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Ciara goes to Oz...

Hey there, and Welcome to my Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read, and upload photos when I get the chance. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them! :)

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Location: Cologne, Germany

hi everyone,

can you believe it, i am actually back home since yesterday evening (first cologne beers have already been sampled ;) )!

the sightseeing in seoul did not work out too well, as when i had a look at the subway plan etc it just all looked SO big and confusing and busy and foreign, that i felt too overwhelmed to go out really.. seeing as i would most definitely have gotten lost and that always frustrates me, i just had a walk around the area in which i was staying, which was totally sufficient! other than that, i chose to chill out at the hostel in front of a fan, as it was so hot and close/humid.. and a lot of smog in the city as well!

i have now started a big tidying up session in my room, seeing as i will be staying with my parents for a while, until i have cleared my debt and/or found a job, at least ;)

off to ireland on thursday till the 10th august, as my cousin is getting married on the 1st.. looking forward to seein everyone again now!

well, until i go travelling again, this might be my last blog entry for a while.. unless of course i find myself unemployed for a significant amount of time that i get so bored that i decide to blog about everyday life as well.. ;) we will see!

thank you everyone for following my blog, for being interested in what i was up to, for looking at my photos, and for posting messages! i loved hearing from you!

take care,
Ciara xx

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Location: Seoul, Korea (South)

hi people,

just to let you know i have arrived safely in seoul, and i had no problems finding the right bus, bus stop and way to the hostel.. i surprised myself a bit there^^
tomorrow the real challenge for my sense of direction awaits, sightseeing is the task of the day! :) will let you know how it all went..

by the way, my phone doesnt work over here, they seem to have a much more advanced technology than the rest of the world, hence this update to let you know i am good!

see you soon,

Ciara xx

Friday, 17 July 2009

Location: Melbourne, Australia

hello all,

i am leaving oz tomorrow and absolutely devastated about it :(
have a 12 hour flight to seoul tomorrow and spending a day there, so wish me luck for my korean adventure!! :)

will be back in germany monday evening!

see you all soon, hope you're well,

Ciara xx

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Location: Nadi, Fiji

Bula* from Fiji! :)

(*Bula is the traditional fijian greeting, it means hello, welcome, and a lot more, that just expresses their kind nature and warm hospitality)

I am sitting around in the Nadi Bay Resort with a few hours to kill before I make my way to the airport and back to oz, and seeing as it is raining (the first rain i have seen in fiji!) I thought to myself what better to do than update my blog and tell you a bit of what i've been up to..

so, after a lovely week in a 4 star hotel in sydney and a tearful goodbye to dan at 5 in the morning last saturday (4th july), i made my way to the airport to board a plane to fiji.
3h40 min later i was greeted by hot weather, sunshine, and friendly people sayiing Bula - a phrase i was going to hear and say a lot for the next week!
after one night in nadi on the main island, i started my 7 day island hopping tour with awesome adventures fiji. that day i spent 5 hours on the boat cruising up through the yasawas (an island chain with 20 ancient, mostly volcanic islands), until i got to mi first destination, coral view. the islands all have fijian names as well, but are more commonly known by the resort name. easy enough seeing as there is only one resort per island. some islands will have a fijian village population on the other side of the island, but not all. and some islands are not inhabited at all. the fiji islands comprise a total of 333 islands, but not all of these are populated.
anyway, my first destination was coral view, where we spent 2 nights.
when we came ashore we were greeted by all the staff with a big friendly smile, a handshake, and of course a "Bula"!
i had met some nice english girls on the boat, and was fortunate enough to be told that the dorm was full, and did we mind sharing a double bed? seeing as that meant 4 people in the bure (the fijian word for hut) instead of 30 in the dorm, and an ensuite bathroom as well, sophie and i obviously said yes!
the next day i joined a trip that took us to the sawailau caves (only form of transport by the way were small motor boats. from the big boat you also had to transfer to a small motor boat that took you to the shore, so we got used to it quickly). the scenery on the way to the caves (and also up to coral view) was amazing, beuatiful white beaches, so clear turquoise water, and green islands with mountains, some of them rising up to 1000m. other islands can be flatter. we were able to swim in the caves, and then, from the main cave, we had to swim underwater to get to a smaller cave, which was pitchdark inside, without the guide's torch we wouldnt have been able to see anything, but it was really exciting! that trip was well worth it!
in the afternoon we got a small motor boat over to the famous blue lagoon (a beautiful beach - seriously, thats how paradise must look like-) for some snorkelling and sunbathing. the snorkelling there was unbelievable. the coral start in such shallow water you sometimes have to be careful to have enough room to swim over them! the visibility was absolutely amazing, have never seen such clear water in the ocean in my life!
the following day, after having said goodbye to all the staff on the beach, who gave each of us a hug as we left (they consider their guests as part of the family and make a big deal of welcoming them warmly and singing them a goodbye song as well) we transferred to the next island and resort, korovou. the food there was by bar the best (all the other islands had basic food, you could eat it if you were hungry, but it wasnt great). sophie had met an australian family on the main island who we met at korovou. the guy, a retired scuba instructor, knew the reef in the region and took us on a guided snorkelling trip, which was amazing! the resorts always have some nightly entertainment, which often consists of the staff singing a fijian song, doing a fijian dance, and then wanting us to join in for the last bit, which was always fun! at coral view the first night (a sunday) the local school children came in and sang and performed for us.
unfortunately we only had one night there, and the next afternoon, i was seperated from all the girls i had got to know, as they were staying at wayalailai, and me on the island opposite, at kuata. unfortunaetley i couldnt change that. i decided to have a full day of not being in a boat, and just chilled out in a hammock, reading my book and enjoying the views. the next morning i had arranged to go diving, but the wind that had struck up in the afternoon had gottten worse, so i cancelled the dive, which left me with nothing to do, having finished my book, and no internet and no mobile phone reception (the other islands always had one of the two options) until the late afternoon, where i met up with the girls on the boat again.
one very rough crossing later, having lfet the yasawa region, we arrived at our last island, south sea island, which is part of the mamanuca island chain. it was a very small island but unbelievably cute. we had a nice dinner (fish, which wasnt as common as i though it would be, and potatoes instead of rice, thank god, as i had had rice every day with both lunch and dinner). after dinner there was a crabrace which sounded fun so i decided to enter.
they were miniture crabs in shells which had numbers on them, it was 3fijian dollars a crab to enter, so i picked crab number 7. in 2 exciting first rounds my number 7 qualified for the final and won that easily as well, leaving me to collect a nice ice cold bottle of white wine from the bar as a prize! :)
we shared that then in the evening, and then retired to our 30bed dorm (pretty common on the islands). the next morning i had arranged to go diving. unfortunately the wind had followed us down, but after talking to the instructor i decided to go anyway, as i hadnt been diving at all yet in fiji. i had done a good bit of snorkelling though, which was always amazing. one morning at korovou i joined a snorkelling with the mantarays trip, and i saw a massive one just 5 meters below us, it must have been about 3 meters in diameter, absolutely amazing!
anyway, me, another girl and the diving instructor went diving then (challenging for the motor boat to drop us off at the buoy in those high waves, but once you're underwater, no more of those troubles). we descended then, and explored a sunk shipwreck which was awesome, i had only ever been coral reef diving before. the shipwreck was really cool, and we dived along the bottom of the ocean a bit, looking around, until i stupidly stupidly didnt see the anemone (nemo's home for those who've seen the movie, and poisonous to everyone but him. clownfish are immune to the anemone's venom and are safe from predators if they stay in the anemone. the anemone's poison numbs other fish and thats how they get their food). anyway i stupidly didnt see the anemone, turned around, and brushed my whole leg up against it, which instantly started stinging like hell. jellyfish stings are nothing against that! obviously being underwater it is harder to communicated, so jason the dive instructor first thought i had a cramp, but when i made him understand that my leg had touched the anemone and that i was in pain, he took my hand and i held my leg with the other hand, and we ascended to the surface then. by the time we had reached land my left leg (from my shin up to above the knee) had red spots and big bubbles on it, pretty disgusting, but some first aid with vinegar and hot water made the bubbles go away thank god. i had been planning on spending the whole day on the island going back to the main island with the last boat at 5, but they told me i had better get on the first boat at 11.30 (i still had to wait 2 hours) to go to a doctor. so i did that. with constant vinegar and hot water the pain had got a lot less though! the diving company arranged for me to be picked up at the marina by one of their staff members. this girl had organised a doctors appointment for me and put me in a taxi so i could get there. taxis are confusing here because not all cars have taxi written on them, so i was glad she did that. she said it was a good doctor she was sending me to, so i was a little relieved. bit freaky not knowing how this sting will affect you, and being sent to dr. ram raju in a strange country, but luckily everyone speaks english as its their official language. the taxi driver waited for me while i was at the doctors, who gave me a prrescription for antihistamine tablets and a cream, and told me i'd be fine. the taxi driver also waited for me while i was at the pharmacy (everything is in fiji time over here which means no one is in a hurry) and then drove me to the nadi bay resort where i was staying, and only took a pittance for the whole journey, which was amazing!
my leg still has red spots on it, but hardly stings anymore, so i am on the mend! nothing like a bit of excitement on your last day, eh? ;) anyway, no need to worry, i am absolutely fine!
that was my awesome adventure in fiji anyway, i am flying to melbourne via sydney later today, and am looking forward to spending another couple of days in oz, before i have to head back home.
hope you are all well, i will upload photos as soon as i have time.
take care,
Ciara xx

Thursday, 02 July 2009

Location: Sydney, Australia

hi everybody,
just a quick update on my whereabouts and travelplans..

i am leaving sydney for the last time on saturday (never coming back and VERY sad about it), to fly to fiji for a week (with no internet, so don't worry if i don;t answer, i have not been kidnapped, but will rather be busy diving/ snorkelling/ sunbathing ;) ).
i'll then be in melbourne from the 12th july and i fly to seoul (south korea) on the 18th, have a look around for a day, and arrive back in frankfurt on the 20th.
2 days in cologne then for doing laundry ;) and on the 23rd july i will be flying to ireland until 10th august.
after that planning to hang around for a while, so see you all then!

hope you're all well,
take care,

Ciara xx

Tuesday, 09 June 2009

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

hi there people,
here's a quick update of my and dan's long weekend in new zealand!
it was amazingly great, and we really really enjoyed the hotel which was smack in the middle of the city centre! 5 star was great! :) although we obviosuly had to resist the temptatioins of the very expensive minibar, room service, and all the other great things they had to offer..
we were very busy all weekend, as our flight to auckland was delayed by about 90 minutes due to the incoming plane from auckland not being able to start because of fog.. but we got there in the end, exchanged some money, picked up our rental car and drove to the hotel. friday night we went out casually for a lovely mexican meal, and they ended up charging us too little for the wine. we had ordered a bottle but only paid for a glass! we were out of there quite quickly before they could notice their mistake! ;) we then headed into father ted's (most authentic irish pub i've seen in a long time) for a couple of drinks, there was live music there as well which was great!
just a little sleep in on saturday, got up at 8, and took a ferry over to rangitoto island, a volcanic island. spent the day there exploring, walking up to the summit for amazing views back to auckland, and walking through the dark lava tunnels which formed during the eruption (and i bumped my head although we had a torch, bit clumsy.. ;) ). in the evening we got dressed up for dinner at a lovely malaysian restaurant, and then back to the hotel for a chilled out evening as we had to get up at 6 the next morning for a long drive.
we drove 3 hours to rotorua, where we looked at geysirs (one of them was still erupting!) and mudpools etc. with amazing nature views there and on the way there, had nice lunch along the way and then drove to the waitomo caves, a cave with glowworms living in it as well as obviuously having stalagmites and stalagtites.. our tour through the cave also included a boat ride through it, with the glowworms overhead, which was very nice. headed back to the hotel then and enjoyed our room with a takeaway (the bed was sooo comfortable and we had amazing city views out of the gigantic window) and a few drinks before going to bed earlyish. we only slept for 4 hours though as we had to catch an early morning flight yesterday (we had to get up at 4!) but that meant we had the whole of monday back in sydney!
after the cold of new zealand (5 degrees celsius, good thing i had brought a warm jacket!) we were greeted by lovely warm sunshine in sydney, and went whale watching. we had great views of the migrating humpback whales, they actually jumped out of the water a good few times! we didnt just see only a tail or a fin like we thought might happen, but they actually leapt right out a few times, amazing! and the small fasty boat was an extra thrill, the ride was fun!
cooked a nice spaghetti bolognese in the evening/late afternoon and went to sleep veeery early at 7.30 as we were so tired, but we had a great time!! :)

hope you're all well, will try and upload pictures asap!

Ciara xx

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Location: Sydney (again, haha), Australia

hi there everyone,

just a quick update to let you all know what i'm up to these days..
well i'm back in sydney (again) and staying in 790 on george (again :) ), so no surprises there! other than that, i'm spending my days working in a takeaway juice and smoothie bar near central station, which is 5 min from where my hostel is, so very convenient for me! other than that, i'm hoping to get a few bar shifts at strike (same bar as before, different venue).
and other than THAT, i'm enjoying life and spending time with dan, although i have been informed that the weather is warmer in europe at the moment than over here! unbelievable! i have taken to jeans and cardigans, (but also had to buy a scarf! and some very pretty boots :) ) for quite a while now, but its mostly still sunny, which makes it very nice!

i will give you more info on my definite homecoming date very soon, so stay tuned!


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Recent Messages

From Orla
lovely photos! looking forward to seeing many more when you get back
Response: MANY more, haha.. some boring rainy days in ireland are looking to be filled.. ;)
Hallo Ciara,
hab lange nichts mehr von mir hören lassen, schaue aber immer wieder auf die Seite und bin informiert, was du so machst. Bin schon sehr gespannt darauf, was du alles zu erzählen hast, wenn du wieder in "good old germany" bist. Noch ganz viel Spaß!!!!
Response: danke danke! ja, die zeit geht langsam zu ende.... schrecklich!!! werde die letzten wochen aber noch richtig geniessen!
liebe gruesse!
From Orla
who else?^^
Response: haha okay :D
From Christoph
Hey Ciara!

Alles klar in Australia? Klingt alles extrem cool, was du da unten alles machst. Die Idee mit der Planetranger Seite hab ich dir mal geklaut, ab August kannst du dann unter dem Nick christoph auch über mein Auslandszeug in Hong Kong lesen.

Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland
-Dein Sandkastenkumpel Christoph
Response: coole sache, ja die seite ist extrem praktisch.. was machst du denn in hong kong?? auslandssemester? werde die seite definitiv checken, bin gespannt!
liebe gruesse aus sydney, die kindergartenfreundin :)
great WA photos (or as your friend Tony would say it Grrrreat!) - place the quote!?
Response: haha who the hell wrote this, orla??
From Sinead
i couldn't agree more with emily..and i almost did cry when i got an email from the gaff a few days ago saying as a member i'd get free beer and wine on saturday and i can't go because i'm not there anymore!!! :( :(
Response: what, why are u a member of the gaff and i'm not?? altho i do prefer sidebar.. ;)
From Emily
I am so jealous of you trip I could CRY!!!!
From Jonas

Das mit den ganzen Sonnenunter/auf -gängen hört sich voll toll an - werdsch richtig neidisch...
Wünsch euch dreien dann jetzt noch ne schöne letzte zeit, immer schön genießen

Response: dankeee :)
From Emily
Hey Ciara, As I write this I expect you are on the Greyhound - oh the memories! Enjoy the trip and Uluru especially.Cant believe that you will be home in June - madness! See you in the summer!
From Emily
Hey Ciara,
I am just looking at your pictures of you in all our old haunts - Scruffys, Side Bar, The Gaff... oh those days. I am so jealous! Heading into a Music class now - NOT THE SAME!!

Enjoy and cant wait to see you soon. Em. xx
Response: haha yes good times in those places, especially as i live just round the corner of sidebar.. :)
yes will see u really soon, my last work shift is tonite, then 2 months of travelling and then i'll be home, time's flying!!
From Orla
niiiice birthday pics! looks like you had a great time^^
Response: haha, ooooh yes! ;)
From Emily
Hi Ciara (and Orlan and Sinead!) how are you all getting on in OZ? What are the birthday plans?
From Jonas
das mit dem kölsch mittrinken wird gemacht (:

und jaaaaa fotos!!
From Birgit
Ach ja, wann gibt es denn nochmal neue Fotos?!
Response: demnaechst.. so stay tuned..! ;) muss mal schauen ob ich welche finden kann, da ich ja nur in sydney rumgammle u grad nix wirklich tolles unternehme..
From Birgit
Hallo Ciara, so ich treffe gerade die letzten Vorbereitungen für die "jecken Tage"! Sag wenigstend dass dir der Karneval fehlen wird!!!! Ich werde dann das ein oder andere Kölsch für dich mittrinken! Und viele Kamelle sammeln! Liebe Grüße us Kölle
Response: jaaaaa ich haette auch soo gerne karneval!! ich bitte doch sehr um das mittrinken zahlreicher koelschs an meiner stelle ;) und ihr duerft euch hier gerne alle angesprochen fuehlen!! ;)
From Jessi
Wie lustig, da steht schon Wednesday, 11. February, dabei ist hier erst der 10.02....hehe...gut mit dem Job. Warum brauchen die Kommentare eigentlich immer so lange?

Response: ich muss die kommentare erst freischalten, deswegen dauern die.. und dann kann ich auch direkt antworten, so wie jetzt.. ;)
From Jonas
Wanna pix of bar-job (:
Response: gibts auf :)
-allerdings nicht von mir, ich darf mich doch bei der arbeit nich fotografieren..
From Orla
das mit dem weihnachtsbaum! sieht aus als ob sie schreit oder so - aber warum?? :D
Response: aus spass an dr freud! :D
From Orla
schade, dass man die fotos nicht kommentieren kann sonst würde ich zu dem ersten aus dem xmas album gerne die frage stellen, was sinni da macht/sagt/mit ihrem gesicht tut :D
Response: bei welchem denn? :D
The tram trip was very nice, we had a lot of fun, beer and bap.
But on the other hand it was very sad for us, because you were not around us......

Response: jaa, haette auch gerne mit euch gefeiert!!
ganz liebe gruesse....
From Jessi
Sehr coole Fotos!
Grüße, gleich geht's zur Schlagerparty!
Response: wie ich bereits hoerte, war sie gut.. curuba is ne marktluecke hier ;)
From Birgit
Vorsicht ihr australischen Männern! Finger weg von unseren deutschen Weihnachts"girls"! Ihr seht super aus auf den Fotos! Weihnachten einmal anders! Nicht schlecht! heiß, heiß, heiß... passt auf euch auf!
Response: bis jetzt konnten wir uns ganz gut verteidigen :)
From Timo
My English is not the best, so i want to ask, why you write "hi guys", i thought guy means at German "Junge" or something else...can you please explain me the meaning of guy?



PS: don´t lay all of my words on the gold balance :-)
Response: hello timo :)
i very much like the expression gold balance :D
guys ist nur casual fuer "hi leute", und meint nicht nur jungs.. ich hoffe also, dass sich alle weiblichen leser gleichermassen angesprochen fuehlen :)
frohes neues uebrigens, wie war eure bahnfahrt??
From Anna
Hey, hoffe du hast gut Weihnachten gefeiert! Hab mir grad mal alle Fotos hier angeschaut und fange an Australien schon was zu vermissen! Hier ist es soo kalt und werd auch schon wieder ganz weiss. Doof! Wünsche dir noch eine tolle Zeit! Was macht denn die Jobsuche? Weisst du schon, wo du Silvester feiern wirst?
Liebe Grüße
Response: hey! ja weihnachten wurde gut am strand gefeiert :) geh mal auf die sonnenbank ;) ich bin hier aber auch noch nich brauner geworden, zuviel 30+ sonnencreme ;)
jobsuche laeuft noch unerfolgreich bis jetzt.. nervt langsam.. suchen uns fuer silvester n platz mit ner guten sicht, u muessen deswegen wahrsch. schon morgens da sein, ohje :D ich erzaehl dann nachher wies war!
From Dominik
Hi Ciara!
Vielen Dank für deine liebe Karte! Ja, sie ist mehr als rechtzeitig angekommen, wahrscheinlich früher als meine Weihnachtspost... :)
Ich hoffe dir geht es gut. Wünsche dir ganz tolle Weihnachten (wie wärs mit nem Foto von einem Weihnachts-Känguruh mit Zipfelmütze?) und wunderschöne Silvester!
PS: Hoffentlich hast du den Surf-Kurs heil überstanden!?
Response: ein weihnachts-kaenguru?! hmmm.. ich schau mal was sich machen laesst.. ;)
liebe gruesse!!