Notice: Dear reader, please note that most of the photos in my blog are currently not available. They are currently held hostage by Photobucket (which requires me to pay $399USD/year). I am in the process of re-uploading the images on a different host and this will take some time. If you have any burning questions about my post, feel free to leave a comment. Sorry for the inconveniences caused!
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:
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.
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!
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~
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.
My lucky backpack which has been with me to a couple of countries already. bought it in 2010 for the USA trip.
Look at the water.. it looks as dark as.. Guinness!
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.
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.
Then we visited Glencree Village and some heritage site which included gravestones and churches without roofs and this 30 meters tower.
This is the 30-metre tower. reminds me of Rapunzel. lol.
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.
The guide said that the acoustics inside this chapel was so good that some people actually did their sound recordings there.
Then we stopped by the glendalough lake which was between two valleys and it was really pretty.
40 shades of green, maybe only 4 in this photo.
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”.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The dark clouds are coming!
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)
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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..
*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!