A Travellerspoint blog

Episode 4

Dublin & Northern Ireland, Ireland

overcast 6 °C

Finally up! I know it took place a little while ago, but there was so much to do in Ireland and every other spare moment was spent at Temple Bar. Enjoy.

Posted by reinandleah 02:27 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

UK - Frome

Day 59 to 73

overcast 3 °C

Hello

Just an update to let you all know that we both freezing in Frome. The region has had its coldest March in 50 years with the average temp being 2.5! We are staying warm, walking regularly down St Catherines Hill to the Town Center. There are many markets here, both weekday and weekend and last week we went to the local cinema and watched Argo (Finally!).

Internet has been our biggest struggle. We have access in our apartment to a paid Wi-Fi service, but since our 1st log on we have been unable to re-establish connection. The Library in Frome doesn't have Wi-Fi so we have gone to Bath Library when we need to use it for extended periods. I have 2 videos of Ireland to upload, but the Wi-Fi speed in the Library is too slow. Unfortunately, you will have to be a little more patient before you see them (This doesn't please me either)

Love
Rein, Leah & Henry

Posted by reinandleah 03:49 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Ireland - Galway & Cork

Day 48 to 56

overcast 7 °C

After spending a week in Dublin we boarded a bus in freezing weather (about 0 degrees) to head west to the port town of Galway. After 2 ½ hours, we arrived. The bus terminal was conveniently located next to our accommodation. Our hostel in Galway (Snoozels) was the best hostel we’ve stayed in so far. We had our own room and bathroom, there was a clean kitchen with lots of facilities to cook our own food, and most importantly the people were lovely and more than willing to help with anything we needed.

Galway
Galway is a lovely town; lots of tourists both international and local. Most of the Irish travel to the west coast to holiday. We walked around a lot spending most of our time on Shop Street which as you may have guessed by the name held the shopping district.
After both being sick (we think it was food poisoning) in Dublin we were craving some home cooked food. To our surprise, a guy that regularly stays at the hostel for work cooked up a big Irish roast beef one night for anyone who wanted some. It was so good to have a great home cooked meal. We bought along a bottle of Australian wine (Wolf Blass) whilst another guy, from Spain, bought along a Spanish wine. We spent some time comparing the wines and the styles from Spain and Australia, making for a very enjoyable meal.
After our lovely roast beef dinner we headed out on the town (Galway isn’t very big so there are maybe 4 or 5 pubs open at night) with some of the people we had dinner with. We went to a pub called the King’s Head (there are lots of pubs called this all over the UK as well). We were in luck as on Wednesday nights they have traditional Irish music accompanied by traditional Irish dancing (think Riverdance). It was great sitting there having a drink and watching/listening to the entertainment.

Cliffs of Moher
Whilst in Galway, we took a day trip to see some of the sites on the west coast, in particular the Cliffs of Moher. They run 8 kilometers along the coast; their highest point is at 240 meters above sea level and their lowest at 210 meters. It was also amazing to see the sea birds landing on the small ledges on the side of the cliffs adding to the already impressive experience. As with many tourist attractions you get silly people who push the boundaries, literally. There were fences along the cliffs; however, people looking for a thrill (and there were quite a few) jumped these fences to try and get photos close to the edge. Henry in particular was not impressed at the stupid behavior.

Henry @Cliffs of Moher

Henry @Cliffs of Moher


Leah & Rein @Cliffs of Moher

Leah & Rein @Cliffs of Moher


Dungaree Castle

Dungaree Castle

Cork
After 4 days in Galway we were once again on a bus to the town of Cork, the rebel county in southern Ireland. Cork was a lot bigger than Galway; however, we were surprised by this as on the map they appear to be the same size.

Gaelic Football/Hurling
Rein really wanted to check out some Gaelic sports whilst in Ireland and being the St Patrick’s Day weekend, Cork was hosting a double header. Cork v’s last season’s champions Donegal in the football followed by Cork v’s Munster provinces rivals Clare. An adult ticket to the game was only 13 euro! It was like going to a VFL game. The crowd that night was over 7,000 with the seats being full but plenty of standing room at either end. The little leagues played at half time whilst a local marching band entertained the crowd. There was no merchandise for sale, limited hot food and most surprisingly, no beer! The Guinness banner was around the ground but we saw not one pint! We were lucky enough to see Cork come from behind at half time and win the football game. Hurling is like no other sport you would have seen, dating back thousands of years the players have wooden sticks that they use to hit a baseball type ball around. It’s similar to LaCross; however, they are able to catch, pick up, carry, and throw the ball with their hands as well. They all wear helmets (which diehard fans and players dislike) due to the high danger of the sport. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be another Cork win as the Clare team was too good. After two games of sport sitting out in the elements at night, we were more than ready to head home to the warm as both of our legs were numb from the cold!

Hurling Cork v's Clare @Parc U Rin

Hurling Cork v's Clare @Parc U Rin

St Patrick’s Day
Whilst we were in Cork it was St Patrick’s Day. Three of the main streets in Cork were shut off in preparation for the parade. Lined along the main area for the parade were lots of food markets and stalls selling all kinds of Irish wares. After some great street food (gourmet burger and pulled pork roll) we found a position to watch the parade. Leah remarked that this was one of the times she didn’t mind being tall as there were many people on the parade fence. The parade went for an hour and involved all kinds of things. There was the military, fire brigade with their sirens, marching bands, school children dressed up as all kinds of characters, people dressed in traditional outfits representing the various cultures in Ireland, and much more. Once the parade had finished we bar hoped for the rest of the St Patrick’s Day afternoon, finishing at the Mutton Head, one of Cork’s oldest pubs which is alongside the old English Market.

St Patrick's Day Parade @Cork

St Patrick's Day Parade @Cork


Rein & Leah @Mutton Lane, Cork

Rein & Leah @Mutton Lane, Cork

All in all, we both really enjoyed Ireland, even though at times we did not feel the best. We are now on the ferry back to London and will then be spending 4 weeks in Frome, having a break from our constant traveling.

Posted by reinandleah 11:35 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Ireland - Dublin

Day 40 to 47

rain 6 °C

Top of the morning to you all!

After taking 2 trains through the UK countryside and a ferry from Holyhead to Dublin (This took us a whole day) our first morning in Dublin was spent catching up on news and emails followed by a short sightseeing walk around parts of Dublin. It was a very short walk, only getting as far as Temple Bar in Temple Bar. Where we spent the majority of the afternoon sinking Guinness and listening to Irish folk music. I wish I could spend all my Monday afternoons doing this.

Guinness Factory
The next day it was more sight seeing in the morning and a tour of the Guinness factory in the afternoon. The tour started at the document where Arthur Guinness signed a lease at St James Gate brewery in 1759 for 9,000 years. So he really was getting in early. Then we toured through the ingredients and processes of making Guinness, unfortunately no recipe. We saw the variations in Guinness over the years, how it has been transported, and how its been advertised over the years. But really after level 1 of the 7 level building all you want to do is drink the dam thing! So it was off to the Guinness Academy to learn to pour your perfect Guinness. Here I learnt that the Guinness tap is ambidextrous, pull it towards you to realise Guinness and its gasses, let it settle for 119.5 seconds, push the tap away from you and you top it up with just liquid. Leah mastered it, I struggled and a little dribbled down the side. Luckily the teacher didn't see and I still Graduated. We took our beers up to the Gravity Bar which boasts 360 degree views of Dublin but unfortunately that day it was foggy. We couldn't stop at one, so on the walk home we returned to Temple Bar and stopped at John o Gogarty's for another and some oysters. Mmmmmm

Rein nervously pouring Guinness @Guinness Acadamy

Rein nervously pouring Guinness @Guinness Acadamy

Rein & Leah @Guinness Gravity Bar

Rein & Leah @Guinness Gravity Bar

Oysters & Guinness @John o Gogarty's

Oysters & Guinness @John o Gogarty's

Northern Ireland Day Trip
In the middle of our stay we decided to take a tour of Northern Ireland. On the trip we stopped off at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge,
Dunluce Castle, Belfast and our main attraction the Giants Causeway. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is an example of bridges used by fisherman to get from the mainland to little islands to check their salmon nets. The one we crossed was built in 2008 and is used by tourists. That day it was cold and windy which didn't help the 20 meter crossing over a 30 meter drop. We both crapped ourselves. Leah was overheard muttering that she was the master of her own fear; an similar piece of advise she got from Dr Sheldon Cooper. The Giants Causeway was not as scary as the name suggests. It is a series of hexagon pillars created some 50 to 60 million years ago when volcanic lava met the sea. It was here that Henry got to enjoy his first day trip.

Henry @Giants Causeway

Henry @Giants Causeway

Leah & Rein @Giants Causeway

Leah & Rein @Giants Causeway

Old Jameson Distillery & Brazen Head
After a day of rest we went to the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin. This once 55 acre operating distillery is now just one old building; the company moving further south in the 1970's and most of the land being sold off to developers. It wasn't a long tour, nor that eye catching; however, our tour guide was very informative and clearly provided information on the process of triple distilled whisky making it very interesting. Whilst there I volunteered Leah to be on the Whisky tasting panel. She graduated with flying colours and is now a qualified Irish Whisky taster. I'm so proud of her.
After that we walked across the river Liffey to the Brazen Head, the oldest pub site in the world, dating back to the 12th century. Many of the pubs features aren't that old, although the doorways are very short. Then of course on to Temple Bar.

Leah graduates Whisky School @Old Jameson Distillary

Leah graduates Whisky School @Old Jameson Distillary

6 Nations rugby, Ireland v's France
Our final full day in Dublin was wet, very wet. The fine rain didn't let up all day. We went and saw the few remaining sights that we really wanted to see and tried to remain indoors. Later in the afternoon we went to Temple Bar (no surprise) to watch the final group match of the 6 Nations Rugby between Ireland and France. In the 2 day lead up to the game, the French came in boat loads to Ireland (who were hosting) to watch their country try for their first win of the tournament. I suspected them all to be at the ground, but the pub we chose to watch the match had plenty of noisy French fans. I wore my Australian T-shirt to be impartial but quickly went for France out of fear. It was a very wet, boring and confusing game with Leah and I knowing very few rules. When France scored their first try to level the game with 5 min remaining, then the place came alive. It was very interesting, exciting and both teams could have won, but neither did and it ended in a 13 all draw. No one was happy, the atmosphere fizzled and both supporting groups left the bar. We had a quiet Irish pub meal (I had Liver and that's another story) which was great to celebrate our last night in Dublin. The bar picked up and we left at a reasonable hour.

We are now off to see other parts of Ireland. Galway in the West and then onto Cork in the South.

Lots of Love
Rein, Leah and Henry.

Posted by reinandleah 13:37 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Episode 3

Valencia & Dènia, Spain

sunny 18 °C

What a weather change from the UK! The sun features a lot in this episode but it's not as warm as it looks.

Posted by reinandleah 02:50 Archived in Spain Comments (4)

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