some chilli fries later, we got a taxi home, and as i got into bed i noticed it was totally light outside again, and 5 am.

We rose at around 12, I packed and we gave the house a bit of spring clean, but we still managed to have our breakfast role, although it was more like an afternoon role, at 4:30 pm! Had to say good by by to my irish princesses, which was sad, but may still meet hanah in france again. I flew back to london for some Zzzzzzzzzzzzz, after being out 6 out of the 9 nights in Ireland, - there is a reason they have a reputation- craic all the way!

Paddy wagon tour

On monday I departed for my 'paddy wagon' tour. There were ab out 25 of us on it and we all were loaded onto this big green bus at Connely station in Dublin. Our tour guide was thoroughly Irish, complete with red hair and a sizeable gut, making him oh so endearing. We left Dublin, and our first stop was the Pheonix wild park, where the Pope said mass to 1 million people in 2001 (i think) . The weather unfortunaly was cold and grey, with rainy patches. next we visited 'a bog.' Specfically the bog of Allen. This black stuff has been used by the Irish in rural areas for centuries to provide fuel for heat etc. We then arrived at Clonmacnoise: Ireland’s Golden Age Celtic Crosses. This place was wierd, its an old monastic graveyard, dating back to decades ago. extremely beautiful but also a bit eery, we wandered around taking photo's and also had a slide show, which was more like a bed time story. So after a long day of driving we arrived in the west of Ireland in Galway- party city, and that is where the fun began. after a stroll around this student town, we hit the pub, for some hearty Irish stew- mmmmmmm its AWESOME! and some cider and black current. the cider in Ireland was fantastic, and aided with blackcurrent, it was just like a lollie drink- perfect for yours truly (but not the next morning!), who as any one who knows me can attest to despises beer. although I must say I did try guinness and blackcurrent, thanks to my canadian friend Tim, but was still not converted.....lucky cider rivals beer on the economic front. Galway is MAD city, filled with students, and with plpenty of pubs, night life and energy it well deserves its name in Ireland as the 'party city.' We then moved pubs to a seemingly small pub, which despite its diminuitive entrance had 3 floors- very cool! By this stage we were all quite relaxed, and getting to know each other more. The pub had a live band, which was really good, and gave the place a lot of ambience and atmosphere. So after a few more drinks, and some fine Irish melodies Tim and I stumbled back to our hostel. I d love to go back to Galway- if your in Ireland, its a must!

The next day we had an early start, being 9am. We headed south towards the the lunar landscape of the Burren, this old castle at the edge of the wild Irish see. The landscape on this day was amazing! The Cliffs of Moher were absoulty gorgeous. they are these massive cliffs, with almost vertiical drops. my pictures are great. We hopped over the 'restricted area' and lay flat on our bellies at the edge of the cliffs to get thing I saw in Ireland. We then headed off to Kilarny to our next hostel. since our hostel was full, we had to stay at the paddy wagono one about 40 minutes out of Kilarny, it meant that we spent the night at the on site pub, and heard some almost non- understandable Irish accents. once again the cider was my friend, and we played pool, chatted away, and by the end of the night were all dancing away at 'in house disco.' - Happy times:)


Wednesday we got up and headed to Kilarny, for a Horse led ride through the National Park on the world famous Jaunting Cars. It was pretty good, although the weather couldn't have been more shit- you call this summer????? We headed off to the Blarney stone, after I got possibly THE best hot chocolate ever- if your reading this em S, it def beat blue zone! I kissed the Blarney stone- it was hot..... dah no, but it does mean that for the next 7 years i will be able to tell as many 'believable' lies as i like -apparently it gives you the gift of the Gab. finally we arrived back in Dublin, - after an interesting 3 days I returned to Jules, for some well needed rest.

kilmainhm jail

Yesterday I spent the day in Monahen. Julie's home town in the north part of the south of Ireland. it was VERY green and we went for a walk in this huge forest where this old castle used to be, before rebels in the north burnt it down in the 70's. Later on we went for a late lunch in the castle where Paul Mc Cartney got married. it is said to be haunted and dates back to the 1700's. I then drove back to Dublin with Julie, and we started pre- drinking for a night out in the poshest club in Dublin- "krystle." Indeed it was very trendy and cost 10 euro to get in. apparently it is where all the celelbrities hang out. The closest thing I have seen to it in melbourne is probably EVE night club in south melbourne on laura's 21st. lucky I went with jules who could dress me up to look the part, who would have known that a poor and clueless student was behind all that mascara! It was a good night though, connor bought us heaps of drinks, and we had a dance- although the music was hard to get used to and is very different from melbourne.

Today I did some more sightseeing in Dublin. I caught the "dart" into town and then a bus to Kilmainham jail, and had a tour there. it was so interesting, but also scary! these tiny kids- one 8 years old were sent to this awful place for just stealing bread, because they were starving. the place is made of limestone, a porous solid which allows the rain water to seep through, making it terribly cold for prsioners. Cells were tiny and dingy, and made me feel clausterphobic just looking at them. The tour guide was very good and explained about the famous prisoners in the 1916 uprising. Earlier in its history though, one of the most haunting facts was that despite how bad this prison was, it was at its fullest capacity from 1845- 1850, because people were so hungry during the famine, that they commited petty crimes so that they would be fed for sure in prison- crazy shit! the Prison cottoned onto this and started rationing the food to 1 small piece of bread a day. I also saw the court jard where famous rebels were executed in 1916, the ones who fought for Irish freedom. So much of Ireland is steeped in history, and it is only afte learning about its battered past that you can truly understand why they love there country so much, how much they sacrificed to get where they are today. The flag interestingly represents this. The green is the 'catholic' component, the orange is the'protestant' component, and between these is "the most important part" - the white, which represents the hope of peace between these two one day.

so thats the history lesson for today!:) tomorrow I am off on my pady wagon tour around the south of Ireland, to limerick, galway, cork etc. Ireland continues to intrigue me.........

Duuuuuuuuublin

I spent a day exploring the intriguing city of Dublin. Julie and I took the "Dublin tour Bus". It went round to all the important sites - Trinity College, the Dublin parliament, and "spike" and the store house. The stoer house was by the far the most interesting thing. It is after all the home of the famous Guinness! It is a huge factory, and the tour explains to you exactly how the Guinness phenomenon came to be. It was really interesting to understand how it was made- mainly with barley, yeast and also some wierd plant called hops that you can only get in regions where the temperature gets to 35C, so it had to be imported. What a process of trial and error and LUCK, to produce the most popular alcholic beeverage in Ireland! Also included was a free Pint of Guinness at the top of the factory, with a view of all of dublin (circular) which was magnificent! Julie and me unfortunatly failed to finish our guinness! But was a fantastic experience! we then went for a stroll down grafton street, and then back to Jules house for some dinner and vodka. I was still feeling jet lagged so had a 45 minute power nap. We mixed my duty vodka with cranberry juice for a potent mix, and a great start to the night. Connor drove us into Dublin, where I met some of Julie's lovely friends, and enjoyed the Irish CRAIC!. the night ended with some dancing and a taxi home, in bed by about 4 am, just when the light was starting to come up again!

The next day was inevitably a slow start. We drove to Newgrange on the way to the the famous Monahen- home of Julie. Newgrange is this amazing "cave" which was built by the neolithic people in 3500 BC, this is about 500 years prior to the construction of the pyramids. Also older than stonehenge!! The angles and construction of it is absolutly fascinating considering that there were no protractors back then! At 9:00 on the winter salstas- Dec 21st, the sun shines directly in and illuminates the whole thing - how the heck did these people know how to build this for that to happen??????????? its one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Later we arrived in Monahen to Julie2s lovely family, who treated me like the QUEEN!!! Ireland is stunning. :)

arrival in Dublin

I arrived in Dublin today, to a cold and angry grey sky- summer iin Ireland! The day started early with my jet lag still apparent waking up at 5:30am. I left for stansted airport via a bus transfer from Heathrow, and eventually got to Dublin at 12:30. Jules picked me up and was very emotional to see her again after so long. She was a faboulous host and I am staying the in the lap of luxury! We went to UCD uni and I bought a very cool hoodie from the uni shop, so ust in case people in Ireland couldn't pick up on my foriegn accent, they lle know Im a tourist! WE walked into Dublin City centre, into grafton street. its cute little cobbled street, very crowed and busy, but oh so Irish. Dublin is a funky city so far, so much old history and tradition which seeps from the old buildings. We also went into Trinity college, - absolutly amazing! the buildings are so old and beautiful and you imagine this being the 'oxford' of Ireland. We also went into the 'long room' inside the book of kells display. Its this ancient library, abosultly fascinating and amazing architecture. later jules and I had a coffee at Bewleys, a famous old coffee house built in the 18th century, we sat upstairs sipped our late's and watched the bustling irish go about there business on Grafton Street. ahh so much to take in and my trip is only starting!! thanks bec for the idea, its so good to get it down while its all fresh in your mind!

let the CRAIC begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!