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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Dublin:Denver

Filed under: Endings,Ireland,Trains and Planes — she_travels at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 27, 2007

One truly needs to get in just the right frame of mind for long distance travel. Be it trains, planes, cars, bikes or boats…ya really gotta get your gray matter rolling in the right direction.

I have been traveling alone for some years, I think I do pretty well given enough time. I am one of those show “up at the appointed place early and read” people, instead of scheduling so close all I can think of is “Do I have enough time?”

The flight was leaving Dublin at something close to 8am. It is recommended that passengers arrived at the airport at least three hours before takeoff. I had only been to the airport in Dublin once, eight weeks ago and had no memory past the ATM machine location and the bus pad. I needed all the time I could muster to get sorted out once arriving at the airport never mind the silly things that can happen on the way. So….

I was awake at 3:00am (Dublin time), showered, dressed and packed by 3:30. I choose the hostel I was in for the location, 15 minutes walking distance from the town down bus station with a direct non stop bus to the airport every 30 minutes starting at 4:30am.

SideNote –  It is currently October 27th. I was leaving Ireland the 19th of June. I still! have a very clear memory,  when walking into the bus station,  of never having had been there before. Why you ask, why is this of import? Cause I had! been there before. Let me remind you,   I left Colorado February 3rd, spent three months in Honduras house sitting then hopped a  flight Roatan > Atlanta arriving at 930p(over night) the next morning (6am )for LA. Three days in the LA area then jumped another plane to Dublin with a connection in Chicago. Seven hours after plopping down in my coach seat in Chicago I was in Dublin about 7am in the morning. I then found the ATM machine, had some local currency in my hand, got exact change for the bus to  YES!!  to this station I have no memory of. Could be cause I was only there long enough to buy a bus ticket to Galway. Or pick any excuse that comes to mind.

The point being I was standing on the threshold of the down town Dublin bus station at 445 in the morning staring about like a complete tourist with an on going escalating panic growing in my head. *I was here before, why do I not remember it. If I don’t remember it can it be the right place. What time is it. 345..see plenty of time…why do I not remember! Wait, hold on maybe it doesn’t matter…if there is a bus to the airport from here it  doesn’t matter. What time is it! 345…Ok, Ok  calm down. No worries, information just there see it…take a breath.. you have plenty of time. *

As you can see all of this happen in the space of no time at all but I can tell you when I walked in that place I was freakin out cause of the whole long distance travel nutties perfectly normal people lapse into when traveling long distance.

The info people were very nice just as they had been in all of the info place around Ireland. “Yes, there is a direct bus from here to the airport, do you see the sing just outside the door there, yes they start running at 430. You have about a 45 minutes wait.”

I turned to find a place to sit, took a deep breath and realized I remember the place. *Of course, I got off the bus there eight weeks ago, walked to that ticket station, used that wacky Internet access, sat there so I could see the bus pad to Galway.”*  Perception what a wacky arse thing that is!

While I was considering where I was going to sit,  I saw a bus pull up to the pad.  I trotted over to ask if he was going to the airport. He said indeed he was,  the price is six euro. I gave him the money, found a spot for my bag and me then took a look at my watch. 4am. woohoo 30 minutes early.

For those of you who have never been to the Dublin airport….if at all possible go to Shannon instead. I have not been to the Shannon airport but it has GOT to be better than the one in Dublin.  This place!! Zoo doesn’t even begin to cover the chaos that is the check in area. The airline check in desks line opposite walls. This may sound like it makes since but all the people lined up to check in were mixed up in the middle. I could not tell what people were in what line with what airline. It may be if one was looking from above one could tell other wise…  I don’t remember seeing a sign that said Delta, just people dressed in Delta colors and Delta labels. They are very helpful. “Yes this is where you need to be but no we are not checking in your flight yet. You should come back in about 30 minutes, we are not yet checking in your flight.”

I have never been asked to wait to check in at any airport…I was a bit confused, confusion turned to annoyed when I could not find anyplace with in sight of check in to sit. I am not saying all the seats were taken…there are none. I asked some random uniformed person where the nearest seating was. He said “downstairs”. I found the stairs and realized I was in baggage claim staring at the ATM machine from eight weeks before. Being the good little tourist I plopped myself in a seat to watch people for the next 30 minutes.

Tired of typing I am..I will get back to this soonest!

Dublin Dart

Filed under: Educational,Ireland,Photos,Trains and Planes — she_travels at 3:26 pm on Friday, October 26, 2007

The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is the rail line running along the coast of Dublin, from Howth southwards as far as Greystones. Bray is the stop just before Graystones. I had heard about Graystones on a house hunting show while house sitting in Sligo,  it was also on my list of places to see.

I got on the train at Connolly station downtown Dublin about half way between  Howth at the north end and Graystones at the other end. I had to choose a direction,  to Bray it was.

I musta followed my nose when the train stopped in Bray cause I found the beach fairly fast.

Reminds me of New Castle with the beach and mountain. This area also had a sorta Coney Island feel to it. The closer I got to that “stuff” down there the more it felt this way. I have no idea where the pics, if I took any are. There were very few people out that morning. It was Monday and a bit wet. I wandered through going back inland thinking it should not be hard to find “town” and a sandwich.

I was pretty much lost-ish by the time I happen upon this….

I had been wandering Ireland for close to seven weeks by this time…this was the first of these I had seen.

Cool huh?

Graystones had a much smaller feel…the train station was between the main street and the beach…

Then…..

I found this….yeah that purple stuff was all over the place. Oops.

Back on the train I was looking forward to seeing more of the bay and the other end of the track. We were moving pretty fast and there was nothing close to a smooth ride so …no pics.

Howth…I am telling ya people,  Howth is a place to see. What a delightful little place this is!

My mission in Howth was to locate a library to email a few people letting them know I planned to be in the States the next evening. Following the road toward what looked to be the main part of town on one side and the sea of the other I came across a sign indicating the library was up the hill. Part way up the incline I realized the bit below near the sea was for the tourists and the bit above where I was headed was more of town.

The library was a cute little place with plenty of people coming and going…a single computer in the corner with no one seated. I asked the young guy behind the counter if I could have a quick go at the internet. He said, “Yes, but I have someone coming to use it in ten minutes. Is that enough time?” I assured him it would be. Once finished I asked if he had any suggestions on walking trails about. He was kind enough to dig out a couple of maps and point me in the right direction, or what we thought would be the right direction.

I promptly found myself in a housing area unsure of what direction to go. I could see the ocean so I was far from lost but still. There was a gentlemen in his driveway to my right, he looked to be on his was out some where. He must have noticed I was unsure.

“The path is just past that second street light pole, do you see it?”

“Ahh yes, thank you so very much.” Perhaps I was in the right place after all.

The view from just past the light post. As you can see the weather has cleared some from Graystones to Howth. You can just see the rock formation in the back of this photo, that was where I was headed.

Walking along I saw these a few fisher persons.

Nice Coast line yes?

When I arrived at the end of the street I noticed a man sitting on the rock wall. I asked if he was fishing. He said “No, selling weights.” With the accent I was unsure if I heard what I did so I asked. “What does that mean?” He suggested I take a seat next to him and he would show me. Sure enough the guy melts lead, pours it into molds, cools it then packs up all his toys to bring to this place where people fish. He was a delightful old guy.

I noticed this building on the way back.

There are many buildings built very close to the road like this..I was not paying much attention to this one until…..

I saw this….and the round bit caught my eye.

Poet’s house…now..why did I not know this?

Once round the other side of the bend you could see the water side and understood why they built it as they did.

See the long white house along the edge of the bluff?

There are also two images of town-ish.

Yes, I climbed yet another hill to get a view.

A perfect last picture of Ireland. The new mixed with the old. This view is just left of the one above.

Next up.. the travel crazies from Ireland to Denver all in the space of a waking twenty-four hours.

Dublin

Filed under: Ireland,Photos,Trains and Planes,Walks — she_travels at 2:10 pm on Friday, October 26, 2007

As some of you know, I had a standby ticket (space available) on Delta to get my person back to Colorado. I was hoping to hop a plane long about the 26th to be back for two clients leaving town the 29th of June.  Good thing I starting checking the number of seats available two weeks before I wanted to fly. My best bet for an airline trip over that big blue puddle was the 19th of June. I was a bit disappointed in this cause I had not seen any of the southwest of Ireland, this being where many a person say is the best. Not to worry though, it’s a grand reason to pop on back to see the friends I made the first trip.

I had a chance to chat with a Delta agent via telephone while in Cork to get the load down on how the whole standby things works. The last time I flew standby I was much younger and there were no computers to help.

Having  the protocols firmly in mind I sorted my stuff out and walked down to the Cork bus station. I was so very pleased to find a price special for Cork/Dublin.  Half the normal price..woohoo. The bad bit was I think it was a five hour drive or some crazy thing. The buses left every hour on the hour. When buying the ticket I asked if I could hop off at any given spot then hop back on the next bus an hour later just to break it up some.  Sadly, that was not do-able for the special price.  Bummer.

Dublin,  I can tell you maybe two things about it…MAD HOUSE! There are stacks and stacks of people every where. Yeah, I have pics to prove it. Mind you this was a Sunday afternoon.

People!

People…

People…whew…  I needed to get out. Before I did I snapped a few more pics.

To go with all those persons going to and fro ya need police. Can’t miss this guy  huh?

I was in Dublin for all of a few hours before I decided to go back to the hostel, find a way to wash some clothes and then find some thing to do other than walk Dublin the next day. I was in luck, while doing laundry I was talking to a couple gals who had taken the green train (commuter)to out lying areas. Sounded good to me..anything to get me out!

Finding the train station the next morning was a breeze I followed the tracks. Upon location of the ticket window I asked the ticket master “If you could go any where on this line where would it be?”

He did not hesitate to say “Bray”.

I smiled and said “One return ticket please,” Then paused to ask “Is it possible to get off the train before Bray, then get back on later to resume my trip?.”

He said “No, but you could buy a day pass. It allows you to get off and on as many times as you wish. The difference in price is only three euro.”

“Thank you so much, that is exactly the thing to do.”

Cork

Filed under: Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 9:47 am on Wednesday, October 24, 2007

As I remember it I was only in Cork one afternoon and part of the next morning.

They do this very cool thing in Ireland.  It seems to me the major shopping areas are all pedestrian ways. In every town I was in there was at least one street which was only walkable. This is one of the many in Cork. It was a Saturday afternoon. This pic was taken more for the church in the back but the more I look at it..it’s another example of very old and fairly new all in the same image.

McDonald’s anyone? Cool building  no?

Street performers. See the orange hat to the right? I gave one of the children  a coin or two to toss in the hat for me.

This image is tougher to figure than it seemed at the time I took it. There really were a ton of people about but if you try really hard you can see the very long line had formed starting at the ATM machine. The machine is in the large greenish wall behind the guy in gray with the cell phone. Follow that left to the guy in light and dark blue, the the guy closest to the gray just to the left on the…any who I think I counted 14 people in line for the ATM.

All kinds of hustle and bustle on the streets. In the left -ish corner just below the green trees you can see a single building with several colors. The dark blue bit was the Hostel I was staying in. Very nice place with nice people and free internet…gotta love that when it runs between one and two euro for 15 minutes.

I snapped this mostly for Mosher, its  all about the new and the old. Crazy stone brick building coming down and build another around and about it.

I just though this a very cool building.

Shall we check out Dublin next?

Ireland Continued…

Filed under: Coach Tours,Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 9:22 am on Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Well then, look at me…whew! Long wait huh guys?

I am in Colorado again house sitting with a couple of horses and a very silly cat by the name on Biskit. More on the house, horses and kitty later. Now…whew, now on with Ireland.

Last was the beehive loop, a grand romp in the hills behind Cahersiveen with the sheep and the ever changing weather that is Ireland.

As with other places in Ireland this/that time year (before peak season) I had to take a tour bus out.

One side of the parking lot he stopped in and…

The other. You can sorta see, in the right hand corner, what is left of one of the many “Ring Forts’ that dot the country side of Ireland.

From one of the many web sites about Ireland…

“A ring fort is, in its simplest form, a circular space surrounded by a bank, with possibly a fosse or ditch outside the bank. The typical ring fort was used as a dwelling-place, and would have contained one or more simple houses made of upright wooden posts interlaced with a wattle-and-daub lattice construction. At night the domestic animals would have been herded into the enclosure through a gap in the bank, which would have been closed by means of a simple gate or other barrier.”

I wish I could remember the name of the next town the bus stopped in. Or maybe I have it blocked out cause of all the people. Whew, I do not like feeling the tourist but some days when you are one… when I stepped off the bus I saw no less than eight tour coaches, several shops selling post cards and so many people eating Ice Cream I thought I was in Estes Park, Colorado. Whew! that place was tourist-ville.

I walked the opposite direction from the shops and found this cool bridge they built into the rock.

The view while standing in the bridge. That crazy tourist town/strip of building is not any distance to the left of me yet there ya have what looks to be the wilds of Ireland. How can you not like a place like this?

This photo is tough to see do to the tinted window of the bus and the reflection of what looks like a printed sign in the bus. I took this photo to show just how close the Irish live to their history. That is a Murphy’s beer advertisement painted on the side of a building. Behind it, the ruin of a castle.

These last two images are taken from a place along the”Ring of Kerry” called “Ladies View”. If you remember back to the Gap of Dunloe post these are the lakes I was in viewed from above. They are not as clear as one would like but…after all it rains in Ireland.

Holy Hannah!

Filed under: Interlude — she_travels at 8:27 pm on Thursday, October 4, 2007

I am so sorry! “The blog, The blog” got lost is the “Annette is back in Colorado having fun with her friends” state of mind. I was so over whelmed by the remainder of  the Ireland pics plus the Rockey Mountain National Park pics, never mind the drive back to Boulder County and the pics I took while driving with mom from Denver to Virgina.  Whew!!

Honest to goodness, the plan is to put big effort in to the blog over the next three weeks.

Currently…I am in Virgina house sitting with a couple cats. For the 1st  time I can remember I am close enough and have the interest to see Washington DC. So, one day this week I will act the tourist, collect my backpack loaded with maps and water, camera in hand to visit the nations capital. Wacky huh?

The plan at this point is to be in Colorado the 16th of Oct, stay through Feb 2nd. Hopping a plane for Roatan from Feb 3rd til May 2nd then….hmmm..then I am thinking I might wander Thailand May/June 2008.