Posts Tagged With: Dublin

Slán agat Ireland!

Phew, I really have to step it up a bit if I want to tell you all that I experienced in the last days. Ok so I finished the last entry with my arrival in Galway. Let’s see what I did there then.

First, we had a lovely lunch at that nice hotel with some colleagues of my friend and her aunt. She has a flower shop, you know? If you ever are in the area, you should go and check it out! It’s called The Art of Blooming.

My friend and I took a stroll to the harbour and the surrounding streets so I could get a first impression. Later, we took the bus to get home – to Knocknacarra, a small village on the outskirts. It is quite lovely, as is the house we were living in. We relaxed there for a bit and headed out for dinner in the evening, to the same hotel as before. We all had a lovely steak and cocktails and enjoyed the evening. Back home, we huddled around the fireplace and watched a movie (though I cannot remember which one). It was very cold and there was no heating on, so the fire was really necessary. It was after midnight when we finally went to bed – I was exhausted, being up since 3 am and all.

The next day I met the Irish friend of my friend (haha, I know…) and we three walked to Galway along the promenade next to the sea. It was sunny, yes, but also cold and very windy. Almost stormy, as you can expect when you are at the sea. We had to work to move ahead. But I enjoyed it, since it has been a while since I smelled the salty sea and could walk next to the beach. We walked for about two hours until we reached Galway, where we walked around for a while before settling in a small café to have some tea. It was a lovely place and we spent some time there.

Afterwards we headed for their college – I wanted to see where my friend had spent her year abroad during school. It is an old college with the Hogwarts atmosphere, if you know what I mean. I would have liked to go to school there, as well.

We wanted to catch a bus to get back home, but we ran into L.’s mum and she gave us a lift. How nice of her! During the ride, the girls tried to tell me some Irish legends, which involved fairies, enchanted horses, warriors and bad women called Niamh living in the land of Tír na nÓg. I don’t remember all of it, but we had a lot of fun, because both girls knew different versions of the same story.

Back home we started playing The DaVinci Code. Yes, there is a game based loosely on the movie. It is about finding a codeword by collecting all the different clues on cards. Unfortunately, there are only 15 different riddles and we went through all of them during my stay. It is a great game for all people who are not cursed/blessed with a memory such as mine – for I can play each riddle only once and will remember it for quite a while. We also saw many DVDs, because the aunt doesn’t have tv. We watched World without end, the DaVinci Code, Red Riding Hood, Enchanted and Happy Feet (those are the ones I can remember).

Concerning food – I only ate healthy stuff while I was there. My friend and my aunt both cook very well and I couldn’t refuse all of the stuff they made, so yes, I ate fish on Good Friday and some salad, even though I didn’t like the ladder. I even tried the prawns my friend so loves – no, thank you, never again. Eugh. By the end of the stay I just longed for a simple mac&cheese. Some dish where I don’t have to pick around to find something delicious. I simply am not a gourmet. It’s not that I didn’t like anything, quite the contrary. But eating so many diverse and kind of posh dishes is exhausting!

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes. The second day was already over. My friend wanted to listen to Die drei ??? or rather to fall asleep to them, so I agreed. The thing is, I can only sleep without any noise and she only WITH some noise. So we are not the most compatible roommates. I thought one episode would be ok, though, since they are only 45 minutes or so. Ha. Yeah, right. They were set on continuous stream. So after one episode, the next came. I fell asleep halfway through the first and woke up at the end of the second. Then I counted another four episodes with some on and off sleeping on my part, until at some point in the morning my friend finally awoke again and put it off. Needless to say that it wasn’t the best night I ever had. Fortunately, for the next nights we only listened to one episode.

The next day was Easter Saturday and my friend and I headed out for a stroll. There is a small forest close to where we lived called the Fairy Forest. It is beautiful and I took some pictures there. There was a group of kids, already looking for Easter eggs, they were cute.

We then went shopping, buying milk and Cheerios for breakfast and some more fire stuff. Ireland is so expensive! It’s probably even more expensive than London. Most of the money I had with me was spent on groceries, oddly enough. It was heavy, getting all this stuff back to our house on foot, but we managed. Since we had slept in, the day was almost over and we enjoyed the fireplace once more. Originally, we wanted to go on a pub crawl, but neither of us really felt like it that evening. That’s when we watched World without end, I think.

Easter Sunday was a busy morning, because my friend and I were responsible for breakfast. We made pancakes, put rolls in the oven, arranged a fruit plate, made tea and poured juice. It was midday when we finally called her aunt for brunch – it was a feast! Each of us ate more than we probably should have and there were still leftovers. Needless to say, we were too full to do anything afterwards. We just kept watching movies and played that game. Oh, and we also watched the Life of Brian, which apparently is an Easter tradition in that family. It was so funny; I haven’t seen it in quite a while.

My friend and I also went on an exciting adventure – we drove a car! (I think it was on Saturday, though). That in itself it not such a big thing, but we had to drive on the left side of the road, which neither of us had done before. We settled for divided tasks – my friend steered and I shifted gears. It went perfectly well and we had a lot of fun doing it. We had to go shopping again and didn’t want to carry it all the way home.

Monday, another lovely day. We had so much luck with the weather, we actually had mostly sun! So this morning we decided to drive down to the beach to take a walk. The three of us – my friend, her aunt and I strolled along the shore and took some pictures. Afterwards, we wanted to have tea and scones, but the place was closed, probably due to Easter. So we drove on to Moycullen, another small town where the flower shop is located. There is also a great lake with many, many small and bigger islands. (It is said there are exactly 365). We drove around the lake on a rather narrow road and through beautiful landscape. We saw a lot of sheep – a quartet of sheep actually walked in front of us on the road at some point, like a bunch of gossiping girls. It was hilarious! After about half an hour driving on that road we came to a touristy spot where we could park and climb down to the lake. It was beautiful. I’m afraid all the pictures won’t do it justice, but I hope you’ll still get an impression.

We then drove back to the flower shop; it is such a cute thing. I love it! The supermarket close to it was still open and we got some dinner and apple pies for tea. It was well into afternoon when we finally came back home. What a lovely day! And it continued to be lovely, for the apple pies were great. We ate them with ice cream. L., the Irish girl came by as well and together we FINALLY watched the very first episode of the third season of Game of Thrones! Oh we had waited for so long! While watching I braided the girls’ hair and got mine brushed in return. Yes, we love that kind of thing, that’s why we are girls, after all!

L. had to go afterwards again, and we had to say goodbye. She was very friendly, I liked her. My friend and I started watching the Hobbit, but both of us almost fell asleep to it, so we stopped after an hour or so. And we had to get up the next day rather early, for I was to go home again. So sad.

They drove me to the coach station in Galway at around 10. I didn’t want to leave them so soon and promised that I‘d come back one day. I had such good times there! Galway is a beautiful city, so much character and atmosphere. Completely different from London. London is so huge, so intimidating. It has atmosphere, but it is always polluted. Galway just seemed like a fresh breeze, a place to just breathe in deeply.

Anyways, about three hours later I arrived at the airport and went through security. Of course, I beeped again. What the hell is wrong with my clothes? But since I had loads of time until boarding, I didn’t mind. I did some shopping and bought earrings – didn’t have any from Ireland before! I then waited and waited and went to the gate and waited some more. Finally it was boarding time. They didn’t check my suitcase and I actually could take the correct seat this time. Great!

The flight and the way back was uneventful, really. And since I have written almost 2000 words in this one post, I’ll give you guys a break. I have to go babysitting now, anyways. Coming up next: my days with Kiki!

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Dia dhuit Ireland!

For this year’s Easter, I journeyed to Ireland, more specifically to Galway. It started at 4am in the morning, last Thursday. I had booked a flight at 6:30 going to Dublin, so I had to leave really early. My lovely landlady drove me to the Coach Station where I had planned to take a Coach to the airport. I even bought a ticket in advance.

Well, as I was waiting, a Coach came in. It was 4:30 already and the Coach was supposed to be there at 4:25, but I thought that’s fine. Unfortunately, it was not my Coach. It was the one before that, which was supposed to leave at 4: 10. So the incredibly nice driver (cough…) just told us to wait for the next one. That’s when I started freaking out. I had for once calculated with not too much buffer time, so this was a major problem. I waited and waited and texted my poor friend that I was afraid to miss the plane. When it was close to ten to five, the girls standing next to me took matters in their own hands. They went over to the cab station and asked what that would cost. Since 52 pounds divided by four is less than by three, I barged in and asked to join them. I was really, really afraid of missing the plane at this point. So we decided to take the cab and go. The driver was very nice and drove really fast, so it took us only 40 minutes to get to the airport. Phew! The girls were on their way to Sweden for a holiday. I don’t remember their names but they were nice and I was so happy we made it in time.

I have no idea when the Coach actually arrived, but I think it is unacceptable that it was more than 20 minutes late (they are supposed to run every 15 minutes, for god’s sake!). I’ll try to get my money back, but that will be a story for another day.

So I was jogging to the security check – it’s a good thing I know the airport by know and don’t have to stop for directions. But of course it would have been too easy to just pass through there. They had to check me. Well, I beeped and they checked and then I walked through again and I still beeped. I have NO idea why. I have never had a problem with my necklace or earrings, so it can’t be them. Really weird. Well, they let me go in the end to get my stuff and then they had another surprise in store – they checked my liquids. Seriously, why me? I didn’t have time! Luckily they are not too strict about the amount of liquid you’re transporting, because I bent the rule of 5x100ml a little bit. I had about 7 different items in there, but not one of them had 100ml. So it was ok.

Finally through with all that checking, I looked for the gate number and jogged again. I made it just in time; they started boarding when I arrived at the queue. Finally, I had some luck, because I didn’t have to squeeze my suitcase into that box thingie. It wouldn’t have fit. Phew!

I had a seat next to the emergency exit, which was not the one I had reserved before, but since I was a bit late, my seat had already been taken by somebody else (that’s Ryanair for you). I didn’t really care either way, so I settled for that one. Those seats don’t have tables, but since Ryanair doesn’t offer free drinks, I didn’t need one, anyways.

The flight was uneventful, no problems with my ears or anything. We landed on time and I made my way to the Dublin Coach Station. Oh, wait. Before, I bought a bottle of water and a chocolate roll. To have some kind of breakfast.

Then I found a Coach going to Galway. It was not the one my friend had advised me to take, but I didn’t really care, because I just wanted to go into a Coach and sleep. The trip to Galway took another 3 hours. I had thought it would be only 2, so I tried to text my friend several times. Later, we found out that her German number is not in use and she didn’t give me the Spanish one. Great! But facebook works everywhere and I spent a couple pounds on roaming in Ireland. I have enough balance to spare, anyway.

My friend’s aunt picked me up at the Coach station and we went to the hotel where she and my friend were having a business lunch later. Finally, after three months, I was reunited with my little sheep (aka R.).

I will tell you more about the days in Galway soon, but now I have to go to rehearsal for theatre. See you!

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