Whoo hoo! Won the flight lotto on the way from Iceland to London and got the entire row of seats to myself, was such a nice treat to stretch out! I enjoyed my last container of Icelandic SKYR and had a nice nap. It really is the little things that make me smile right now.
When I arrived at Gatwick airport I took a taxi to the Gable End Guest House, which wasn’t really required as they offer free pick up, however I did not have a SIM card anymore since I gifted mine back in Iceland. The Guest house was a bit of a luxary treat to myself as I have been in share rooms since my trip began. I can not even tell you how awesome it was to have my own room, and bathroom with real towels! (the travel towel I have is a microfiber one) and while it works great there is something about a plush cotton towel that feels like home! The owner Mary was such a delight to be around! She helped me to book my train to Dublin and scolded me like a Mom would for not planning ahead a little better to get a cheap flight. She also directed me to a beautiful pub. My first proper English pub! Ye Old Six Bells is a quaint country inn and is said to be the second oldest pub in the country with origins dating to the 9th century. The pub gets its name from the bells originally hanging at St Bartholomew’s Church next door.
I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day! The Guest house included a traditional English breakfast with sausage, bacon, eggs and beans! I left for my first train at noon and had to change twice to get to the main train station. From there I took a train to Chester, then switch trains to get to Holyhead, then the ferry to Dublin. Along the way I saw the town that my Dad’s home town of Bangor Saskatchewan was named after in Wales, kind of neat! The train was my first other then our LRT system in Edmonton, but it was comfortable and as I expected. the ferry was gorgeous and huge, had a theater, games room, shopping, bar, restaurant and coffee shop. I have to admit it was a long tedious day with a bit of confusion and anxiety about if I was on the right train, and going to make the proper connections. I arrived at midnight, so it was definitely welcoming to sink into my hostel bed, even if it was a top bunk, which I love to hate! I don’t ever say “I’m too old” but DAM! I am TOO OLD FOR THE TOP BUNK! Lol
I met up with a friend from Kentucky that I had met in Iceland and our first stop after a quick coffee and croissant was the Guinness Storehouse, where they have been making Guinness since it first opened back in 1759! 256 years ago! Arthur Guinness the creator actually signed a 9000 year lease for this building! Man to find a renter like that! It was my first taste of Guinness and while it was alright, I wouldn’t say I’d go out of my way to find one! I spent the rest of the day relaxing in my room then went out for a bite to eat.
Pay Day! LOL it feels pretty darn good to have been off work for a month and still get a paycheck! I worked for the Best company in Edmonton and since I worked on a commission basis, there are still some closings that are payable, feels pretty awesome! Today, my Kentucky friend and I took a hop on hop off bus tour of Dublin and saw some beautiful sights! The Spire of Dublin by the River Liffey (or locally/affectionately known as: The Stiffy on the Liffy; The Stiletto in the Ghetto and The Erection at the Intersection) was built to commemorate the new millennium, however as these things go it wasn’t completed until 2004. It is the tallest sculpture in the world at 398 feet.
We also so St. Patricks Cathedral, and several other churches, sculptures and beautiful old buildings! We topped the evening off at the oldest pub in Ireland called Brazen Head, which opened in 1198! Can you imagine! You know I suck at numbers, someone do the math on that for me! It was a cute little spot with a lot of character and fantastic food! I had my first Bangers and mash, while my friend had Bacon and cabbage, both traditional dishes.
Shopping day! I have ZERO room to add anything to my backpack, as I selected the carry on size, but I spent some time looking around the shops and did buy some hiking/runners since my got a bit trashed in Iceland. As I was shopping there was a singer/busker on the street who was really quite good, I listened for about 1/2 hr when another fellow with a guitar showed up. Bryan, as it turns out was waiting for his ‘turn’ as they are allowed 2 hrs each in specific places. He is busking to help pay his rent while he attends university, and a typical day will earn him 200 Euro’s or more! He told me that the fellow I was listening to’s name was Mick and had been busking full time for more then 4 yrs. Here is a video of him: trim.68E5C195-65DB-4C27-AA48-E75BE9B39318
Tonight there is a whiskey tasting and acoustic music event at the hostel, and since it is raining i think I will check those out! Tomorrow my friend and I are renting a car and heading out to the country side, checking out some castle’s and sites along the way, then over-nighting in the town of Cork.