A Travellerspoint blog

Ireland

August 16th

Ireland - Italy

sunny 17 °C

I got up... Phew, that was a good start! :-) I spent several hours trying to find a hostel in Pisa that had a spot for tonight. I was flying out at 7:30pm or so and I still hadn't organized anything. I finally found a hostel that was close to the airport that had a spot free. I booked it and then spent a while longer researching accommodation in Cinque Terre and ended up booking one just outside of Riomaggoire in a small town (if you can call it that) called Biasa. I managed to get reception at the hostel to print out my boarding pass and wrote down the details and directions for the hostel in Pisa. I shot out to Mc Donalds for lunch and then took a wander around.
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I headed back to the hostel packed my bags and checked out. I also threw out a pair of old jeans and two t-shirts in anticipation of Ryan Air weighing my bags again. I headed down to the main street and caught the local bus for only 2 Euro instead of 7 Euro for the express bus. I got my visa check done headed upstairs and had dinner knowing that it would be cheaper to eat it now, even though i wasn't really that hungry, then to get it when I was hungry on the flight. I headed though the queue and went through the whole process of stripping my bag and clothes for the umpteenth time. I waited at the end of a huge queue to board the flight and watched intently to see if they would weigh the bags. The queue finally starting moving but it was so packed at the front i couldn't see if they were weighing them. Finally I got up the front and found that they weren't. I laughed at myself for throwing out the clothes at the hostel. I boarded the flight and sat right up the front of the plane. I clicked on my media player as sped down the runway. On came an episode of Top Gear and there i sat memorized for the next hour. We finally landed at 11:15pm Italy time. After getting directions from the tourism office i headed down to my hostel and found the guy running it was waiting for me. I paid my dues and settled down for what would turn out to be a long and sleepless night. I was in a room that was right next to the only road leading to the Pisa airport and as it didn't have air conditioning, and the fact that it was in the high 20's, the window was left open all night.

Posted by classique 07:20 Archived in Ireland Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

August 14th

Cliffs of Moher

overcast 17 °C

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Got up early, had a shower and headed downstairs for an early breakfast. The hostel guy was still organising all the breakfast stuff so I had a play around on my netbook. Then breakfast was ready so I devoured a plate or two of cerial and a cup of juice. I headed down to the main meeting point for the tour to begin. The Paddywagon tours bus turned up and I ended up being one of the last people on the bus. All the window seats were taken until the bus driver shouted out that we were doing a one day tour of the moher cliffs etc and three chineese people got off the bus. I jumped into the window seat where they had been sitting and we headed on our way. We stopped at the next and last pickup point where four Spanish ladys got on and Rosa sat next to me . We headed on our jolly way. The bus driver and tour operator was an interesting guy who wore jeans and thongs/jandels/flip flops. He spent half his time on our trip up, on the phone trying to organise other busses etc. We stopped off at a servo at about 10am for a quick toilet and refreshment break.
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We then headed onwards again and stopped at the 15th century Bunratty castle for a photo. Unfortunately there was no time to go in but it didn`t look quite as awesome as some I have already visited. Again we hit the road headed fior the famed cliffs of Moher. We arrived at about 12:30 or so and i was famished. I headed in for an over priced snack. I walked up with all the other tourisits and cheked out the views from the edge of the cliffs. As I was heading along the walking track I noticed it was blocked by a stone fence up ahead. So, well, I just did what every other self respecting tourist was doing and hopped over. If you could read the fine print at the bottom of this sign it says ``excepting Mr. Peter de Bruin`` So that was pretty awesome! :-)
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There were even better views from further up this trail but you hadd to be a little careful as there were no guard rails and in some places it was around 120 metres above sea level. The time had come for luch so I headed back to the bus and took my seat. Unfortunately some other tourists weren`t so time focused and we ended up waiting another 20 minutes for the to join the bus. We headed to the next town for a shortened lunch break. Then it was time to head to our next attraction which was an old abbey. It was quite interesting but it did leave me wondering why the owner didn`t spent the money to have it rebuilt. There were old graves built into the floor in a couple of places and the old alter was still standing. Outside in the grave yard there were graves dating back to the 1800`s as well as recent graves from the 1990`s.
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Here is a picture of our next attraction which is a Dolmen. Yep they really do exist. Apparantly they are a portal tomb. This is Poulnabrone dolmen in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland. To get to and from this dolmen we had to travel little winding roads and every time we passed a car the buss driver would sigh with relief. We headed back to Dublin and stopped one last time for a toilet break. You wouln`t believe what i saw... Here is a picture of Timmys in Ireland.
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We got back and I had wings for dinner and a couple of pints with a fellow traveller.

Posted by classique 10:22 Archived in Ireland Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

August 13th

Ireland - Dublin

sunny 21 °C

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beep - beep, beep - beep, beep - beep... awoke to the sound of the alarm on my cell phone blaring. I jumped out of bed and shut it off as i didn't want to wake my room mate. Barely 4 hours of sleep had passed and it was time to get to the airport. I jumped into the shower for a quick refresh, packed the last articles into my bag, and woke Andy from his restful slumber. Minutes later we were out the door and rocketing toward the airport. I wasn't worried that we were a bit late as I always remember my first flight with Ryan Air. We arrived and said our goodbye's. I headed in through the main door and headed to the checkin desk for Ryan Air which was deserted. Just as I was getting to the counter a lady rushed in front of me and got a passport check. I found out that she was on the same flight as me and was really worried that she would miss the flight. I advised her no to worry and quoted past flights as proof. We headed to customs where i stepped to the side to perform my strip down. I seriously wonder how long it will be until we have to be naked to go through. I took off my belt, shoes, jacket, jumper and removed all metal from my pockets, took the toiletries and laptop from my carry on and filled two containers. I finally moved through the customs line and redressed which I find always takes much longer. The Canadian lady was having her bags searched by customs so I advised her that we still had plenty of time and waited for her. Eventually they were satisfied and let her go. We headed through to our boarding gate and as there is only two boarding gates in Glasgow Preswick airport it wasn't hard to find ours. As they were still boarding another plane I headed over to a restaurant for a big breakfast. As I sat down at a table with my mouth watering collection of bacon, eggs, toast and sausages, they began to board the Ryan Air flight. It is really quite a pleasure watching everyone line up and go through an entire queue of 150 plus people whilst just sitting and enjoying a full breakfast. By the time I had finished my plate the queue had almost been completely processed. I headed up to board and found that today they were not only size checking bags but weighing them too. There was no way of drastically loosing weight as the queue was gone so I ended up paying the 35 pound charge due to the fact that my bag was 12.6kg instead of 10kg. I didn't feel to worried as I had gotten away with it several times before. I climbed onboard the plane, being the last person, and found an empty seat. I pulled my video player out and after take off began to watch the next installment of Top Gear. Much to my dismay, I was soon asked to turn it off as it was time to land. I headed through to customs and met the Canadian women again. We chatted as we waited in the all passports line which seemed to take forever to process. We ended up chatting to a couple of different Americans. The American family i was chatting too were really nice but the older American woman the Canadian lady was taking too was painful. It wasn't long before we wished we had never opened our mouths to that women. Finally customs took her out of our lives and we headed through. I was given the all clear and met up with the Canadian women on the other side. We bought and all day pass and headed into Dublin city centre. After chatting a while we bided each other good bye and i headed off to check into my hostel. The real problem was that I didn't remember the name of my hostel. I found a internet cafe, not the details and headed over to the hostel. It was by this time already around midday and I couldn't check in until 2:30pm. I dropped my bags into a safety locker, grabbed my netbook and sat down in the hostel lounge. I wasn't sure what to to, but as i only had 3 or 4 days in Ireland I figured I better do something. After hunting around for awhile I remembered the free walking tour that I had taken in Poland. i looked up the website and found a tour starting just a few blocks over at 1pm. I packed away my netbook and headed out the door. I grabbed a sweet chili kebab for lunch and waited for the guide to start the tour. Just as I finished my kebab she called for everyone to join in. Wow, have you really read this far? I am amazed... most people just look at the pictures :-) We started on the tour which went for about 3 hours and were told details from Dublins past, lead through the eclectic Dublin castle to one of the fanciest helicopter landing pads I have seen. We also went through the Temple bar district. The tour was good but I was glad when it did end. I had met up with an Australian bird on the tour so we headed out for dinner at a recommended Irish bar. After a pint of beer, a plate of grub and a parting of ways, I headed back to my hostel and got my bags up to my room. I then headed out to listen to some authentic Irish music which included the banjo and accordion. The streets in the Temple Bar district are covered with buskers playing all sorts of instruments including one of my favorites which was a classical guitarist playing Asturias. I headed back to the hostel and found that everyone was still out. I booked a tour to check out the cliffs of Moher as the tour I really wanted to do was booked out. I got my stuff ready so I could leave early without waking everyone up and hit the sack.
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Posted by classique 07:26 Archived in Ireland Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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