Sunday, 1 July 2012

Day 7 in Ireland: Dublin

Hey everyone,
Me at the Leprechaun museum
Welcome to my last blog about Ireland! I woke up exhausted and thought it would be a great idea to sleep in as I hadn't over the past 6 days. The weather in Dublin on this day was quite wet and cold and it felt so good to relax. Anna had already left really early in the morning to catch her ferry back to London. She was trying to avoid immigration as she had already been deported out of England and escorted all the way back to New Zealand with two police guards by her side once before!lol She had overstayed her Visa as I said in one of my previous blogs and she was a little nervous she wouldn't be able to spend a few more weeks in London before heading back to NZ. She did however end up making it back into London were she visited the family she used to nanny for.

Skype session with the fam bam:
That morning I skyped my family as I was really missing them and wanted to hear all about what they had been up to and talk to Ashleigh about her baby shower. I talked to Sally for ages and she always makes me laugh with her silly faces on the camera and she even flashed her boobs at me for some entertainment lol Ashleigh showed me her baby bump which was growing more and more every day and said she loved her beautifully decorated baby shower! I also got to talk to my beautiful brothers in-law Addy and Nathan and talked to them about my trip around Ireland. Nathan makes me laugh when he gets on to talk because he's always so enthusiastic but he must bring bad luck because every time I speak to him Skype seems to freeze and we have to disconnect ha

Dad had just got back from 'church' code for the Wellington RSL where he drinks at religiously with his lifelong best friends Cumber and Timmy each Sunday. He seemed a little drunk as his eyes were pretty squinty while he was talking to me ha I wanted to know if they had liked some of the presents I'd got them and if they liked the hats. While we were talking dad put on the Italian chef hat I wore in Rome and mum put on my Amsterdam beanie and we were all laughing which was funny. I decided to join in and put my shamrock glasses and leprechaun hat on which I had bought along the trip and they thought was hilarious lol I always love talking to my family on Skype!

This morning it came time to say goodbye to Luke and Justine who were continuing on their travels to Italy, Croatia and Africa!!Exciting times for them! I had the worst shower of my life this day as you had to press a button which made the water run for 10 seconds and then turned off, the water was so hot you couldn't bare to stand under it for any longer anyway and there was no temperature gauge!! After my shower I got dressed and ready to go explore Dublin as this was my last day in Ireland.

Dublin in is on the list of Europe’s top 10 most visited cities and visitors swarm here each year. Dublin is home to historic museums, top class attractions and Georgian architecture. Dublin is rich in culture, hard partying and constantly changing. Dublin is neatly divided by the Liffey River into the more affluent 'south side' and the less prosperous 'north side'.

I waited at the starting point bus stop for the hop on hop off bus tour of Dublin and while I was waiting there got stuck with talking to two drunk Irish men. They were so gross and after waiting for awhile I looked at the sign that said 'this stop is currently out of service' grrrr lol Anyway I knew I wanted to explore Dublin so I continued to walk along the streets and see where they took me. When I got into the centre of the city  I was surprised at how noisy it was how many crazy fans there were lining the streets. I quickly found out that there was a Formula One racing car event that day. The Formula One cars were so loud and the streets were so packed I could hardly see anything but when I did the cars were going so fast I barely saw them anyway. I did end up seeing a couple of the Formula One cars which were driving very slowly behind a pace car which was cool. I also found a really cool Irish souvenir shop in the very 'happening' area of Temple Bar where I bought a Dublin, Ireland jumper, Celtic earrings and umbrella.

Errection at the intersection as Lee says ha

Formula One race day in Dublin



Cobbled streets of Temple Bar


Liffey River
After my ears had enough of listening to the racing I jumped on the hop on hop off bus which was actually running, just from a different stop. I stayed on at every stop as I wanted to travel around the whole city. I heard many things along the way about the history of Dublin and got to see loads of sites. I chose one site I wanted to visit the most as it was raining and I knew I couldn't do everything in one afternoon. I decided I wanted to visit the 'National Leprechaun Museum' as it sounded cool and I wanted to learn more about Irish mythology.

National Leprechaun Museum:
The National leprechaun museum opened in 2010 and allowed you to explore Irish folklore, mythology and storytelling through a unique and interactive experience. I felt a little weird walking in by myself as I was so used to visiting places with friends now but I absolutely loved the museum and was so glad I went. The tour guide was around my age and from the moment she spoke she had my attention. She made the tour so interesting as she told us enchanting stories about leprechauns and fairies. I was surprised how much of the tour was actually about fairies and she told us Irish fairies were quite evil and scary unlike other fairy tales we have all heard before. She said that fairies live in forests, woodlands and trees and can actually change themselves and look like real humans to trick people. If a person did something bad to the fairies or their home they would come and steal their children and legend says, if you walk into a fairy forest you are likely never to come out the same and therfore this is where the saying 'off with the fairies' come from which I found really interesting! We got to walk through lots of cool exhibits and we listened to the guide tell us lots of stories and Irish myths. The guide was so engaging whilst telling her last story which was so interesting but kind of scary as she told us about a princess who had disappeared from her castle never to return again. She ended up being trapped in the lake as a strange white fish that used to live in the castles pond and pine for her prince etc long story but it was so interesting and she acted it out so well that I couldn't take my eyes off her. There were so many cool stories that I want to read to my kids back at school and I already have so many ideas for a HSIE unit on Ireland to teach when I get back home!lol
Me in a giants living room at the Leprechaun museum

National Leprechaun Museum

Me at the Leprechaun museum

Storytelling at the Leprechaun museum

Spooky stories at the Leprechaun museum
Last night in Dublin:
That night after sightseeing in Dublin I returned to the hostel and meet a lovely Australian girl called Bonnie. She was only 19 and was starting the same tour I had just gone on, the following day. She worked in a boarding school outside of London and was on holidays and thought she would do some travelling. We started talking and decided to go to dinner together at an Irish pub called 'O'Sheas' which was down the road. I had a piece of beautiful Atlantic salmon with mash and veggies which were so yummy. When we got back from dinner there were another 6 Australian girls who were all travelling together staying in our room as well. That night I found it so hard to sleep as I had so much running through my mind and was stressed out I'd miss my bus transfer and flight back to London the next day. I didn't get to sleep until around 1am after tossing and turning and I had to wake up at 4.30am to catch my transfer to the airport.

Flying back to London:
The next morning I woke up and quickly got ready for my 5am transfer to the airport. As I was walking down the stairs I missed the last two and fell down to the foot of the stairs like a bag of shit with my backpack making the weight of the fall even worse. My shoes had no grip and it actually really hurt my shoulder and ankle at the time but is so funny looking back on it now lol We had to pick up so many people along the way and it took forever. When I went to check my bag in at the airport it was too heavy and the lady suggested I take some things out otherwise I'd have to pay 20 pounds per kilo that I was over (3 kilos in total). I was at the check in counter ripping things out of my bag and the easiest things to grab were my toiletries. Ryan Air is really strict with carryon luggage and if you don't have it all in the one bag they make you pay extra for that as well. Of course my toiletries bag didn't fit into my carry on so I was stressing about having to pay for excess baggage when I got to the boarding lounge. I went and had a McDonald’s breakfast which was just what I felt like before heading through customs to board my flight. On the way through customs the man took one look at my toiletries bag and threw everything that weighed more than 100mL out right in front of me. He threw out my most expensive things, creams, fake tan, deodorant, body wash etc There was nothing I could say or do besides watch him do it :( When I was getting ready to board the plane I walked through and hid my handbag underneath my jacket and put my scarf around my toiletries bag and snuck through thank god! When I got back into London I ended up getting the Gatwick Express and the tube back to Holly's house for a much needed sleep and few weeks of relaxation.

Love The Leprechaun Loving Backpacker

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