A Travellerspoint blog

Ireland

Sunny Spells/Bin the Poo

~Andrea

sunny 64 °F
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Scenes from our last full day in Dublin.
I took a nice yoga class at The Yoga Room this morning, and later we had a little lunch at Herbert Park on this first day of August with 'sunny spells' as they say on weather reports here.
Tomorrow we begin our journey back to the states, with a stop in Iceland again, for one day.

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We saw these signs all around Dublin:
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Posted by woa 13:09 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Last days in Dublin

~Andrea

overcast 60 °F
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Our days are coming to an end in Dublin.

We stayed in Shankill for two weeks in a charming apartment, at a very nice location, through airbnb. We only briefly met the owner/host who happens to be a writer and poet!
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One day we visited the Irish Film Institute to see a couple of movies, 'Amy' which was an interesting and tragic look at the life of Amy Winehouse. The second was 'Magician: The astonishing life and work of Orson Welles', which was so interesting I felt it could have been longer.

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Now we are staying in Booterstown (closer to the city center) for our last week, in a private room, in an older house, also booked through airbnb. Our host here is very nice and she has a couple of other guests staying here as well. My preference is a private bathroom, but this one is shared. If I think of it as an old time 'boarding house' it feels more nostalgic and like an adventure. (In George's case, a tent in the woods would be more fun and adventurous) Although we haven't met the other people staying here, we hang out in our little room and use the good wifi, read, rest, eat 'take-away' food, and I even do yoga in the little available floor space.

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Down the road we tried this quaint (breakfast and lunch) restaurant, Peacock Green. As you can see, it's a lovely Victorian interior! We have gone for breakfast three days in a row.
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After four months abroad, I am ready to return to the U.S. and road-trip back to California with stops to explore some cities of interest, and visit friends along the way. However; I thought I would tackle the question we are most asked, "What are your favorite places?"

It's a hard question and I don't really have a short answer. Of course I liked some places better than others, but overall we have had good experiences everywhere and have seen and learned so much!

Edinburgh Scotland was beautiful. We have spent a lot of time in Dublin which we think is a great city, even in this cold and rainy summer.
I enjoyed our stay with friend Martina in Dortmund where we went on a nice group hike with her friends, and attended a little dinner party at Tammy's apartment, over a raclette grill (with lots of wine flowing) which was a fun experience.
We both enjoyed Lisbon and Faro, Portugal very much.
Seville was nice, but we enjoyed Valencia more, with the fun tour we took, and going to see the Holy Grail.
We loved our time in Albisola Marina, Italy and Cadaquez Spain, staying close to the Mediterranean beaches (and finding lots of sea-glass).
It was also fun to meet up with my cousins Betsy & David in Barcelona, and Martin & Jamie in Dublin, and to run into friends Joan & Philip our first time in Dublin back in April!

I can also tell you that the cities we stayed in that we'd never heard of, or just arrived on short notice seem to come to my mind first for their unexpected adventures and discoveries. For example, Warrington England where I had my haircut by Fabienne, exploring Padua, Italy where I happened to find the specific earrings my friend Heather was looking for, and Wroclaw, Poland which Gosia recommended was where we enjoyed the most beautiful botanical garden.

The Mediterranean cruise was another highlight for sure. It gave us the chance to visit Greece and Turkey and places in Italy we hadn't been to before, like Pompeii. I'd have to say the whole trip was a great experience and it's still hard to believe we had the opportunity to stay in Europe and the UK for four months! If you cornered me and asked if I would want to go back to any of the places we visited, my answer would be.......I'd like to see more of Austria, I would go back to Spain and Portugal, and I'd go on another cruise. This could be subject to change, but that's my best answer at this time.

p.s. I got totally hooked on the cereal Müsli [ˈmyːsliː]) is a breakfast dish based on raw rolled oats and other ingredients including grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts, and may be mixed with cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk, yogurt or fruit juice. Developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, muesli is available in a packaged dry form, ready made, or freshly made. -wikipedia

Posted by woa 06:29 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Signposts

~Andrea

semi-overcast 63 °F
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I like to know where I am going.
shankill_hike_post.jpg When hiking, I am comforted when signposts appear and confirm we are on the right path. In life, the signposts can be harder to spot. George does a great job researching and planning our travel arrangements. The navigation is often directed by dates and costs to determine destinations. For example, because Liverpool was too expensive, we had a great experience when we opted to go to Warrington, England (16 miles from Liverpool) instead. A couple of other cities we hadn't heard of became new destinations due to logistics, cost, or extended-stays like Albisola Marina and Padua, Italy, and Cadaquez Spain. Again, we enjoyed those new places very much.

However, when we head back to the U.S. (via Iceland), the only certainties are a return cross-country road-trip to California, with a couple of stops to see friends (yay!). The next certainty is returning to Mérida, Yucatán Mexico around early October, and focus on our house. There will be plenty of work to do. (Plus learn Spanish!) The bigger questions I continue to ask are; what I am going to do for a new income-generating-career, and where else might we live outside of Mexico? I pray, write a lot, look for signs, and pay attention. Once in awhile I receive a message or sign that I know is for me personally and it warms my heart because I know the Lord hears me.

I am not proud to admit that sometimes when I receive suggestions from my husband, I get defensive and resistant. I know, it's crazy, but true. I don't want to be the old guy Brooks from' Shawshank Redemption' who couldn't make it on the 'outside' after being released from prison. Ever since I left my 'lifetime sentence' of corporate jobs ten months ago, I'm still learning what this freedom requires.

I am prone to tread the well-worn paths while the road less traveled, makes all the difference according to Robert Frost. Deep down, that is really the path I want to take! If only I would readily go that way. It's so natural for George, but he shouldn't have to drag me along while I resist most of the way. (Meshuggah I know!) Plus, I should also know, 'resistance is futile.' So as I figure out what I am willing to start doing, I will just take a step because sometimes you just have to get some motion started. Then keep moving one step at a time while looking for the next signpost to appear.

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Posted by woa 13:29 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

July in Dublin

Ganda reporting

semi-overcast 65 °F
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We flew back to Dublin to stay for three weeks of rest before heading back to the U.S. We spent the first couple of nights at a B&B, then a hotel, then took a nice long walk from Donnybrook to Leopardstown.
Fortunately we usually find nice green spaces for a short rest when schlepping the bags.
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Leopardstown is actually a new area complete with modern apartments surrounded by hi-tech companies like Microsoft. We were hungry and the only place to grab a bite to eat was at the few food booths. It was lunchtime so we stood in line with all the young, hip, tech types wearing their corporate badges Andrea remembers that old corporate life from SF and it was kind of fun standing there with our backpacks and 10 months of travel sweat on our brow.

We later had time to visit Dublin center again and heard the song 'Moon River' being played by a couple of street musicians. Since then, we've heard that song come up 5 days in a row in the most unexpected places. Yesterday we heard it while watching Chevy Chase's movie 'Fletch'. Chevy sang a bar whilst being probed by the proctologist. If you've been following this blog, then you know 'Moon River' seems to have a mysterious presence wherever we go. I wonder why?

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This time we are using airbnb for longer stays. The first two weeks we are staying in Shankill which is close to Bray, where we did a nice long hike our first time in Dublin (back in April). This is a cute small town with a big park, hiking trails and the sea all in walking distance. The one-bedroom apartment we rented is the home of a writer/poet.

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Posted by woa 12:31 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Till we meet again

by Andrea

52 °F
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Our time in Dublin is coming to an end. We had a wonderful stay, saw as much as we could, and learned more about this beautiful country.
We loved the lush green spaces here along with cherry blossoms and tulips in bloom.

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I met the lovely Freda at Adelaide Road Pres. Church, who makes and sells this wonderful tea 'Intelligent Tea' here in Dublin. You can learn more here: http://www.wildirishfoods.com/

On Friday, I ran into my friends Joan and Philip from San Francisco unexpectedly even though I knew they were here for a wedding! It was brief but awesome. Then I had the best pistachio gelato, and saw a fire-juggling unicyclist.
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We found surprises and inspiration just turning corners, and walking down alleys.
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The weather was on the colder side, but the days were beautiful and we only had one rainy day, yesterday. But that didn't keep me from walking downtown again anyway. We also had a chance to skype with friends and family.

And now it is time to pack up the bag and head to Brussels for a couple days. Looking forward to some waffles, and chocolate! And then.... heading to Germany to see our 'creative-foster-daughter' the one-and-only Martina Pfeiler.
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Our hearts and thoughts are with the people and travelers in Nepal during this tragic time.

Posted by woa 08:43 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

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