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Veni, Vidi, Vivi

I came, I saw, I lived :)

These are the happy snaps from my travels with Jesse around this big beautiful world.

Thank you for visiting, and enjoy the pictures (better still, come and join us)! Please leave any comments and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible :)

Photos - Click Below

 

Greyhounds & Frisbee

Jes' old workmate from London, Matt aka Meatball (funny story that), and his lovely girl Ruth, stopped by for the weekend just gone. So together with Jes, Jo & myself, we went out on the town for a fun weekend of liquor, food and soaking up both the rain and the sun - as you do in Dublin...

 

One Sunday in Dublin

The other week we organised a fun group sunday afternoon. we started off with a BBQ, of course, then headed to our first ever All Irish Hurling Semi-Final (not that we've been to any other hurling match apart from the semi) which was between Waterford and Tipperary counties, for a severalth time running. A great game with a huge atmosphere - Croke Park stadium holds 80,000, and although it wasn't full there were still plenty there! We took sides among the group to make it more lively, and for a while it looked like Tip was coming out on top, until in the last minutes Waterford won 2 final points, so it's on to playing the reigning champs Kilkenny on Sept 7th.... Jes, Paul & I also finished the night being wowed by Xavier Rudd at a cosy local venue rather like the Tivoli in Brissie. Woohoo! Lucky us :D

 

South Co. Donny-gall (Donegal)

This was our second west-coast long weekend road trip with Fergal, who's been living in Galway for about a year now. The main purpose of this trip was to go to the Ballyshannon Traditional Music Festival. We managed one awesome act of that (in a Dicey Rileys pub of all places!, yes they are genuine Irish), and then the rest, well, we made it up as we went along... to the point that we still have to visit Donegal town itself, sometime...

 

Happenings in the Hills

I made 2 visits to the Wicklow Mountains area in august: first was for a 'Wild Wicklow' bus tour that included the big lake Glendalough and an old early Christian monastery. Second was for a *very* long weekend of music, drinking and partying with random strangers who all adored the fact that our group were Aussies: the Knockanstockan Festival. We were on the shore of a manmade lake (where we were warned not to go swimming cos there's still buildings down there and the currents are severe enough to have killed several swimmers), we had a gorgeous view and excellent weather. It threatened to rain but didn't, in fact it got extremely hot on the last day when we were all attempting to sleep in our stifling blue tent - but at night boy was it cold! the brazier was truly my friend that night! Not least for the heat but also the company of all the locals who got in for free... altogether there were over 100 live local bands performing, 100% irish, and probably less than 100 locals coming to hang out for the weekend. We even got to meet a guy whose uncle owned the paddock where we were all sitting....

 

Beal Fearst (Belfast)

while sitting on my hands after rock werchter, I looked around at some possible tours I could do (after some prompting by Jes). One of the most attractive ones was an Ex-Con Political Tour of West Belfast, the area of the Shankill and Falls Roads, where some of the main IRA conflict was based. I booked myself in online for a sunday afternoon 3 hour walk. When i got to Belfast at 11ish, the first feeling that something was wrong was how deserted the city was.... for all I had inklings of missing armageddon on the 2hr coach ride north, it's just a fact that Belfast doesn't open until 1pm on a sunday! Anyway, my misfortune continued when I went to the meeting spot for the tour, only to find that I was the only one confirmed...and they couldn't afford to do the tour with less than 4 people. So I was treated to a quick walk up the Falls as my guide headed home - actually he was so hard to understand with his thick accent my ears were somewhat relieved I wouldn't be listening to him for 3 hours! - and then I had to catch on of the tourist buses to get a decent use of my day. A pretty place, a fair bit colder than Dublin, and interesting, but overall I was glad to come home after that day...although I do plan to get back there to do that tour!

 

Rock Werchter, Belgium

Our first major trip beyond London was to the epic music festival of rock werchter. Werchter is a very small village in the north-east of Belgium which each year hosts some of the biggest bands in the world and some of the biggest crowds too - approx. 80,000 people per day go to this festival, and in the 35 different camping sites about the same number stay for the whole 5 days. A-mazing.

 

London II

After our whirlwind visits from friends, we hopped one a ryanair bus over to london for the wedding of Jes' friends Dave and Desi, and spent some time with Jes' sister Asia & brother in law Rich as well

 

June Happenings

This was an amazing week and a half. All of a sudden people appeared, and almost every night we had pub crawls, sightseeing, BBQs, more pub crawls, a busking festival, more pub crawls, a few comedy nights, a bet on the greyhounds... Altogether some of the most action packed days since we arrived!

 

Connemara & Kylemore Abbey

We were rewarded with the best possible weather for our day trip around the Gaeltacht region of the Connemara, just north of Galway. It is called Gaeltacht because in this part of Ireland people speak Irish as a first language, English second. Parents send their kids from all other parts of Ireland to go on cultural camps and language courses here. Technically the Connemara is a national park, but not one like home: here there are farms and villages dotted all through the protected zone, and the nature is preserved as much as possible but is still a living space as well.

 

Carrowmore and Galway

After leavin Lough Key we had just enough time to scamper up near Sligo on the west coast, north of Galway, to visit the ancient burial ground of Carrowmore. It was hardly signposted at all - in fact I had to double back to find it! We arrived just before closing, so had the place pretty much to ourselves until the staff finally kicked us out. What drew us there was a tourist guide claiming one structure was 7,400 years old - unable to distinguish it ourselves we asked the staff, who directed us to a small patch of land across the road, totally free and accesible to anyone passing by - and this had a monument 7,400 years old?? Amazing! In the end it was quite tiny, but neverless impressive, as we stood in the wind and watched the clouds hustle by, thinking about how it just survivved all the ages and the dynamic weather that happens here. Very special...
We arrived in Galway at sunset, luckily found a net cafe to get the phone number of Lauren who we'd be staying with in Galway (no we didn't organise ourselves very well)... and the next day saw the Connemara, and a bit of Galway the day after...

 

Lough Key pt2

Cos half a dozen pictures just doesn't do the place justice...

 

Carrick-on-Shannon & Lough Key

We stopped for lunch at the pretty city of Carrick-on-Shannon (the Shannon runs from Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal in the north to Limerick city in Co. Limerick, to the south).
Then on to the prime spot of the day, Lough Key with Boyle Abbey ruins in the middle of the Lake. It was a magnificent day, with warm sun (sunburn quality even), huge clouds, still clear water....

 

Loughcrew Megalithic Cemetery

This was the cemetery near Oldcastle where we stayed on the Friday night, 30 May. It had several burial mounds sitting on the top of a very tall hill, which had a fantastic 360 deg. view of the surrounding valleys. A great spot since ancient times, we certainly enjoyed the sunset and dozens of greens that make up rural Ireland.

 

Our New Home in Templeogue

This is our new pad, as of Sun 5 May, for at least 6 months. It's located about 20 mins bus ride south of Dublin, in a suburb called Templeogue (tem-pell-OH-g). We're renting it for 600 euro/month including bills, which is quite a decent price for Dublin from what we learned while finding it. With us two in the house there's 6 people living here altogether. We have the front room right next to the entry door, which is lovely & sunny & warm in the morning. There's 4 bedrooms on the first floor and a loft, which the owner lives in (or would do if he hadn't just left to start an MBA in London). There's plenty of room, so not much chance of tripping over each other. The little garden out the back, plus the conservatory, and the table in the kitchen all mean it will be a great place for parties...when we get a bunch of friends...here...

 

Out On The Town, Sun 5 May

On our third night in Dublin we met up with Lauren & Paul. We both forgot to take cameras & photos then, so it was a good thing that we remembered for Sunday night!We caught the bus in to town after shifting our gear from the hostel to the templeogue house, visited 2 of the prettier night spots in town (for some reason the Mercantile had nearly no customers), and indulged in our new favourite drink, Koppaberg Pear Cider from Sweden (there's a mixed berry one we still have to try). The whole weekend was packed in the centre of Dublin, because of the May Day long weekend, so most pubs were just too busy to bother with. All up over the weekend we estimate seeing nearly 10 hens parties and probably 4 or so bucks groups, nearly all being loud & obnoxious.



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Recent Messages

From Gerry Wynands
Hi Jessica,loved your photo,s
you make them come alive.
I see you are having a ball with great music and company.
It's the time of your life!!
have fun and stay safe
from nan
Response: thanks Nan! can't wait til i get to Holland and some of them start coming alive for you as well!!
From George
Jessica
The photos and the commentary are great. Your house is very nice. Looks like you are having a great time doing weekend trips - I am very jealous - such amazing places. I note you can't stay away from the history too long - its good.

Love to you and Jesse

George
Response: thanks George :) there's heaps to see here, and altho we haven't seen nearly enough yet it's been great so far!
From Gerry Wynands
Hi there,love your pictures and the stories.
Great to hear you have found a place to stay,and the weather being kind!!!
Lots of love from Nan
and take care ---- Hooroo!!
Response: thanks Nan!!
From Mel
Hey Jess,

Looks like you two found yourselves a gorgeous house. Looks incredibly roomy for a share house, which is exactly what you'd want. Seems like you've hardly been gone and yet looking at this page you've done so much it must've been awhile! Time flies. Keep enjoying and take care,
Mel.
Response: 7 people fit into this house believe it or not! (although certainly NOT in the kitchen lol)
From Sue
Great pics, Jess. Have a great trip. Love Sue.
Response: it's over here any time, Sue.... ;)
From Mae
Hi all. Please feel free to leave any messages or comments on the photos / events here. I welcome the feedback!
xoxox
Response: ...and i will respond like this! ...