Monday, July 16, 2012


We arrived in Dublin in the evening so we weren't gonna get up to too much. Though our bellies were growling for attention so as soon as we checked into the hotel, we went to their Irish pub downstairs to get some grub. The weather is CRAZY, its like our winter!! Imagine what their winter would be like!

I got me a Traditional Irish Stew and mum had a steak. I think my Irish stews are better, frankly but still it was filling. Then we returned to our rooms to rest. I say rest because we barely ever got to sleep. We're staying at Temple Bar, which is like the Fortitude Valley equivalent of Brisbane - party/hipster central. That said, this place was crawling with bogans, alcoholics, short-skirted-chest-popping girls etc. That's the usual for streets that are filled with pubs and clubs. Clubs, moving onto that topic.. our hotel had its own club. So by 9pm the doof doof music came about and came blaring through our windows. Then came the screaming of inebriated fellas. But you know what? It was way better listening to that than my mother's snoring so I slept soundly after I read for 2 hours.

I'm reading that stupid trilogy 50 Shades of Grey that everyone is into. And so far I'm really not buying into it aye? In the beginning I was really enjoying picturing that perfect description of a gallant, mysterious man and I had Ryan Gosling in mind but now.. I won't ruin it for others.. but eh I'm gonna trudge through it because that's all the reading material I have.

I woke up early to the sound of garbage trucks doing its rounds so I read my novel in the morning because there's no internet up on Level 4. Then mum and I got ready and had breakfast in a cafe. We then strolled over to Dublin Castle which was very pretty (from the outside as only accessible inside through a tour and we didn't wanna spend money on that).

I explored the history of my surname at one of the exhibition areas then went into the small church which was beautiful and cozy - you know what I mean? Cathedrals are usually gorgeous and gigantesque while small churches are usually mundane.

We then walked over to the Celtic helicopter pad with a medieval structure in the background, that was pretty too. Then I saw some parts of the castle had been painted (more recently) in green, red, yellow and blue - bad move.

Then we walked over to St Stephen's Green which is a park and from there we walked up Grafton street where there were shops. Lots of buskers in Dublin and they all use amps and microphones. So if they're good then the amplification is welcomed and if they're bad - well you just gotta let your ears take a beating.

I was fully into this one band called Keywest who just recently produced and got signed an album - they were pretty good! The bass player looked like the hot hispanic workmate off Love Actually.

Biggest useless advertising of clothes I've ever seen but I ain't complaining'!

Our hotel!

We weaved through shops and I tried so hard to resist the temptation but I ended up buying one hot little number that was on sale down to 50%. I love it! Last one too!

We crossed the River Liffey and had soup and bagel for lunch. Then it was time to visit the department stores on Henry street. I went into the post office to get some stamps and then we went into the last department store where mum was finally in her retail heaven. I think we spent 2 hours there. I could work there now, I know where all the clothes go and what sizes they have in stock. The ladies straight up picked up that I was Australian.
Ye ol' post office

We found an Irish pub called Oliver St John Gogarty, a mouthful of a name and a stomach full of dinner as their portions were huge! Here's a quote from the fella that the place was named after describing his umbilicial-like affinity towards Guiness: "Like dark sleep, it knits up the revelled sleeve of care, and, what is an achievement, it wastes the time that might, if we were not drinking, be devoted to scheming, posing, hypocrisy and money making."

Glum view from our window

Our next day was a lovely day out of Dublin city. I booked a minibus tour to take us into Wicklow County and Glenadough - where P.S I Love You and Braveheart were filmed. After a decent drive, we got to Harscourt Gardens then a few of us hiked for a few hours up Wicklow Way. We hiked from morning to early afternoon - I got a good exercise out of that that's for sure!

The views were breathtaking and the wind was icy cold yet our guide kept gleefully exclaiming, "What a NICE day in Ireland!" Surely not for those who live close to the equator haha. Though we were lucky enough to have a clear day as at the hilltop we got to faintly see the mountains of Wales. We saw a few fluffy rabbits hop about but no deers for us that day.

Snacking on blueberries!

After our treacherous hike (one girl vomited) we went into Eniskerry Village where I had myself a home baked chicken & mushroom pie! Then the rain started cracking down so we were lucky to have been done the hike! We stopped by Guinness Valley which is an estate that the family owns. They ironically own a huge lake that is so black like Guinness - so they imported some sand to make a beach at the edge of the lake to make it look like the froth on top of a Guinness pint. They now rent that private estate and cottage out to famous people for $5000 euros a week. WOO!

We then stopped by the bridge where P.S I Love You was filmed, and another lake. I should watch the movie again because I've forgotten all the scenes. Then we drove into Glenadough where we got to see a 1000 year old Monastery. I felt weird trudging through the cemeteries but the ruins were great to see!

These trees were in completely darkness despite the photo, no foliage because of no sun but they are perfectly happy trees.

Surprised to be able to refresh myself with a good ol' Aussie ginger beer! My aunty lives right near the brewery!

It was so windy and cold.. I couldn't even brave opening my arms spread eagle!

Our last stop was at the Upper Lake of Glenadough which looked beautiful. Apparently its a glacier, though I only just learned what that means. I always imagined some ice sheets. Our day was exhausting so I fell asleep on the drive back.

Then mum and I had steak for dinner. Sometimes our language barriers are so frustrating. I have poor chinese and she has poor english so we're stuck between baby talk when we communicate. Oh well, no one's fault.

I wanted to cuddle this cute fluff ball!

Busy that day because a pilgrimage was going on!

I forgot to say that the guide thought he was gonna have an Irish lass on his tour today when he saw my name! And he was surprised to see what he saw. I explained that it comes from my dad's side and I'm half. He said he still considers me Irish then! Hahahaha! Though I really, really don't.

I enjoyed Ireland but the weather is way too cold for me. Friendly people, easy going town! Though you can feel the bitterness between the locals about Northern Ireland. Gaelic is on all the signs but about 5% of the population speaks it fluently. Kids have to learn it at school though but then theres no interaction after they finish! Goodbye Dublin!

Apparently there have been a few fatalities because once the slate dropped off, it was just a very very deep end of mud where you get stuck in…. They have never measured the depth of this lake because its just infinitely deep.


lalaaaanita said...

Hey Deena :)

I've been reading your posts and I have to admit, I am so jealous of all the places you've been and all the new adventures you're surely going to have! Makes me feel like I should defer uni and just go see the world for myself.

It sucks that you can't have proper conversations with your mum - does it get lonely out there with her? My mother and I don't really get along so it's weird to imagine how we'd be if we were travelling together.

Safe travels you beautiful girl, let me know when you'll be back home :)