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netnpete’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 14 Sep 2006

Location: Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Ireland

MapIRELAND - TO BE SURE!!

Thursday 14 September
Yay - our first official trip in Europe since we've been over here!
Well to get started we both worked Thursday and left straight from work to go to the Airport - we were lucky enough to experience the full extent of budget airline travel with Ryanair. For starters we got flights return to Dublin for £30 each - fantastic you say? Well...lets see if you say that after you hear the whole story!

For starters Ryanair fly out of Luton Airport - usually a 1hr bus ride north from London Victoria station. Well we set off from Victoris station and there was a crash on the Motorway so we had to take a side street - well this part of the journey stretched out to be a 2 and a half hr bus ride. We were really starting to panic thinking we would miss our flight, but luckily we arrived at Luton airport just as they were closing the boarding gates! Then this is where Ryanair hit you - we had to pay to check in luggage, not even overweight

After a quick beer to calm the stress nerves we were away! We arrived in Dublin at about 9:30pm, and got straight on a local bus into Dublin. We were booked in to stay at Trinity College in Dublin. For anybody planning to go to Dublin, this is a good place - it's cheaper than most hostels and its right in the centre of the city. We had a double dorm room just off the main campus. Although I would suggest getting a proper map of the Ca,pus before heading there as we had a lovely walk around the whole perimeter of the campus before we found the accommodation office. Anyway, we were so bloody knackered the first night we got there we just crashed out.

Friday 15th September
Got up quite early in time for our included Irish Breakfast - after a huge feed(cos you eat as much as physically possible when its included!) we headed out for a wander of Dublin. It is a beautiful place - lots of great shops. Theres a big river - Liffey - that runs through the middle and it was actually pretty nice weather too.

We went for a wander thru Temple Bar - lots of pubs and clubs and restaurants. For those from Perth it's kind of like Northbridge but bigger, nicer and a little bit less dodgy! We were taking pics of the river when some random Irish dude and his girlfriend approach us- he heard the aussie accents and came over - turned out his girlfriend was from Perth! Random!

After a quick Guinness and Bulmers (Irish Cider - same as Magners) at The Temple Bar we headed for a tour of the Guinness Storehouse. The building is amazing, a bit of a walk from Temple Bar. But once you're there its like this big maze over 6 stories that tells the history of Guiness. It finishes on the 7th floor with the Gravity Bar which overlooks the whole of Dublin and that is where you get ur free Pint of Guinness. Now I have never liked Guinness but they are right that it tastes better at the Factory!

Well after a couple of pints more we decided to head back into Temple Bar for dinner and drinks. For anyone planning on going to Ireland - save ££ before going - it would have to be the most expensive place to get pissed! (6 Euros a pint!) So we had a reasonably quiet night!

Saturday 16th September
After another hearty Irish Breaky we caught the tram to Heuston Train Station and then a train to Limerick about 2 hours south of Dublin. Once in Limerick we were met by our tour people to do a 2 day tour of the south west of Ireland. Well our tour director for Day 1 was a weird woman who was a little bit to obsessed with the author Frank McCourt(he wrote Angela's Ashes) and decided we needed to know all about where he grew up around Limerick.

Well first stop out of Limerick was Bunratty Village - small place with a castle - didn't have enough time to look around the bloody thing so we got an Irish Stew and were off past a great view of Galway Bay then on to The Cliffs of Moher on the coast - awesome views - see the pics!

We also saw Poulnabrone Tomb - an ancient tomb that dates back to 3000BC - very exciting pile of rocks! Then we were back in Limerick for the night to our B & B - located next door to where Dolores from that memorable band from the 90's - The Cranberries lives! So on Saturday night an Italian couple from our tour decided to befriend us - they could barely speak a word of English. It was a very interesting night - the 4 of us went out to a traditional pub called Dolans - we even had to help them with the menu by drawing pictures of Cows and pineapples! God it was painful at times, but interesting! Was even more funny when we tried to discuss the Aus vs Italy game in the World Cup!

Sunday 17th September
The start of the day was all drama - we were on our bus going thru a small village when we came to a stop in the road as there had been a major car crash - one car on its side - so we had to wait for fire engines and ambulances for a couple of hrs we later read in the paper that one person had died in the crash.


So after the drama and a couple of hours we were on our way to Blarney Castle - where u get to kiss the famous Blarney Stone - the legend says that those who kiss the stone will be blessed with the gift of irish eloquence! Now a lot of people avoid kissing the stone because of the difficulty in doing it. The stone is located right at the top of the castle hanging off the edge, sou have to lie on ur back and hang on to 2 poles and lean back dangling over the drop and kiss it - (see pics) . So after we both did that we headed to the pub for a pint then we were off to Cork.

We had a couple of hours to hang around Cork - pretty boring town but the All Ireland Gaelic Footy Final was on so we found a nice pub and sat back and watched Kerry kick Mayo's arse.

So that was the end of our tour - we were back on the bus and driven back to Limerick train station and on our way back to Dublin. We arrived back in Dublin by about 9:30pm and headed back out to Temple Bar.

Monday 18th September
Today we just hung around in Dublin, had to have an Irish Coffee! and wandered around the city shops and up O'Connell Street - one of the main malls in Dublin, just cruised around really -taking more pics and drinking more Guinness!

We hopped on a bus at about 6pm to go to the airport - got there and found out the lovely Ryanair flight was delayed by 3 hours - we were suppose to fly out at 10pm, it had now been postponed to 1am! So we checked in and went through to do some duty free shopping but they closed all the shops so we were stuck! Our flight then gotdelayed by another hour so it was now departing at 2am! So we waited 4 hours in a freezing cold terminal before we got onthe 1hr flight back to London. We then had ahead of us another 1hr bus ride back toLondon Victoria Station where we had toget on another bus back to Fulham. We finally got back home at 5am! Pete got 30mins sleepand I got 2 hrs sleep before going to work on Tuesday! NEVER FLY RYANAIR OUT OF LUTON!