Australia and Oceania, Europe · 30 Days · 42 Moments · September 2017

Stuart's journi to Ireland

11 October 2017

10/10/3017 Checked out of London Hotel around 11am and as our flight home wasnt till 9:45pm we decided to take the tube out to Greenwich. Had a wander around there and visited the Planetarium which was quite interesting and free. Got back about 4pm, had a beer and headed off to catch the Gatwick Express to the airport and therein started our 27 hour trip home. Plane out of Gatwick was the first and only of our 7 flights on this trip that left anywhere near on time which was a bonus. Arrived in Dubai at 10:15am local time and headed for the Heiniken bar. Had a beer each for the princely sum of $32.00. Had another battle with security as the metal hip goes off every time now and Helen got a going over as well due to metal in her bra. Paid $380 extra for more leg room on the 14 hour Sydney leg but a family with 3 small kids was adjacent and they made sure there was no sleep. Kids on long haul flights should be banned 😀 Hit the ground in sydney at 7am and am currently very tired.

9 October 2017

Just a casual day in London today. Did a bit of sovenir shopping. Caught Red bus out to picaddilly circus to get some stuff Helen had seen last week. Called into Hertz to put on a blue about then not releasing $4678.00 they have held since 15/9 for car hire and potential damage. Car was returned to Dublin 28/9 and charge of $1600 odd paid to them but to date there is still the large amount in 'pending' which has reduced the amount of credit on my card. They state they have released it and my bank takes weeks to process that. I called CBA who said that was rubbish. Hertz can implement a hold on funds of up to 30 days so Im going to have to put up with that till after I get home. I have emailed Hertz abusing them and they are now off my list of companies I deal with. We then walked about 3kms out to The Elephant and Castle as Ive always wondered what that was. Its a shopping centre in a pissy neighbourhood. Bad call Stu! Walked back to Victoria and started planning for our exit tomorow

8 October 2017

8/10/2017 Up at 3:45 am this morning for the 4:30am pickup to get to Keflavik airport. Bus arrived at 4:55am and took us to a terminal where we were thrown into a larger bus which was pretty full. At least I got seat next to a young blonde girl who could have been Agnetha from Abba's daughter. Absolute glamour! 😀 Got to the airport and the booking system broke down, then Helen's boarding pass didnt work but we got on and then the plane left late. Kathmandu still is the worst airport in the world but this one has grabbed 2nd place. Got into london and flew through passport control, baggage and customs in no time flat. Not supposed to check into our London hotel till 3pm but got there at 1:30 and room was ready. Had a quick lunch and a snooze and had dinner at a pub called the St George Tavern which was cheap and good. Looking forward to our first sleep in in a while tomorow

7 October 2017

7/10/2017 Quiet day today just driving back to Reykjavic via the small village of Vik to grab a quick bite and see another black sand beach. Had a wander around Reykjavic for a couple of hours before heading off for the Blue Lagoon which is a thermal pool. Arrived at the blue lagoon around 6:30pm and the water is around 40 degrees and the lagoon is huge. There were hundreds of people here but plenty of room. The water comes from a power station that uses the steam from the boiling water and then pumped the water out into the lava field. Over time a lagoon formed and some bright spark realised the water had good properties and developed it into a major tourist attraction. There is mud containing silica which you can use as a face mask and they reckon it make you look 10 years younger. I used it twice. Unfortunately I couldnt take my phone in as Im sure Id end up dropping it in the water so no photos 😫 There is a photo of the walk in which is carved through the lava. Lava is DEEP!

6 October 2017

6/10/2017 Today was glacier day and did we see some great stuff! We went to 3 glaciers and each one was better than the last. Got up close and personal with a couple and if you listened hard you hear the ice grinding down the mountain. The moonscape around these was spectacular and a number films including 'Prometheus' was shot here and you can understand why as it looks like another planet. Our last call in was the glacial lagoon and Diamond beach which was mind blowing! The lagoon is full of icebergs and these find their way out of the lagoon on the runout tide then get washed back up on the beach by the surf so you have a beach full of icebergs and there are seals everywhere catching the fish being washed out of the lagoon. Helen and I both agreed this was the best of the tour so far (apart from the northern lights). Dinner tonight was great as we sat with a bunch of aussies and yanks and had a great laugh over our different accents.

5 October 2017

5/10/2017 part 2 The doco film showed the destruction that was caused when the volcano erupted. The actual volcano is under the glacier so whennit goes up the ice melts and a wsll of water and mud just smashes down the mountain destroying everything in its path. Headed out after that to the black sand beach. The sand is VERY black due to a mixture if volcanic ash and the erosion of the basalt cliffs. Theres a huge cave and what they consider dangerous surf. Its botany bay on a calm day for us 😩 The amazing thing is looking down the beach and scaning across to the mountainsvto see an enormous glacier. We then went to our hotel and saw another night of northern lights, albeit only for a short time
5/10/2017 It was waterfall day today as we visited 2 and past numerous others which were deemed insignificant by icelandic standards. The first was skogafoss which you actually walk behind (and get wet). Just on the edge of the falls was a little point where some asians were standing and getting photos. 2 of our group, a young english and aussie girl were next in the queue but european and asians who have no concept of a queue tried to push in. Sarah, the english girl tried to advise them of the queue but they werent having a bar of it. She then walked onto the point and stood with them destroying theyre photos until they gave up and left allowing us to get our photo. She's a real rambo 😀 The next was a huge waterfall called the firest waterfall (there were a couple of trees nearby-there really arent any trees in iceland). The guide says: what fo you do if you get lost in an icelandic forest?- you stand up Next we saw a doco about a farming family who lived under Eyfjallajoll volcano

4 October 2017

4/10/2017-part 2 Had our first opportunity to dine with others in the group tonight and ended up with an American couple from Portland Oregon called Christine and Kenny. Both nice people and Chris is a real character. She showed us a picture of the snow capped mountain near her home and we talked a bit about snow and how we didnt really have much. We did mention though we had a few gold medalists in winter olympics which surprised them. To prove it I showed them a video of Steven Brabury and it broke them up😀. After dinner we dressed warmly and headed outside in the hope of seeing the northern lights as there were clear skies for the first time on this trip. After an hour waiting and about to give it in, they appeared from nowhere and put on a show for about an hour. I had downloaded an app for taking photos of this and it helped a bit. This was real bucket list item for me and even Helen got a bit excited. Theres clear skies again tomorrow so hopefully we'll get another shot at it
4/10/2017 8:30am departure today saw us heading for the golden circle. Called into a wool place first which was as exciting as washing your undies, then headed off to the junction of the north american and eurasian tectonic plates. This was quite amazing! The gap between the plates was quite wide and increases by 2cm per year. Either iceland will split in 2 or it'll become a much wider island. Further up the road we came to a Geyser which erupts every 5 mins or so. Its not a long eruption but quite spectacular. Lots of little vents around the area with hot water (and I mean HOT- 80-100degrees) coming up from the ground. We then drove down to Gullfos waterfall. The falls are huge and the water comes from a glacier several kms away. The air temp was cold, the wind chill factor was huge and the spray from the water was freezing. Good times! Finally called into a greenhouse where they grow tomatoes and breed icelandic horses. Yeah, odd, I know. Now for the northern lights hopefully

3 October 2017

3/10/2017- part 2 After the cruise we set forth for a Shark Museum. Its here that they ferment Greenland Sharks for eating. The shark itself is poisonous if eaten fresh so they need to cut it up and hang it for 3 to 4 months to allow the toxins to go. Its not a meal per se but a snack eaten with an icelandic schnapps to wash it down. At the museum we saw a film about its production and were then invited to try it. I did video this but videos dont work on this app so you'll either have to watch it on facebook or take my word that I did eat it and it was actually OK. Its been 4 hours since eating and Im still alive. If this is my last jouni entry then I died in the night We had a few more stops for photo opportunities one being what the guide says was the most photographed mountain in Iceland. Being the person I am I thought seriously about not photographing it to bring the quota down but in the end I did 😀 Back at the hotel we had a 'happy hour' beer which only cost $17. YAY!!!
3/10/2017 Helen rose at 7 and went for a run round the golf course, I snoozed. After breakfast we were on the bus and off to Snæfellsnes peninsula for a boat tide from Stykkishólmur, a small fishing village. The bay is full of small volcanic islands and many of them have a story. The most interesting about a large rock in a fissure of polar bear island. The story goes a troll woman threw this rock from the land at a church because the bells woke her. The rock missed the church and sailed into the bay where it hit the island, splitting it and the rock is still there (see photo). The fun part is that the rock has totally different components to the island and does not belong there. The boat then did some dragging of the bay and brought up scallops and sea urchins which were cut open and fed to us as we watched. Bloody beautiful too! A seafood soup was then served with crusty bread rolls and there was much rejoicing

2 October 2017

2/10/2017-1st day in Iceland After a refreshing 4 1/2 hours sleep we rose for breakfast and met our tour group. Appears to be a mixture of aussies and yanks. A quick tour of Reykjavik was had and then we headed off into the sticks. Stopped to get some cash and also bought some icelandic beer from the supermarket for later as we hear the hotels charge like wounded bears. Stuck it outside and it got cold quick😀. Then off to a volcanic crater. I love that sort of stuff! Had a very dodgey lunch which I didnt like and which cost a bundle and then to a smallish waterfall through the lava fields with a pretty good story (see picture of sign) Moved on to see geo thermal area where 180 litres of boiling water is thrown up every minute and its captured and piped around the western area of iceland only losing a fraction of its heat in the process. I showered tonight using that water, it was quite warm. Staying in a hotel on a golf course for next 2 nights, itching to sneak out for a quick hit

1 October 2017

1 Oct - last day in London Woke up early, helen went for a run but this time didnt get lost. We had breakfast and headed to Covent Garden where an Irish pub was showing the NRL grand final. Watched the cheats win and as we had time to kill walked up to oxford st and all the way to Lancaster Gate to have lunch at The Swan- our fav drinking hole. Strolled across Hyde park to the Palace then back to the hotel and then off to Gatwick for our flight to Iceland. Flight late going and we arrived at our Reykjavik hotel at 2am. Got to our room and water was coming through the bathroom roof so we hot a nee room and got to bed about 2:30am. Really happy about that as we needed to be on tour bus in the morning at 9am😩

30 September 2017

Managed to get our free breakfast today and it was alright. We then set out to get helen's phone sorted and succeeded there thanks to vodafone. Moved on to Lords as I really wanted to get a new little backpack as the one I bought there in 2011 was on its last legs. To out dismay, Lords was closed. A lady on the gate took pity on us and escorted us to the Lords shop, got it opened and allowed us to buy a few items and escorted us out of the ground. Now thats service! Helen was then in need of some waterproof pants for Iceland so we shopped around in Bond st with no success. I googled trekking shops and found some in Covent Garden so back on the tube. Our first stop had these at £80 + but next door at a discount shop got them for £29. Had lunch at the Covent Garden Hotel which was quite good and set out for Notting Hill and the markets. Ive never been there on a Saturday before and was there a crowd! Had a walk around for a while and headed home exhausted. A rest then dinner!

29 September 2017

London 29/9 Helen rose around 7am and decided to go for a run. As she left I said 'dont get lost' as her sense of direction is up there the best of women😀. I woke around 9:20am and noticed she wasnt back so gave her a call. Indeed she was lost. She said she was in Knightsbridge and couldnt find her way home after getting to Hyde Park. I got dressed and made my way up there and we got back about 10:30 missing our free breakfast. We paid for a brunch next door after a shower and she's still apologising to me 😀 We then found our way to a laundrette and did some much needed clothes washing and then scuttled up to Piccadilly Circus and grabbed a couple of tickets for a West End show called 'Comedy about a Bank Robbery' Its by the same people who did the '39 steps' comedy which we saw in 2011 with harris's and crewdsons so we're expecting a good laugh. Next job is to get Helen's mobile phone sim sorted Additional: just got back from westend show. Pissed myself laughing.

28 September 2017

Kilkenny to London Early start today with 7am breaky and then driving to Diblin to catch our flight to London. A much better day weather wise and I had the car dropped off by 10am and then spent 2 1/2 hours waiting for the plane. The loading mechanism on the plane broke so we sat in our seats for another hours till we finally got in the air. Whizzed through gatwick and hot the train to Victoria station and after a bit of wandering goind our hotel. BUMMER! Absolute tiny room and not really acceptable but no turning back. We were due to stay here again on our return from Iceland but I cancelled that and booked the Hilton. Then set out for drinks with our old mate Neil who we try and catch up with whenever we're on the UK. Met him at the Tattershall Castle bar which is a boat in the Thames opposite the Eye. We had a great catch up over a couple of drinks. He's a cop in anti terror squad here so had some tales to tell. We then headed back and had a late dinner. Now to see how we sleep

27 September 2017

Wexford to Kilkenny Woke up to an absolute shocker of a day. It was pouring and windy. Plans for a few adventures in Wexford were curtailed as we'd have ended up drenched. Michael suggested we detour through New Ross on our way to Kilkenny as there were some sights to see there. We came upon the Dunbrody exhibition which trys to illustrate what it was like for those fleeing the potato famine for USA as the sailed to their new home. Not being up on a lot of history I found this most entertaining as we were led onto the ship and got to witness what conditions were like for the passengers and crew on their 6/8 week voyage. It was very interactive and well worth the small cost. We then got back on the rain soaked roads and aquaplaned our way to Kilkenny. Hotel was above expectations and looks great for our last night in the emerald isle. We donned our wet weather gear and headed out to explore. Its a lovely city with lots of little bars and we've sussed a few out for dinner & music tonight

26 September 2017

Cork to Wexford Left our magnificent B&B around 10am and headed toward Wexford via Blarney Castle and Waterford and through the scenic route taking us on a car ferry and bringing us into the very pretty town of Wexford. I always wanted to kiss the blarney stone and after a bit of stretching backwards (not easy for an old fart) I managed it as did Helen. Probably catch some weird disease now. Helen was keen on a stop at Waterford and the Crystal showroom. I wasnt that keen but to my glee I found 3 of the greatest golfing trophies on display. Well worth it. The cost of some these items would empty the coffers of a small nation. As we were in the middle of travelling and possibility of breakage, I had good reason to look but not buy 😀 Arrived in Wexford in the afternoon after a very nice drive through some lovely villages. Our host at the St George Guest House was a stuttering fellow called Micheal who was very charming and helpful. Had dinner, drinks and some music before hitting the ha

24 September 2017

Galway to Cork via Kinsale Not a great deal to say today. Woke up last night after coming home from dinner and was violently ill. Only had a couple of pints so Im thinking I got a bad set of oysters last night. Helen had breakfast but i couldnt and we left around 10:30 with Helen at the wheel for her first drive in Ireland. She did well with the narrow streets and even negotiated Kinsale's streets of maddness to find a parking spot. We had a short wander around and had a quick bite to eat before setting off for Cork. Our B&B here is immaculate and our hosts Mary and Derry just lovely. Its about 8kms out of cork in a very posh area. I still wasnt feeling all that well so we took a stroll down to the village and had a coffee, bought some sangers and a drink to have for dinner back at the B&B. I had a softy, helen opted for a cider. She's an animal 😀 Hoping Ill be better tomorrow and be able to check out more of the area

23 September 2017

Killarney Atfer our Ring of Kerry trip we had a rest and walked the 4kms into Killarney for dinner, shopping, drinks and fiddly diddly music. Despite the day of rain we managed to walk there without getting wet and did a spot of shopping. We found a pub that was serving dinner and had a 7:30pm start on music which suited us fine. Dinner was excellent! I had some very fresh oysters and a steak while helen opted for a chicken curry. Downstairs we went for drinks and music and we were greeted by a bucks party where the buck seemed taken with Helen and sat down to chat. He was very pissed but was civil and we had a good laugh till the staff kicked him out, probably due to him going behind the bar to pour his own drink😀. We had a bit if a sing-a-long, a few beers/ciders and grabbed a cab home in time to listen to #sundaysportswrap 😀
Ring of Kerry The best piece of advice we got was from Lonely Planet that suggested we drive clockwise as the tour buses go opposite. That made our trip so much easier not being stuck behind them on the narrow winding roads. The day itself was an absolute shocker with rain and 100kph winds causing horizontal rain but the scenery was amazing. Mountains covered in clouds, raging seas, streams and forests. I can see why this is a 'must do' on any Irish trip. Would have been much better on a nice day though😀 We stopped first at a waterfall which was crowded with french people. My french skills allowed us to get a frog to take a quality shot of myself and the wife albeit on Helens phone. Had a few more stops along the way at Sneem for some sovenirs and some good photo opportunities and Waterville for lunch. This is a town that Charlie Chaplin came to often and there are sites commemorating that period. We really werent able to investigate much as the weather was at its worst. Got drowned!

22 September 2017

Galway to Killarney via Bunratty and Dingle Huge day today as we went off the beaten track a bit to see as much as we could on the trip to Killarney. Stopped at Bunratty castle for a quick look before having morning tea at Durty Nelly's. Old pub with a lot iof little nooks and crannys. Set sail then for Dingle which wasnt that far according to the kilometres but timewise it took 2 1/2 hours due to skinny roads and bloody slow tourist buses. Once there though it was a lovely spot. Had lunch at Ashes Bar and then walked around town. It got a few Euro from us. Headed off for Killarney via Inch Beach. Great surf beach with good waves, unfortunately didnt have my togs on but just as well cause it looked cold. Eventually got to our B&B around 5:30pm. Its out on the ring of kerry about 4 kms out of town. Got organised and had dinner a 10 min walk up the road. Walking back in the dark was an experience. Thank god for iphone torch as it was black pitch!

21 September 2017

Galway, cliffs of Moher and little bits on the way Took off after breakfast for the Cliffs of Moher. Its only 75ms but takes some time due to narrow roads and plethora of tourist buses. There was a cold wind blowing when we got to the parking lot so we rugged up and headed off. There were squillions of people! The scenery is spectacular but for a popular world heritage site I couldnt believe the paths along the cliffs were just dirt and of course it rained and hailed while we were walking and mud was our new friend. Spent about an hour there then headed back towards Galway taking some detours to little villages. Stopped at Doolin, a quaint little place where we had some lunch along with 10,000 coach passengers who descended on it from nowhere. The called into Kinvara which has a castle built in 1500's and is a beautiful seaside town and we had some afternoon tea here begore returning back to Galway to ready ourselves for dinner in town

19 September 2017

Sligo day 2 Finished the afternoon off by taking a walk around an area we havent seen yet. Walked along the river and into the Abbey Quarter. Very pretty place! Off to dinner at an Indian restaurant tonight. That should prove interesting. Walked to the Indian restaurant and we were the only ones there for the 2 hours we had dinner. Plenty of takeaways though which was surprising as it was quite posh. The owner was an indian man about mid 30's with a broad Irish accent. Very amusing. I had Prawn vindaloo that nearly blew my pants off! Hottest ive ever had but very good! Left there and had a quiet pint in a bar by the river watching the EPL game between Liverpool and Leicester. I could get used to this 😀
Sligo- day 2 Decided to take a little train trip to somewhere today as we love trains. At random I selected Boyle which is about a 30 min journey on the Sligo to Dublin line. Its a small town but as with most Irish rural towns it is very cute. Had a wander for a while and came across an old mansion called King House so we did the tour. Our host Mary was very enthusiastic and gave us a tour in a very melodramatic way. She loves her work😀 Had a quick coffee and jumped back on the train to pick up our laundry and plan this evening's dinner

18 September 2017

A few 'asides' from our trip from Donegal to Sligo: As we left our B&B after a walk through the town Helen advised that Paddy was singing out to us. I wound down the window to wave but he was singing out' did you pay Dorothy?' I thought took care of that, but no. Had to reverse back up the driveway, find €80 in cash to pay him. I apologised profusely and headed off with my tail between my legs😀 Upon reaching Sligo our GPS took us to wrong spot. I reset it and driving through narrow streets in peak hour it took us by the hotel but not the parking area. We drove a km or so and found a paid parking area with the idea we'd walk back and find out how to park. We struck up a convo with the car park attendant and told him we were just going to the Glasshouse. He said 'are you staying there' we said 'yes'. He then said 'well didnt ye park there?'. After a full explanation he gave us directions and we arrived safely
Mullaghmore Helen was keen to stop off here as it is the Big Wave surfing spot of Ireland. Information she gleaned was that waves up to 17 metres break here and durfers from around the word come here to ride them. That was enough to excite me so off we went. The reality today was not what I ecpected. The place, while a pretty town had the surf of Circular Quay. The water was actually quite warmer than I expected though but i decided against taking dip and we had coffee instead
Sleave league This is an area west of Donegal which we didnt plan on going to but our B&B host Dorothy advised it was worth the trip especially as our next destination of Sligo was only about 40 mins away. Armed with her information and that of her hubby Paddy we took off on a 1 hour journey for this town and their cliffs. Dorothy said the roads were skinny so 'dont drive like an idiot' she was right and I didnt! Paddy advised that when we get there dont park in the car park, go to the gate, open it, close it (cause the cattle might get out) and drive to the cliffs cause its an hour walk. Great advice indeed apart from the fact the road past the gate was pencil thin and I was terrified every corner Id run into an oncoming car or tumble a thousand feet into the ocean. Thankfully neither eventuated. The cliffs were well worth the trip. Upon leaving the area Helen needed to lock the gate. She seemed to have problems and took some time. The next car that came couldnt open it. Kudos HK!
Donegal Spent the morning wandering around this beautiful little town. Walked down to the old Abbey cemetry where graves range from the 1600's to current day. The Abbey was an old Fransican one but is in ruins and graves are now dug around those ruins. We then walked down to the castle which is undergoing renovations and sits on the river. Very pretty area.

17 September 2017

Donegal Took a short stroll from our B&B to town for dinner. Paddy suggested 3 places and we settled on Dom's pier no 1. It had a variety of food we both like. I went for BBQ pork ribs which were ENORMOUS and Helen had the vegie lasagne. After we finished there we took a quick stroll along the water front, checked out a shop or two and had a couple of beers in the Reel Inn which had some Tradional Irish music. We finished up around 10pm (yeah, we're old) and headed for home. Its been a big day!
Carrick-A-Rede to Giants Causeway Giants causeway was always a 'Bucket List' item for me. It is quite amazing but it wasnt as big or as stupendous as I had imagined. Nevertheless, there were squillions here and you needed to walk great distances to get from your car to the visitor centre and then to the site. We didnt spend a great deal of time here as we still had a couple of hours driving to Donegal but saw enough to satisfy me. We then headed off to Donegal arriving just after 5pm to be greated by our B&B host Paddy (how original!😀) About to wander down town for dinner shortly and then off to Sligo for a couple of days tomorrow
Ballycastle to Carrik-A-Rede ropebridge This was something we decided to do on the way to Giants Causeway. Salmon fisherman constructed the bridge many years ago and while not a large expanse its bloody high! We paid our £7 each and did the 1km walk to the bridge and queued up with the masses to cross and come back. The bonus was the car park was the scene for the jousting match where Renley Baratheon and his queen Margeary watch lady Breanne of Tarth stick it to a knight. The views around the site are breath taking !
Belfast to Ballycastle Left belfast for our trip to Donegal and decided to break it up into a few bits to see as much as we could in the day. First stop was Ballycastle which Lonely Planet rated rather poorly. We found it beautiful and spent a couple of hours wandering and having morning tea. I believe Game of Thrones has some beach sites here and a few places looked familiar

16 September 2017

After much discussion about how we'd see what we needed to see today we opted for the 'Hop on Hop off' bus. It took about 2 hours to complete the circuit and gave us a good idea where everything was. I was particularly interested in the area around Shankill Rd and Falls Rd where much of the violence took place between the IRA and the Ulsters. Walking through the Ulster area there are a number of sites commenorating those who died in attacks by the IRA. There are a few notes saying that there no difference between ISIS & IRA as they are both terrorists. In a way that has some truth but in my mind the IRA were fighting to take back land from an invader while ISIS are killing people in the name of their imaginary friend. Whatever its still shocking what happened then and whats happening now. I dont have any confidence we'll learn from it. Anyway, politics aside it's an interesting place. Was told by a mate to drop in for a beer at the Rex bar. It was OK, nothing special
After leaving the Rex we wandered back down Shankill rd and turned off toward the catholic area of Falls rd. During the violence the area had a wall built to keep the warring parties apart and there are many murals on these was from that period and more have been added in recent times. They tell of the struggles here and world wide and of hope for the future. If you ever get the chance to come here, this is a 'must see'.

15 September 2017

Grabbed a bus into Belfast city and had a bit of a walk around. Wanted to find a pub called Maddens that I'd found on facebook. Its supposed to have the best pint in ireland and the best music and my grand parents surname was Madden and we believe they had Irish ancestry. After a bit of searching we found it. Its quite small but the atmosphere was great. Musicians seem to just appear from nowhere and meld together to create some great music. The pints were good! We then searched out a place for dinner and found a joint called 'sticks & Stones' where you cook your steaks on a hot rock as per 'Stone Grill' restaurants Ive eaten at in Adelaide and Huskinson. After dinner we worked hard at getting a cab home. Despite the fact we are old and sober, the vast number of cabs just passed us by. No idea why. Eventually one stopped and £12 later we were back at the hotel. Thinking of doing the Titanic trip tomorrow but we'll see what tranpires. So much Game of Thrones stuff here!!!! 😀
Picked up a car today (VW Golf), I hope I drive it better than my normal golf driving. Its a compact deisel (immediately thought of Dave Crewdson)😀 Its a 2 hour drive from Dublin to Belfast so we took a detour down to Drogheda. Cromwell crushed the irish here and it has a lot of ancient sites. Didnt have a great deal of time due to parking restrictions so had lunch and quick look and got back on the road. Lots of changeable weather had the wipers working overtime but we got to our accomodation around 2:30. Just getting sorted now to catch a bus into town for a look around, dinner and a guinness 😀

14 September 2017

Dublin Day 2 After breakfast which cost a paltry €7.20 we set forth down to Connolly St station trying to get to Howth, a small fishing village outside Dublin. My investigations indicated it was a ferry ride but being unable to find the ferry wharf we eventually got a train. Again i thought we were to get off the train at Howth Junction and get a ferry. Helen disagreed and said the train went all the way. I overruled and we got off at the junction. Apparently Helen was right and I was wr.., um I was wr... Damn, I cant say that so lets just say Helen was right. We waited 30 mins for the next train and eventually got there. We had a feed of fish and chips and found our way to the cliff side walk which takes you to the top of Howth mountain (well its a hill). Great views from there looking across the mouth of the river Liffey. We completed the loop of 7 kms in about 1 & 1/2 hours and had quick pint and back on the train. Did a bit of shopping (got myself a t shirt and rugby jumper)

13 September 2017

Day1 (cont) After a quick rest we ventured downstairs to the bar where I partook of my first Guinness in Ireland. It went down nicely! After another little rest we set forth for The Temple Bar for dinner, drinks and 'fiddly diddly' music. Got there about 7:30 and it was PACKED! We managed a feed across the road at The Shack and then crammed ourselves in the Temple Bar for a few beers and some music. Helen wasnt all that taken with the music but I loved it! Still suffering a bit of jet lag we wandered home about 10:30 for a sleep. Looking forward to day 2
Day1 (Dublin) Started off today with breakfast in a book shop which was unusual but cheap and quite tasty. We the strolled up to St Stephens Green which was the centre of the Easter uprising in 1916. Interesting walk where signs point out different battles that took place. Headed off then to Dublin castle which wasnt that interesting but then again ive seen so many bloody castles in the last 6 years 😀 A short stroll then to Temple Bar which looks like being our dinner place and drinking hole tonight. Its a great pub with many little nooks and crannies and irish music. Moved on to look at St Patricks Cathedral but I didnt go in as it may have caused it to fall down. Impressive church though. A short walk back towards the river brought us to Dublinia which is a museum telling the story of Dublin from its roots as a Viking settlement around 800 AD through to the 16th century. A quick lunch and then a bit of shopping for a phone card and the obligatory oranges for Helen and home for a res

11 September 2017

With a 6am flight on Tuesday we decided to spend monday night at the Rydges hotel right opposite the international terminal. The more sleep we can get before a punishing 25 hour flight to Dublin, the better. Planning on having a quiet drink, early dinner then hit the hay. We'll see how that works out
View from Sydney Airport hotel