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Jacqui's Big Adventure

Here I will keep everyone up to date with my adventures. So check this page regularly... I want to make you all jealous!

Diary Entries

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Location: Cork to Dublin, Ireland

Second last day on the tour was in the County of Cork, where of course we had to visit the famous Blarney Castle! All trip most of s were saying ‘I not kissing it, no way’, but yes most of us ended up doing it, and no we didn’t catch any diseases hat we know of yet, and yes we do know that the locals supposedly pee on it! But hey it’s something you have to do! The castle itself was pretty ruined, but pretty interesting to look around, and the grounds were nice. You have to climb up to the top tower of the castle to kiss the stone. You lay on your back, hold onto two bars and a guy holds onto you then you lean right back and kiss it upside down. It’s pretty crazy, and it’s just a piece of wall you’re kissing, it doesn’t look like anything special, but hey we did it!
Our last day on the tour was spent mainly driving back to Dublin, but our very last stop was the most important… the Guinness Storehouse! It’s been turned into a museum, and you get a free pint of Guinness in the roof top bar, definitely worth a stop!!
It was really sad to end the tour; I met some great people and made some really good friends. But I will definitely be back in Dublin before I go home, Eva made me promise I would come back and visit!

Monday, 23 July 2007

Location: Killarney, Ireland

One of the highlights for me were the cliffs of Moher. For any one who has seen the Princess Bride these are THE cliffs that the man in black climbs up! They were breathtakingly beautiful. 200m + sheer cliffs rising out of the sea. The views of the coast line and the islands were amazing. Had a few hours to walk around here and take in the views, could have stayed all day.
This was definitely a very scenic day. We were heading for Killarny but took the long way round via the Dingle Peninsula to get there. It’s a beautiful round past mountains, valleys, cliffs and beaches, and all green green green!
Sorry don’t want to bore you too much cos so much of this trip was scenery!
We also drove around the Ring of Kerry another famous scenic route, followed by a horse drawn carriage ride through Killarney National Park

Friday, 20 July 2007

Location: Galway, Ireland

Left Derry and headed south along the coast. Stopped at a few Celtic and Viking ruins including a fort and a monastery. Mainly a driving day where we got to see alt of beautiful coastal scenery. Stopped at a cute little surfing town for lunch… it almost felt like we could have been in Oz. Spent the night in Cong a nice little village in the county of Mayo. We were right near a castle that had beautiful grounds that we walked through at sunset. Supposedly Madonna got married here, but we are not sure if that’s true or not.
WE stopped the next day at Croagh Patrick, the mountain where St Patrick went to fast and from where he banished all the snakes from Ireland! It’s now a famous pilgrimage site and people are supposed to climb it barefoot to do it properly! This area of Ireland was also one of the areas most hit by the great potato famine. We saw a lot of moving monuments and huge amount of graveyards from this time.
Finally reached Galway, a big university town. This became our big night out of the trip. Had a big group meal and then hit the pubs. The Irish guy on our tour had studied here so he took as to a few good pubs and then a nightclub, turned into an awesome night.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Location: Derry, Ireland

Our morning in Belfast w spent doing an amazing Black cab tour of the city. This gave us a great insight into the ‘troubles’ that have taken place here. We saw the peace wall, a huge wall that divides the catholic and protestant areas. All over it are messages of peace and tolerance written by people from all over the world. Our driver took us into both the catholic and protestant areas and gave us a very balanced view of the history of Northern Ireland. We saw the political murals that are painted on the walls of buildings on both sides.
We left Belfast and headed for the Giants Causeway, taking in a lot of beautiful coastal and highland scenery along the way. The Giants Causeway is and amazing natural feature of closely packed hexagonal stones and columns and is a world heritage site. The ancient people thought it was a causeway built by a giant so he could reach Scotland and the woman he loved. You can see why they thought this it looks almost man made and like it could have been the end of a long bridge. We spent a few hours walking around the site (at one point up a cliff which wasn’t nice) and trying to find al the funny formations like the giants boot, his eye, organ pipes etc etc.
Last stop for the day was the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. It’s a 20m long, 1 m wide bridge of wire rope that spans the chasm between the sea cliffs and a small island. It’s about 30m up from the water. It’s about a km walk from the car park to the bridge and of course half way there it started 1. Pouring 2. Hailing 3. Lightning and 4. Thundering. Liz said there was no way she was going to let me do it, but i was determined. Luckily by the time w got there it had pretty much stopped raining. I didn’t find it a problem to cross at all and it was kinda fun how it swayed in the wind, Liz took the photos!
Spent the night in Ballycastle on the coast where we had a karaoke night in one of the local pubs.
The next day we made our way to Glenveagh National Park. It was a beautiful place and we had a nice day to look around. Its highlight is Glenveagh Castle which is situated right on a lake. It’s a really cute little castle; we took a guided tour around the rooms. The symbol of the castle is the stag and it is seen everywhere, from the plates walls floors and antlers everywhere!
Got to Derry the other main city in Nth Ireland. This is where the massacre of Bloody Sunday took place, and here more than even Belfast you could feel the tension of the troubles. We took a guided walking tour of the city. It was done by a young catholic man who was so passionate about his country and its history that it made it a wonderful tour, one of my highlights. He put into context the Bloody Sunday story and a lot of the political history of Northern Ireland.
Had a traditional Irish music night tonight in Derry. Found a pub with a traditional band playing, and it was great. John our Irish friend showed us his Irish dancing skills! And under the influence of alcohol we all had a bit of a go!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Location: Belfast, Ireland

For once we didn’t have to take a ridiculously early flight… we were in heaven!
Got in to Dublin by midday so could wander around the city for the afternoon. Saw the sights of the old city, the old walls, cathedrals buildings etc from Viking Times. Found temple bar, the main drinking and eating area of the city and the place I had a feeling we would be frequenting a bit! Its really busy and touristy but had some cool shops and lots of nice pubs. At about this time we got absolutely soaked in a really heavy downpour…. Luckily it wasn’t a sign of things to come (except for one other time which I will get to later); we had really really good weather and were so lucky. John an Irish guy on our tour kept saying ‘this is not Ireland… it should be raining!’
First night in Dublin and of course I had to have an Irish stew and a Guinness. This was also the night I was meeting up with Eva for the first time. She is my pen friend from when I was 8yrs old and I was really excited about meeting up with her. Unfortunately she had to work (she’s a nurse to) but she met up with us after work one night and took us to a nice pub where we could catch up. It was great, it was like we already knew each other (which after writing for so man years shouldn’t be so surprising), and we got along really well. We are already planning for me to come back and stay with her so she can show me around some more.
The next morning we saw Trinity College and the Book of Kells. There was a really good exhibition about the book and how it was made etc. This was good cos you only actually see 2 pages of it! But that was enough to see how beautiful it is and how much work went into illuminating and writing it.
Walked down busy Grafton St the main shopping street of Dublin on our way to Dublin Castle. We had to take a guided tour here, but it gave us a good overview of Irish history and the Irish/English relationship. There were some nice state rooms, and some underground areas where the original Viking castle has been excavated.
Monday was the first day of our Paddywagon tour. We had a really funny tour guide from Dublin, who half the time we couldn’t understand, but we could laugh at him anyway! Had a bit of a driving tour around Dublin before heading out of the city and into the GREEN! It really is as green as everyone says it is, it’s a green I had never seen anywhere before. We were heading for Belfast for our first nights stop. On the way we stopped at Monasterboice where we saw our first Celtic crosses and the round tours the monks used to build to protect their treasures (until the Vikings discovered they acted like a chimney and would then smoke them out). Lunch was in Drogheda where the battle of the Boyne took place (one of Cromwell’s infamous slaughters). It is also where St Peters Roma catholic church is, its pretty unremarkable except for the fact it has the mummified head of the martyr St Oliver Plunkett (died 1681), which is a bit gory!
Made it to Belfast in time to have a wander around the town for a few hours and then ad a big group dinner for our first night. Had another Irish cuisine… potato pancakes!

Monday, 25 June 2007

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Back in Istanbul! We have fallen in love wit the city and don’t want to leave.
We had a whole day dedicated to the Grand Bazaar and went a bit crazy. Think we were there for about 6hrs! It is a crazy place, you are lost wihin five seconds, I think there is about 4kms of shops. We certainly practiced our bargaining skills and were finally able to buy all those things we had been admiring the whole trip but didn’t want to carry.
Next day we saw Topkapi Palace, home of the Sultans of the Ottoman empire, and it was every bit as grand and exotic as you would expect it to be. It was covered wall to wall with the Turkish style white and blue tiles which were dazzling. The harem was the highlight, you got to see all the baths and secret rooms that were for the sultans eyes only, and the beautiful rooms that the women lived in. There was a treasury display which was a feast of diamonds and precious stones covering jewelery, swords thrones etc etc.
We also dropped in to see the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian bazaar. This was a lot more tarditoinal (not like the shopping mallof the garnd bazaar) and sold all your delicious Turkish Delights, spices and srange love potions.
Our last day in Istanbul was so hot it made us very glad we hadn’t come any later in summer. We walked around the harbour where all the local men like to go, strip of their undies and lay on the rocks, it was a bit scary! It was a nice walk, it took s to places of the city that we hadn’t been to before. We found our way to Galatta bridge which has cafes and restaurants underneath it. We found a cool bar with bean bags and sat here for hours watching the sunset and drinking cocktails (although to start with the waiter got our order wrong and bought us milkshakes instead of margaritas… he must have been crazy). Perfect way to end a perfect holiday!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Location: Mt Nemrut, Turkey

Our 3 day tour to Mt Nemrut and eastern Turkey was something we had really been looking forward to, andit didn’t dissapoinnt, it was definitely one of our highlights on the trip.
Our first day was a big driving day to get to Mt Nemrut. It was great to see the landscapes and lifestyles changing the further east we got. It was a much more traditional, rural and Arabic lifestyle than in the west of turkey. The main tourists out this way are Turkish or Arabic tourists, so it almost felt like we were the only western people around. We had an awesome Turkish guide who went out of his way to make our trip special and here were only fou of us on the tour so it was like a private tour.
The highlight of the first day was going to Turkeys best icecream factory. Turkish ice cream is weird anyway, its like elasctic, doesn’t melt and needs to be chewed. But this ice cream was defiitly the best we had tried in turkey. Its made out of goats milk (whit goats only, not black ones, not sure what the difference is!) but apart from that t is a secret recipe. It was really funny to eat ice cream with a nife and fork, but that is what we did!
We stayed in a really nice hotel up in the mountains, close to Mt Nemrut that had beautiful views (especially of a lightning storm!), and that had cherry trees that our guide made a girl climb to pick some for us!
The net morning we were up at 3:30am to make it to M Nemrut for sunrise, unfortunately there was a a lot of cloud around so the sunrise was not very spectacular (very dissapoointing after a climb up a mountain). Mt Nemrut is famous or its huge stone funerary statues on top of a mountain. Some of the bodies are still standing, but all of the heads are on the ground at their feet. WE had pictured these massive heads in the dessert but they weren’t anywhere near as big as we expected. The staues were of gods including Apollo, Zeus and Hercules and of King Antioch who appeared to havedelusions of grandeur and thought he was a god as well. It ws interesting that the last 50 mts of themountain was all man made, he created a perfect top for his statues to sit on.
Throughout the morning we saw some more ruins, a roman bridge (still standing and until recently open to traffic!), and Antiochs tomb. We also got to paddle (it was freezing so a swim wasn’t happening) in the Euphrates River which was very cool…. we really were in the cradle of civilization! Had a look at the Attaturk dam, I think it is the third largest in the world. It was very impressive, but also sad to see the damage it has done to the landscape and to hear about the ancient sites that were submerged.
That afternoon we finally made it to Urfa and amazing ancient city that is a very holy site. It is the biblical Ur which was the birthplace of Abraham(Ibrahim) who eatures in Christianity and in Islam. It was amazing to visit, there was so much history there, it almost felt like you had stepped back in time. It is a holy city so it was very traiditional,we had to cover up quite a lot here, especially when we went into the mosques, they would give you these big dressing gown things that you had to wear. One of the mosques was built into the cave where Abraham was said to have lived in hiding for seven years. When you go inside its like a grotto as you actually go into the cave and the walls are all original. We were only allowed to go into the womens section and wegot scared at so much we didn’t stay long, but you could feel the history in there. The whole city definitely had atmosphere. It was a beautiful city with lots of parks and running water, and bit moat with lots of sacred carp.
Our guide took us through the bazaar, which was really interesting because he could tell us what all the weird things on sale were (plus he could help us bargain which was nice!). We stopped for tea in a big open air café where men and boys sit and play backgammon, we were the only girls in the place so we got looked at quite a lot!
We vsited Harran a small town on the outskirts of Urfa. It is famous for its beehive houses, Strange conical shaped buildings that are stil being ived intoday. Its one of the oldest continuall inhabited places on earth. We visited one that was all set up to show how people lived in them. With all the cushions and carpets inside it was really cozy, and very cool despite the heat. We did the touristy thing of getting dressed up and posing for photos. Our guide was the sultan and we were his harem (including Brett a hilarious Californian). From Harran you could just see Syria which was about 12kms away.
We stayed the night in a luxuary hotel…. with a proper shower! We were in heaven after the dorms we had been in for weeks! Our guide took us back into the old city of Urfa once th sun had set to see all the mosques lit up. It was such an awesome city hat I didn’t want to leave.
The next day was pretty muc a driving day o get us back to Cappadoccia, butwe did make aside tripto Gaziantep to see a mosaics museum. These were the most beautiful mosaics I have ever seen and spent the whol hour in awe with my chin on he floor. They were all from the important roman town of Belkis-Zeguma and were excavated in a rush just as the waters were rising after the creation of Attaturk dam. It is heartbreaking to know that there were other parts of this site that could not be salvaged in time. The mosaics theselves wee amazingly intact and of such a hig qualiy. They were of stories from mythology, animals, flowers, weddings, just about everything.
We also stopped in on the way home at Birreck a small town that has the only known surviing population of Eastern Bald Ibis’s. These birds were wiped out by DDT spraying in the 50’s and only about 40 remained. They have set up a breeding centre and now there are about 100. I found it really sad to see what may be the last of these birds. Liz hates birds so she wasn’t touched at all!
After a very long day of driving back to Cappadoccia we ad to turn around and get on a night bus to get back to Istanbul, so that was almost 24hrs on a bus…. Fun!

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Recent Messages

From Jody & Ruth
Hey Jacjac!
I didn't know you went to Disneyland!!! grrrrr very jealous!! Well, just to make YOU jealous, I'm going to Sydney tomorrow :) it's for uni tho :(
Looks like you're having a great time. We (Pop & Bas included) are really missing you!! Take it easy!!
From Ian
WOT!! Still no photos! Slacker.
Response: sorry been way too busy, Im in high demand in social cirlces
From Home!
Not sure if you have heard about the drama's that have been happening here, but we just wanted to let you know we are ok! Most of Newcastle has had no power for the last 2 days, and we had flood water running under our house and all down our street. Plus a bulker carrier has run aground at Nobby's!! Check out to see all the photos. Animals have been living inside, sooty has taken up residence in the laundry as he nearly floated away.
We have had an awful start to the long weekend.. glad YOU are having fun. Take care xx
From Mum
Hi Jacqui,
Was glad to hear you were still awake when you arrived in Istanbul - I can't imagine it's much fun sleeping in the airport! Can imagine the city when you describe the wonderful old buildings - it certainly is a mixture of east and west. Have fun on your bus trip - longing to hear all the details
Love Mum
Response: Internat free at the moment so ı wıll try and keep up wıth my dıarıes! It may come out wıth funny turkısh letters but thats ok! ççööö
From Ali
Jacqui Musgrove, I know perfectly well that your eamil is working so I think its time for an update. I was promised some pictures of Cornwall!! Hope you are enjoying the nice long days cause its just getting dark and cold here in Canberra!! Hurry up and write something!!
Love Ali
P.S back to the study, did well in my mid semster exams though so its worth it!!
Response: Ha Ha its 8:30 hee and its still light! Im loving it. Hope these were worth waiting for
From Mum
Hi Jac,
How have you been? It's starting to get a little cooler here - Jen is complaining about the cold already and it's only April!! I notice the weather in London is getting quite a bit warmer - have heard you are supposed to get a long hot summer - I know you will enjoy that. Saw pics of you and your friends at the Anzac BAll - looks like you were having a really great time. About time you updated this page with all your comings and goings - want to know all about your travels. Talk to you soon.
Love Mum
Response: Jenna will be hasseling dad to light the fire before too long, i know what shes like!
From Jenna
Jac! Where are all the updates??
Response: oops sorry been having too much fun ha ha
From Mum
Hey Jac,
Great pics - sure looks cold at the Cotswolds! I can look at your photos now and say 'I've been there too' - some of them anyway. Glad to see you had your photo taken with the little mermaid. We will await some more pictures from your trip to Cornwall.
Response: Happy Easter!
From Ali
Oh my God!!! Glad you're nice and safe - its a disaster zone here at ANU!! Huge hail storm hit on Tuesday night and we had to be evacuated in the rain and hail to central block which slowly flooded along with my floor. Have spent the last few days trying to dry out my carpet!!! Not happy Jan!!! On the other hand, all classes have been cancelled til monday - 5 day weekend yay!!
Response: You poor thing, sounds awful, the things you will do to get out of a few classes, hope its all going well apart from that! talk soon
From Jen
Sorry I missed you the other night when you called, you always ring when I'm not home!! Have fun in New York, can't wait to hear all about it when i see you in a few weeks!
From ben
Wow! I had no idea you were keeping so busy! Hope your gypsy curse has worn off... :)

See you when you get here

Ben :)
From Renae
Hey Jac! When are you going to tell us about Italy? I'd like to hear ALL about it! Hehe!
Response: ha ha getting there!
From Mum
Hi Jacqui,
It was great to talk to you the other night - Anne & Bruce were really pleased to catch up with you as well. Ali rang the next morning, so they got to speak to her too. They managed to touch base with all the Musgroves at one time. We had a great night - again (this time Jenna & Jono were there too)! I like these sleepovers - lots of laughs and lots of red wine - just my kind of night. Hurry up and get your Italian experience up on this site - can't wait to read all about it. Too bad you have to go back to work. Where are you planning on going on your next trip away - oh thats right - YOU'RE COMING HOME!!! Longing to see you again - it's going to be a great Christmas.
Love you - Mum
Response: was great to talk to everyone and to hear all about their adventures too!
From Leonie
Hey JacJacJacqui
I sent u a message earlier but didn't work. So anyway, i've been enjoying the stories and photos. Are u still visiting at xmas?? I think we should have a drink or 2 (or 3 or 4!)
When is Italy?
Response: hey Leonie! there will definitly be some catch up sessions at christmas, many stories to tell!
From Al
Hey there Jac,
Good to see your still having fun. Now I know how you felt when I was away....... jealous, jealous, jealous! Have you seen Ian yet? Perth is great. Have the agency christmas party on Saturday night...yes, thats right a work that will actually put on a party for you..can't wait! Going to New Zealand for a few weeks at the start of next year. Let me know if your coming home anytime and I will call you chickeebabe..Keep smiling;)
Response: Caught up with ian yesterday, he filled me in on all the gossip of course! home at christmas, will definitly chat then! (Still planning on coming over???)
From Ian & Pam
Hey Jac,
Can't beleive your going to be in italy when we finally arrive. Can't wait to catch up!!
Let's bring on our fortnightly baked dinners!
Ian & Pam
Response: bring it on! sorry i cant be there with the welcometo london sign!
From Mum
Hi Jac,
Well Dad and I have settled (somewhat) back into the routine of work - the first week back seemed to go quite quickly which was good. What a great time we both had in the UK with you and Alison - it's pretty special when you have your own private tour guides to show you around, and also to let you in on all the tricks when using the underground!! Our flight back was very long, but rewarded at the end with Jenna and Jono waiting to meet us - that was a joy. Have you been working hard and saving for you trip to Italy? Couldn't remember the exact date you left, but wanted to tell you to have a great time - I know you will. I can't really complain I'm jealous (but I am) seeing as we have just had over 5 weeks away!! Have a great time away and take care of yourself - i'm sure we will talk to you when you return from Italy.
Lots of Love Mum
p.s. I know you will be happy to work on the tan you have lost whilst in the UK lol
From ben
hey jacq, sounds like you've been busy :)
when are you headed home?
you know you're welcome to stay if you make it as far as sicily :)
Response: hey ben definitly will get to sicily next time, have to meet those hobbits!
From Jody
Hey JacJac.
PHEW! U finally wrote some more stories! Glad to hear you are still having a good time. Work is crap, uni is great! Poppy & Basil miss you lots, as do Ruth & I.
Cant wait to talk again, Take it easy.
Response: Hey! I couldnt have you think i was leading a boring life over here! Give the babies a chicken wing for me! Love Jac
From Ali
Hey Jac, you forgot to mention that I saw a ghost in the secret war time tunnels!! Some of us just have extra sensory perception I guess....
Guess what?? We're going to Paris!!! How cool is that?? You are an ok big sister after all !! he he he, je pratique mon francais pour notre vacances - so lets hope the snobby french people aren't mean to us!!
I'm so excited!!
Response: yes i did forget to mention that, but seeing as i didn't believe you it doesn't really matter. ha ha. yes we are going to paris! which reminds me i should be booking us beds.. bye!
From Celery & Carrott
We're sorry JacJac! Please come back and write some exciting stories, even if you steal stories from someone else ;o)
Response: My life is so busy and exciting I cant possibly spare the time to write stories anymore ha ha. That will teach you for being mean to me!
From wendy doyle
am doing nites and have just seen your website for the first time .Sounds like your having a great time. Mat Salerno says hi and we miss you heaps!
Response: Hi Wendy and Matt, great to hear from you. My trip has been great so far, cant believe I have been gone so long! Hope work is treating you ok!
From Mr Celery & Mrs Carr
b o r i n g ! MORE PHOTOS PLEASE!!
Response: well if i hadn't lost all my greece photos you would have some! i will just stop writing then so there
From Macca & Jody
You write too much. We cant spare that much time away from our precious little patients!
Response: shut up whatever. Im going on strike, no more entries. happy birthday daniel
From Leonie/Jody
Hey there slacker! We are on night duty & are hanging out for your carrot & celery sticks NOT!!! Sounds like youre having a great time, very jealous. When can we come visit? Maybe after Egypt in Jan? Take it easy! Miss you.
Response: No ripping off my carrot sticks! thats just mean. God you two on nights together.. look out! Did you make muffins leonie? I wont ask jody cos she cant cook ha ha. I now officaially live in london.. i have a bed and a job yuck.
you better come visit me or i will think you dont like me anymore. oh and when are you going to update the hdu page????