Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wicklow Tour - part two

Inland we passed a burial site that Germany actually owns! Apparently during WW2, some German pilots lost their way in trying to bomb London (now that's really going off course) so the Irish, being friendly hosts, gave them some ground to bury their dead.

You can see acres and acres of turf or peat collecting, which is basically cakes of mud they cut from the ground and use for fuel. Amazing.

We passed Loch Tay, which is apparently part of the Guiness Estate. These Guiness people own a lot round these parts.

This is the famous part of Wicklow, Sally Gap, where P.S. I love you was filmed. I literally gasped when I saw this breathtaking view for the first time.

This sight never fails to amaze me - WOW - I don't think any pics do it justice

Absolutely magnificent and ICE cold wind in the cheeks

not looking too great but I didn't give a hoot

I wasn't paying too much attention to the tour guide at this point - churches, cemeteries and such simply are not my thing :)

This is the little bridge I crossed going back to the hotel for tea while Dion went to see the lakes.

There actually should be a part 3 as Dion did the last section of the tour by himself. I was knackered and elected to have a nice cup of tea at a nearby hotel while the fitter members on the tour hiked an extra 30 minutes to see some lakes.

A beautiful tour. We got back in the evening and ate late (for us): 10pm. Risotto & chicken. Mmm. No hard and fast plans tomorrow - but, of course, one thing leads to another...

Tour to Wicklow - Dun Laogharie leg

Thursday 30 April 2009
Wild Wicklow

Ok, so Marcia insisted we tour Wicklow by coach - even though we successfully self-drove through it the previous year. Hmmph.

Got a lift to Heuston (?) station with Craig and took the LUAS into the City Centre as the tour left from a hotel whose name escapes me at the moment.

The Irish boys are not as South African, well-behaved boys are - it's strictly each man for himself even though there's a HUGELY pregnant woman on the tram. Grrr. Not impressed.

STOOD all the way and then had to run/ walk fast to the departure point all the while thinking, "was this a bad idea to do this tour? I am pregnant, after all."

Just about made it in time and off we set.

Our guide was Kevin Murray, who shared wonderful anecdotes as we rode towards the coast and headed south.

We passed Blackrock Boys College - now, doesn't that sound like the perfect training ground for Irish bad boys? Well, actually it's quite a larney place, with a price tag of some 30 000 Euros for a year's education, 50 000 for boarders.

Drove on Merrion Road where the houses go for some 30m Euros. Sounds like a status tour but anyway, we'd soon get to the rocks and waves and stuff. We learned that Bono (u2 lead singer) started out somewhere around here as a petrol pump attendant.

We also passed St. Vincent's Hospital where apparently 50% of the nurses are Philippinos, for some reason.

Finally we reached the coast and got out to stretch legs and take some landscapes and self-portraits:

hmmm, gorgeous grey skies
Marcia says the photo's terrible so I have to take it again (this kind of thing goes on all the time thru out trips - I'm sure we could see double the sights if we didn't spend so much time redoing photos):

Marcia in her element, grey Irish skies above, cold nipping at her nose, colourful Dublin doors on the sea-facing houses:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ugly night shots of the city

Anniversary supper at Saba, Dublin

these two horrible shots taken by Niall the waiter :)

this one taken by Dion :)

So Craig and Jo dropped us off at Saba for our anniversary Thai meal.

Clearly a very hip and happening place as we waited 40 minutes (40 minutes!) for a table. While we waited, D had a coke and I had a lemonade.

Eventually a table was ready and we took our seats.

Saba was very loud, edgy, and not really romantic. The food was very, very good though.

We had a starter to share with chicken satay, and a few other nibbles - I think we had 4 pieces each. Then for mains I had a Thai Mussamen curry (my favourite Thai dish) and Dion had Pad Thai. D had a brownie for dessert, and we had a tea (me) and Americano coffee (D) afterwards.

All of that came to 71 euro or R850!

(Here in SA, it would have cost about R220 :)) That is our most expensive meal ever. None of the South Africans could believe it when we told them until I hauled out the bill!

Also, waiting time plus eating the meal took less than 90 minutes!

Imagine how surprised C & J were to get a text message so quickly saying, "we're done" :)

Our 14th wedding anniversary and 22 weeks pregnant

Wednesday 29 April 2009
As is our custom, lazed in the morning and hung around some more in the afternoon with Craig and Jo until time to go to Craig's appointment.

On the way, we were involved in a bumper bash which felt worse than it was because of the way the Irish people drive (similar to Joburg drivers). However, the "baby girl" (who we now know as Kendra) stopped moving for a good few hours. I had to threaten her with a doctor's visit if she didn't move by a certain time and she then co-operated.

Meanwhile, we had the bright idea to amuse ourselves at the shops while Craig was working.

Except everything was closed except Tesco.

Well then, Tesco it is. Stocked up on chocolates, biscuits, hot chocolates - things we can't get in South Africa.

that jacket could just about button up...

look at those gorgeous grey skies behind gorgeous D

More on the evening to follow...

Meeting up with Jo in Henry Street

Tues 28 April 2009

Dion and I woke at 8.30 but we're so slow that we only left the flat at 12.00.

Showers, eating, faffing around, unpacking, then a last little snack before we left.

Yes, that's how we roll.

Funny when we arranged to meet Jo at 2 pm under the Spire at Henry Street (I get a kick out of that - have always wanted to meet someone at a landmark - is it weird?), we thought it was very late.

Turned out we had to do quite a bit of rushing around to make it on time!

Took the bus into the city and walked up O'Connell Street while detouring into Penney's.

We found each other easily. Notice the spire in the background and the Penney's bags. No, I don't know who's the guy on the right of the picture.

Jo insisted on a pic without the guy...

Some more pics, this time with Jo

After a bit of shopping, we decided to get some tea and scones. Quite honestly, any excuse to rest my pregnant body which was not used to all the city walking.

doing one of my favourite things in the world - eating tea and scones (this was at Brambles) and talking!
We then went to book our tours for the rest of our holiday. We LOVE tours without which we do a lot of faffing around and no real holidaying.

The three of us then took the LUAS to Craig's work where we detoured via the canteen for the most delicious chocolate doughnuts ever. Seriously. We'd been dreaming of these doughnuts for a YEAR and they did not disappoint. Also had a chance for a quick catch-up with Colette.

Then went home for supper. Dion's note in the book says "helped to make Chicken Korma". I don't remember the helping part but maybe Dion helped and I vegged?

Dublin city pics

It used to seriously annoy me when Dion would stop in the middle of nowhere to take city pics until I saw the Singapore night city pics.

So now I know that even though it is still sooooo frustrating when I want to go go go, it'll be worth it afterwards.

And it always is.


look at that blue building to the right of the pic. That's where we're supposed to get off the bus. This time (our first to the city in about a year) we forgot which is how we ended up here.

Here's that blue building again

And here's a close-up of the blue building, taken by me from below. I've a slight obsession with windows and doors.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Arrival in Dublin

Monday 27 April 2009

Well, we arrived in Dublin to......... wait for this........... 5 degrees Celsius weather.

I put my jacket to use immediately.

The taxi set-up is really great - you simply queue and as taxis arrive, you jump in. Very organised and soooo not South African. I also loved the way the rates are plastered up everywhere so you know what you're in for before you even get into the taxi.

So we took the taxi to Chapelizod - 40 Euro. I hyperventilated just a little bit :)

After checking at the pharmacy and calling our friend, Craig, we eventually receives the keys from the guy at the Spar in an envelope marked with our names but also with the exact address of his place.

Again, a realisation that we're not in South Africa as the flat would have been burgled and stripped bare!

Hauled our luggage in and immediately went to sleep (Dion). I had to eat (remember, babies!) first so I quickly had some cereal and then went to sleep.

Around 11-ish, Craig phoned to say he'd bring us the car so we could get around.

Lovely thought but not happening as we were still recovering from the flight. The flight from Abu Dhabi to Dublin was quite terrible - naughty children, full plane, no stretching out, bad food, etc.

Craig eventually popped in around lunch time, we briefly caught up (Dion's still sleeping through all this commotion) and off he went back to work.

Jo then arrived at around 3pm so we finally met in person and got to catch up with some nice girl talk until Dion woke at about 4pm.

Craig arrived from work proper sometime later and off we went to the Spur (the Spur! in Dublin!) for a buy one, get one free chicken meal.

So ends day 1 and the slothfulness.