Part 1: Dublin with 40 shades of green

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Sitting at the bus stop waiting for my friend to deposit her luggage at some place. Time now is 2:08 and we have a plane to catch at 17:00. We have to go to town to get stuff and transfer bus and get to the airport by 15:30 latest. We are flying to Edinburgh and this is kind of the start of our trip. Wonders how we will make it through the 9 other cities. Oh wells = we see how things go.

Recapping back on the past 3 days:

[DAY ONE]

Arrived in Dublin on 9th May, Wednesday, after my virgin solo plane ride(s) from SG – Dubai – Dublin .

Took this picture of the airport (t2) while I was waiting for the bus. Took aircoach (airport bus) to University College of Dublin UCD, my friend’s exchange university. It was freezing when I left the airport, probably less than 10 degrees. The wind was blowing like crazy and my 4 layers wasn’t enough but oh wells I got through it. It was a 30-40 mins ride and it cost 15 euros (return journey). Pretty steep but oh wells.

Arrived at the bus stop really early and I waited for about 30 mins before my friend came. Knowing that Dublin is relatively a safe city. I took out my Galaxy Tab and watched my dramas while waiting for her =p She had a paper ending at 2 that day.

*continued writing when I’m in a chinese buffet restaurant in edinburgh*

Dragged my luggage all the way to her hostel which was about 10 mins away from the bus stop. Her hostel was on the 3rd floor but since my luggage was like 15kg, there wasn’t much issue. To be it looks pretty decent, 3 rooms to one apartment. 1 toilet and 1 living room + kitchen. A lot bigger than the room I had back in Seoul last summer. Her room was like *wow* and it looks like she has been there for 3 years!

*now I’m back in the Edinburgh’s hostel*

Settled down, and cooked lunch – laksa la mian mix my friend had brought form SG and the chuqianyiding Maggie mee with egg.

Day 1 lunch - Maggi mee! photo 398863_10150976068956209_50177114_n.jpg Day 1 lunch: & laksa lamien! photo 75285_10150976069871209_821923883_n.jpg

After that, I had a bath (approximately after 24 hours) and went over to the business school to watch videos from my galaxy tab while my friend studied for her exam the next day. The business school was really pretty and probably the most modern school out of every other schools there (See the similarity).

Went back at about 9 to cook dinner. Despite being 9pm, the sky was still very bright. It’s summer which means the days are exceptionally long. With all the leftover ingredients, we cooked fried rice with a lot of meat and carrots. Together with the leftover curry, kimchi and spicy sambal chilli sauce, it was a decent dinner!

Day 1 dinner: fried rice w/ fish finger photo 561267_10150976071146209_922285824_n.jpg Day 1 dinner: & curry~ photo 532771_10150976072261209_2044165787_n.jpg

I managed to meet her house mates too. One from Spain and the other was from the states. She made me drink a shot of awful 37.5% tesco vodka =/

Can’t remember what happen next but I slept really late~

[DAY 2]

Dragged myself out of bed really early as I had to catch a bus to town by 9am for a Wicklow day tour. I had been contemplating whether I should to a tour alone as I have never done so but since I’ve always wanted to try and see how it goes, I booked the tour on impulse one week ago.

After eating breakfast, I left the hostel shortly. The morning was rather chilly and there was smoke when I breathe out. Pretty sight in the campus as I walked to the bus stop.

Took the public bus to town. It was 2.15 euros for like a 20-30 mins bus ride! Oh wells~ I rarely pay 2.15 SGD for transport anywhere in sg.. =/ The pick up point was outside the tourist information centre which was like a church. Since I arrived early, I walked around the area. There were some random statues and of course trinity college – the oldest college in Dublin. Oscar Wilde was one of its student.

When it was closer to the meeting time, a pink colour coach came and I boarded. Handled my email reservation which I bought online. It was only 23 euros (student price which they did not check my identification) for a 9-5 day tour.

Took a seat nearing the front of the bus; 3rd row to be exact. It went to two other locations to pick up passengers and I ended sitting beside this Italian guy from an island starting with M in southern Italy? The island was in the Caribbean sea too. It was an island with a population of about 400,000 people. Well, he seems like a computer geek, in a computing related job pursuing a part time computing degree. Came with his parents who sort of sponsored his trip. Interest includes Japanese anime manga and Play station. And he said my name sound like some Japanese manga or anime character. LOL.

I was trying to compare the cost of living between SG and Italy and apparently, their petrol in Italy is more expensive than SG!! Oh wells, the only thing we beat them is that we are more expensive in Cigarettes and Alcohol and he said that’s a good thing because they are bad things. hmm.

The guide and driver was Joe and he was really funny and hilarious – True to all the comments and reviews online. He is probably around his 60s and he seems really passionate about this job.

(one of his jokes) He told us a story whereby tiger woods came over to Ireland to play golf and offered $10,000 per hole (not sure what it means) and no one dared to play with him. Then Stevie wonder agreed and tiger woods was shocked because how can a blind person play golf? Steve said that he will get his assistant to clap in the direction so he will know where to aim and hit the ball. So tiger woods agreed and asked what time to have the competition and Steve wonder replied “at night”. And no one knew what was the outcome of the contest.. (This was probably fiction but there were many such jokes along the journey)

There were many nationalities on the bus, the only other Chinese was a Taiwanese man in his 30s I think. There were people from Brazil, Italy, America, Australia, Canada, India. That’s all I could remember. Haha. He tried to make each nationality sing a song during the bus ride and I refused to sing =/

Sadly, the weather wasn’t good at all. It was raining and the view outside was affected obviously. We went to the Wicklow mountains, driving pass the Sally gap, an expressway or road, (filming spot for PS I love you and Brave heart?) and there was this lake which was owned by Guinness. It has been a wedding gift for their daughter back in 1930s.

& it's the reflection of my back pack & the rain. This bag is so lucky.. it has been to 2098234980 cities already.. photo 551004_10151064912771209_1783889782_n.jpg

My lucky backpack which has been with me to a couple of countries already. bought it in 2010 for the USA trip.

Sally Gap:

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Look at the water.. it looks as dark as.. Guinness!

Can you see the colour of the water? It looks as black as.. the Guinness Beer.. Where did the water from the beer making come from? (Now we know..) photo 205323_10151064917946209_1869359364_n.jpg

This is the pink coach I was talking about. it’s seriously HOT pink. and the surroundings look really scenic for a hpoto shoot. no wonder it was a popular filming spot.

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This is Lough Tay.

Lough Tay whose scree sides plunge straight into the water is owned by a member of the Guinness family.

This lake, including all the land surrounding it, was a wedding gift to their daughter.

The white sandy beaches were generated from imported sand. The black waters against the white sand is comparable to a pint of the famous family stout, GUINNESS – which is something that I will only drink in Ireland and not anywhere else.

This is Lough Tay. Lough Tay whose scree sides plunge straight into the water is owned by a member of the Guinness family. This lake, including all the land surrounding it, was a wedding gift to their daughter. The white sandy beaches were generat photo 481227_10151064919026209_1491681786_n.jpg

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Then we visited Glencree Village and some heritage site which included gravestones and churches without roofs and this 30 meters tower.

And we reached the Glencree Village. photo 554766_10151064921421209_1974078881_n.jpg

This is the 30-metre tower. reminds me of Rapunzel. lol.

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Glencree is also the home of a German Military Cemetery. This is one of the many German war cemeteries in Western Europe, which collectively contain a total of over one and a half million known German combatants.

There’s a lot of tombstones of their war heroes or some important people.

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Glencree is also the home of a German Military Cemetery. This is one of the many German war cemeteries in Western Europe, which collectively contain a total of over one and a half million known German combatants. photo 392543_10151064929176209_1136680088_n.jpg

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The guide said that the acoustics inside this chapel was so good that some people actually did their sound recordings there.

The guide said that the acoustics inside this chapel was so good that some people actually did their recordings there. photo 198336_10151064932446209_1352144487_n.jpg

Raindrops on grass. photo 292275_10151064935126209_663099284_n.jpg

Then we stopped by the glendalough lake which was between two valleys and it was really pretty.

The road to the most beautiful lake - Glendalough photo 270819_10151064935581209_1865400493_n.jpg

Glendalough Known in Irish as 'Glenn of the two lakes', Glendalough is a glacially sculpted green valley of typical Irish beauty. photo 598585_10151064937586209_596899426_n.jpg

40 shades of green, maybe only 4 in this photo.

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Dropped by for lunch and I shared a table with an American from Oregon. I had “shark & chips” ( the size of the fish was extremely humongous) and tried this sample whiskey which was irritatingly strong.

At the Meeting of the Waters, the Avonmore and beg rivers come together to form the Avoca River. It was here that Thomas Moore penned his famous Irish Melody, “The Meeting of the Waters”.

At the Meeting of the Waters, the Avonmore and beg rivers come together to form the Avoca River. It was here that Thomas Moore penned his famous Irish Melody, ?The Meeting of the Waters?. photo 182821_10151064943946209_2118019891_n.jpg

Went to avoca mill to see the weaving facilities. It was Ireland first ever mill dating back to 17 century. It was managed by 3 sisters who did not marry and put in all their effort in running the mill.

After that, we headed back to Dublin. Along the way, the guide led the group into singing some folk songs and continued with his endless jokes and funny comments. Honestly I don’t get it some of the time. And I embarrassed myself by not singing a song to represent my country. My mind was blank. And obviously I am like so shy. Ha.

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Reached Dublin town and walked around a bit before meeting my friend at macs. Walked to the spier (this sharp thing which is the tallest structure in Dublin) to meet two other girls who were on exchange too. Went to this place called Paris Bakery. I had a duck breast in cranberry sauce main course and OmG it was so awesome!! Fantastic~ ooo yea!

Went over to buy some beer and strawberries before heading home. Had a mini drinking bulmers/gossiping session with the girls back in the hostel.

& we were done with the night.

[DAY 3]

Breakfast!

It was an awesome day with good weather with fleeting drizzle but we spent a little too much time lazing around and we left really late. Grabbed lunch at the cafeteria. Mushroom Soup and Pasta!

Day 3 lunch - Mushroom soup photo 534977_10150983966991209_1028053306_n.jpg Day 3 lunch - spaghetti from school cafeteria. photo 522175_10150983969246209_2114546644_n.jpg

we took the 3pm bus to Bray (coastal town). JUST BEFORE WE BOUGHT THE BUS THE WIND WAS HOWLING LIKE MAD AND IT WAS RAINING HAIL!! Hail is like mini ice balls falling from the sky.

It was a 30-40 mins bus ride and there was a slight drizzle when we reached. Bus driver gave us the directions to the coastline. And OMG IT WAS SO PRETTY. Walked along the path and the Stoney pebbled beach.

Day 3: Visit to Bray. On a side note, we managed to see hail (small ice rocks falling from the sky) for like 2 to 3 mins. photo 292694_10151064945261209_1473330289_n.jpg

The stone beach is so pretty & really empty. photo 601038_10151064949306209_1598915493_n.jpg

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& the dark clouds are coming. Look at the stark contrast. photo 537511_10151064950156209_995725935_n.jpg

Captions Please! "So Singaporean" =p photo 166511_10151064951016209_2067502672_n.jpg

New shoes for the trip =p photo 599977_10151064952996209_1721253964_n.jpg

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The dark clouds are coming!

Can you see the rain coming? It's the grey thing in the middle and the wind is blowing it from the sea to the shore. photo 554373_10151064956996209_105960053_n.jpg

Oh no oh no. the rain is coming nearer and nearer. and we had to run for shelter. photo 602978_10151064959926209_157072985_n.jpg

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Not before long, it started howling and raining again. Took shelter in a cafe and when we sat down, the rain stopped >;_<; but we went ahead to order something (to use the restrooms)

 photo 533341_10151064960516209_2091830953_n.jpg Strawberry milkshake~ photo 532807_10150983970506209_1863236661_n.jpg

The sun was really great and we walked down the coast line. Ideally, we should take a 2 hours walk to the next town (grey stones) but because of the hectic weather and time constraint we headed back after immersing into the scenic coastal view. Aww.

Finally, the rain has stopped and out comes the clear blue sky and the precious sun. photo 551762_10151064960691209_1932062455_n.jpg

I just did the "Asian pose" Yes they call this the Asian Pose. photo 208993_10151064968836209_1880477277_n.jpg  photo 532844_10151064975746209_1127493007_n.jpg

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Managed to see the train pass by as we walked to the bus stop.If you have the chance, I think that you should try taking the DART train which actually gives you the coastal view of ireland! We didn’t take the train as my friends had the monthly pass for the bus.

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Took the bus back to town and within this bus trip, we saw rainbows twice! We were having a conversation and it started raining and I was saying something like its “tai yang yu” sun rain. And my friend said usually like this, there will be rainbow and suddenly OMG we saw a FULL RAINBOW! and a double or triple rainbow. Awesome crap. And suddenly the rain stop and start stop and start and there was another full rainbow! How lucky can I get? Hail and 2 rainbows in a day!!

double rainbow. if only i had paranormal camera, i could have captured the whole thing. photo 545139_10151064980356209_1780626077_n.jpg

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Reached town really late and this time we met 2 other girls (different from yesterday), who were on exchange in trinity college.

We headed up to O’nells for dinner. This was a traditional Irish Pub and my friend’s friends queued quite long for a seat. Had some guinness Irish beef stew with mash potato.

Day 3 dinner: Guinness Irish beef stew photo 380292_10150983972931209_384924927_n.jpg

Since it was a Friday, it was extremely crowded and as the night sinks in, we had to talk louder and louder because the noise gets even louder. There was a live music performance too. It was very funny because when we were taking a photo, this Irish guy entered our photo on purpose. Maybe he was high on alcohol. Ha.

Parted our ways and took the bus back. I guess it was slightly emotional for them since they had spend quite some time together in the past 5 months.

And it was packing and more packing for my friend.. I tried to help whenever wherever possible..

[DAY 4]

*writing all these on my east coast train from Edinburgh to london; beautiful scenery of greens, animals, sea, etc outside my wondow*

Woke up, pack and pack and went around UCD to take photographs for my friend since it was her last day.

Went back to hostel and another friend came to eat lunch and help out with the baggage. Ate the leftovers and the seaweed soup which I brought.

Pack up, move out, check out. Weather was so hot while we wheeled our luggage to a place 20 mins away. Friend had to store her luggage at another place.

It was slightly late so we gave town a miss and headed to the airport straight.

Checked in and board the Ryan air plane.

It’s funny how they said that the gate closes at 1630, scheduled flight to fly at 1700 but they open the gate at 1700, and they fly at 1720 and reach Edinburgh at 1800 (as according to schedule) *This means that they always increase the timing required for the flight which accounts for their flight delay and not compromising on their timely arrival* and there’s this announcement which says that Ryan air is the best budget airlines and more than 90% of its airlines reaches its destination on time. I was kind of disappointed cause I expected everyone to clap when the plane landed (according to some reviews I read) oh wells, it totally didn’t felt like a plane ride at all since it was so
short and my friend & I were talking throughout.

And it was bye bye Dublin, hello Edinburgh: Part 2!

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