13.05.2009 - 21.05.2009
View The BIG OE on RachMulder's travel map.
Almost home time now! My apologies for taking so long to write to you all again. I have been waiting, putting it off in the hopes that I would be able to share some photos with you. Lately there has always been something to prevent me. Unfortunately today is no different - only the screen and keyboard are accessible to me, so no USB ports.
Never mind - more to show when I get home! :-)
We have moved around a lot since I last wrote. After our stay in Whitby with Robyn's Aunt, we went on to stay 3 days in Glasgow, followed by 3 days in Dublin. Today we have just arrived by train into Cork, where we will stay for (you guessed it) 3 days.
Glasgow was a lot like home. Robyn's Aunt and Uncle took us for a drive past Loch Lomond, and the way there could easily have been a NZ open road. Lots of ferns. It's hard to really put your finger on it, but Glasgow just felt 'New-Zealandish'. It also smelled strongly of marmite in certain places. (No idea why...)
We flew to Dublin. Our hostel there was a little budget compared to previous experiences - we had 3 flights of stairs to descend to the bathroom, and two more to get to the showers. (Not all that fun running past the internet room in your PJ's in the morning, either!)
In Dublin we did most of the really touristy things. The Guinness storehouse, of course, was a must. (By the way, I DON'T like Guinness.) :-P The place was fairly interesting, but reasonably pricey. You could tell they were in on all the hype - you should have seen the size of their gift shop! We caught a traditional Irish dancing show, and did shameful amounts of shopping (presents for ourselves, this time!) ;-O
We also went to Trinity College, home of the famous 'book of Kells' (a lavishly decorated, illustrated manuscript of the four gospels, transcribed by Celtic monks.) I enjoyed the place, although my experience was somewhat tainted by throngs of pushy middle-aged tourists who would literally shove you out of the way to get closer themselves. (A bit of trivia: The Trinity College library was used for a scene in Star Wars Ep II, where Obi-Wan is looking for Geonosis. It was deja-vu-ish to be inside, the set designers were obviously very strongly influenced by the place!)
We have only just arrived in Cork, so I can't say much about it yet. The hostel seems great, and the staff here have been way more helpful than anywhere else we've been so far - really going out of their way to tell us anything that might be useful .
As for Ireland overall, I can really only think of one adjective: rainy. It spits, drizzles or pours. There's no rhyme or reason. Today we were out walking and were caught completely off guard - it was a clear sky one minute, and absolutely torrential rain a second later. I have never seen rain come out of absolutely nowhere like that before. For the locals it's a bit of a joke - 'Did you want summer?' They say. 'Sorry, that was last week Wednesday.'
My computer is flashing at me - 5 minutes to go. I will try to write one more time before I come home - less than a week to go, now! I am looking forward to seeing you all again soon.