Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The End of Ireland

Tuesday, April 10
I woke up at 7am. We were leaving at 8:30am to the mainland. We left for Westport dock and loaded up into the car. We went to town, picked up supplies, and at 11:30am went to come back. We then found out we’d left the phone at home and didn’t know his number. So we asked around and found a woman who had a phone book with the number. We called them and told them we were ready to be picked up. We came back to the house and hung out, played games, and after supper which was Salmon soaked in beer over rice, we took the boat to an island an chased sheep all over it. We found two dead sheep on in some old ruins. I went around barefoot and ended up stepping on a stone and bruising the arch of my foot (it was so bad when I went to bed I could’t really walk on my left foot). Then we went to the boat, got in, and when Uncle Bill pushed the boat out to get in he slipped and is camera came out into the water. He picked it back up and we went home. He took it all apart and dried it out. The three girls and I watched the Prestige (Josiah watched the first 20 minutes), staying up till 1am.
Wednesday, April 11
I got up at 7:30am, got some yogurt and then ate breakfast with two cups of joe. At 8:30am we left for the mainland. We got to Clough Patrick around 9:15am and started climbing at 9:35am. I made it up the mountain in 1hr33min going pretty slow at times to wait for Lydia and Londa. They had the most trouble because they were not in very good shape for climbing. I found that interesting since I don’t do a whole lot of climbing, maybe it’s the wheelbarrowing of tons of manure, and keeping up with running on a regular basis. We got to the top and took some pictures, then we ate lunch that we’d brought with us. While we were eating people started coming to the top, we were some of the first ones to climb and get to the top. I noticed a lot of girls where spandex or leggings when climbing (after going to Dublin I found out that’s just the style in Europe, sometimes they where tights with mini skirts or shorts, but more often then not it’s just tights) up the mountain. There are some pretty good lookin’ Irish chicks over here. : )
After we finished eating we made our descent. Uncle Bill made it down in 29 minutes, I did it in 57 minutes without hurrying very much. After I made it down I dropped off my cloak and started back up. I soon got to Lynnea and Josiah who made it down a little after me, then Londa. I went up almost a mile when I met Lydia. She was wearing one boot and was barefoot on the other foot. Her boot had come apart half way down the mountain, thus slowing her down further. Uncle Bill had come back up as well and we came down together. Once down we had ice cream and took some pictures. We found a memorial of the famine, a bronze cast boat with skeletons on it. We pretended to tickle them and feed them ice cream, all sorts of disrespectful things. :) We drove back to town, picked up some groceries and then went into the coffee shop next door that had wi-fi. I had some coffee and then took a nap in the corner, imagine Strider at Bree, minus the pipe. LOL We picked up a dictionary at a used book store. We came home by around 7pm and put a roast in the oven. We made soup and ate it as an appetizer. After we ate the soup Lydia, Lynnea, Uncle Bill and I took a walk. We went down to the side of the Island with big waves coming in from the ocean, on the west side of the Island. When we made our way back I put earbuds in and listened to my iPod as I ran/walked back. It was glorious. We came back and ate the roast with cider and beer. After supper Lynnea, Londa, Josiah and I played Uno and then the dictionary game. I went to bed at 11:30pm.
Thursday, April 12
I woke up at 6:15am and went back to sleep for another hour. I got up and ate breakfast, we had scones and Muesli. After breakfast we cleaned the house and packed. It feels weird that today is the last day here. It definitely feels like home, it’s very comforting to come home after being out for the day. We played Uno and ate lunch. I made oatmeal into an oatcake and we ate it. After lunch I took the kayak out for a little bit and Uncle Bill took the boat out. He drove around in circles around me creating big waves that splashed on me. I came back and Lydia and Uncle Bill went out, he dropped her off at an Island to find sheep to hold and he came back and took a walk. The rest of us watched A Good Year. We finished the film and played Telephone Pictionary. We had a blast playing it. Uncle Bill came back around 4pm, Lydia came back closer to 5:30pm. After supper we took the boat out and did some sweet jazz in it! Josiah’s hat (my tan one he was wearing because I bought a new one) came off and we were not able to find it. So it lies on the shore of Ireland to this day. After we got back I washed the dishes and we played Catch Phrase. After I was done washing we played Telephone Pictionary again. It was amazingly funny, my stomach hurts from laughing so much! Afterwards we played Uno.
Friday, 13 April
I woke up at 7:15am and took a shower. After my shower I took a walk/run up the Island, my last farewell to the Island. I got back and ate breakfast with everyone else. After breakfast we packed, cleaned and did laundry. We would’ve left earlier except we were washing all the sheets and pillow cases for the bed which delayed us. We played Uno and Catch Phrase. I think we have exhuasted both those games! I got some pictures taken of myself for some senior shots, then we got some pictures of us in front of the house to send to Paul. We left the house at 11:30am, it really feels like home, leaving it is very hard. I enjoy the quite lift, wake up to the sunshine and birds chirping, 25 minutes to the nearest town via a boat, no internet and limited phone access lets you enjoy peace and quiet. The small town has a couple of bars, butcher shops, two fish shops, three grocery stores, and lots of nice Irish folk. I’ve really fallen in love with it. We got a picture with Patrick before we left, and we gave him a bottle of whiskey in thanks for transporting us across from the Island to mainland every time we went out. We stopped briefly in town to pick up some bread and cheese for the road. After we got everything packed in the car we headed out. We stopped at a castle and got out. We couldn’t walk to it but we did walk around it and get a picture of it. We stopped at another castle which people have been living in for 14 generations. They had gardens and a stream which supplied the town with electricity from 1890-1950. It also is home to the largest telescope built in 1840 and was the biggest one until 1970. It was quite impressive to look at. We couldn’t tour the inside but it looked very cool. We left the castle and headed to Dublin. We got to our hostel and unloaded. Josiah and Uncle Bill went to the airport to drop off the car and took a bus to get back. After I had carried our baggage up (we were on the 3rd floor, up 6 flights of stairs) I went out. The hostel looked like it hadn’t changed since 1970 when they put in the lights, carpet, and painted. I couldn’t stand to be in it, any problem was fixed with scraps, it was nothing compared to the other hostel. I look back and reason as to part of the reason why I don’t like this hostel as much. It’s at the end of the trip, we’re all depressed some, and a being in a big city doesn’t add to anything. I went out to take a walk, I expected to walk around the block go check out some places, see where things were, maybe be out for 30 min and come back. I walked into two different stores, I went into Tesco and had to hurry because they were closing, I finally found some water, sparkling, that was in my budget (I had 95cents) so I bought it. I then started my way back. At this point it is 8:15pm and getting quite dark as well as stores are closed or closing up. I made my way back to where I thought was our hostel but couldn’t find it, I knew the general area because of the spire of the cathedral, but I couldn’t remember how to get to it. I had my hostel paper that told the name of the hostel. I asked a girl if she knew how to get to it and she said she didn’t know. I asked a mexican if he knew where it was, he didn’t. I finally found a store that was still open and asked him about it, he only knew of one nearby and pointed me to it. I had a map with me, but wasn’t sure where I was on the map, and where the hostel was on the map. I went around the block, found the hostel but it wasn’t mine. I came back asked the man to show me where I was on the map. He showed me and told me that if I went to any hostel they would know where it was and could tell me. So I started my way to the hostel, was getting close when I heard Uncle Bill from the other side of the street yell “Hey, I know you!” I was very much relieved to hear his familar voice. I was even glad to be heading back to the ugly hostel. We got back in around 9:30pm, I’d spent the whole time walking around Dublin. I wasn’t sorry I’d made the decision to go out, but I should’ve stuck closer to the hostel or figured out where I was on the map. We had chocolate and cider for supper! :) We ended up eating some cheese as well later on that evening. We skyped briefly to my Dad so Josiah could get some money transferred to buy a train and ferry ticket. We played Telephone Pictionary and then started Up and Down the River but stopped at 12:15am because Londa wanted to go to bed.
Saturday, April 14
I woke up at 6am when Josiah got up and packed. At 7am we said our goodbyes to him and he left. He was taking a bus to the ferry that would take him over to Wales, and from the ferry would take a couple of trains to get back to University. He had a book bag with him that he had books in, and as he was going down the outside steps it fell off and ripped. So we threw down a backpack for him to use. It feels like the Breaking of the Fellowship. None of us are all that happy to be here, in a sense we’d all rather be home right now. Big cities are all the same, adn just like I wouldn’t like to be in downtown Charlotte right now, I’m not a huge fan of Dublin. We like the quiet life we were living, a small town made up of half a dozen blocks, where you coudl drive around the town in five minutes. At least we will be seeing Josiah in a little more than two months. I don’t feel ready to get back into my busy schedule, my last part of senior year. Life amazes me at times. . .how much it seems I have to do. . .but it is just a moment in time. I would be very depressed if Uncle Bill was not here and I’d have to be responsible for everything. We ate breakfast that was provided for by the hostel (one euro per person). It was toast, hard boiled egg, cereal, and juice, coffee and tea. After breakfast we walked all around Dublin, I don’t know how many miles, but probably between 8-10 miles. We visited a couple city gardens, the biggest Cathedral in Ireland and Dublin Castle. I got a mug for my boss at the Cathedral gift shop. We visited a Zoo that was more like a museum. All the animals were stuffed. We finished that and ate lunch: cheese, bread, and chocolate. We walked all over the place. At 6pm we went to a restaurant and ate dinner, a three course meal. I got an appetizer of Calamar (squid), a main course of grilled chicken, and Tiramisu for dessert. Uncle Bill had Guinness and I had Cider. Today would have been way more fun with Josiah. After we ate we stopped by SuperValu and picked up a few groceries. I got a 6 pack of cider to bring back to the States. From there we came back to the hostel. It’s nice to have a place to relax, but it’s still a depressing room to be in. I went to bed around 11pm.
Sunday, April 15
I woke up at 7am, went back to sleep until 9am. I got 10hours of sleep but I was still quite tired. I probably could’ve slept for another 2-3 hours. Uncle Bill went downstairs to get coffee, the rest of us took showers and ate pastries and apples for breakfast. After breakfast we walked to the church in town. The service was interesting, mostly what we did was sing songs, talk about the Titanic, and read bible passages that are about shipwrecks. Afterwards we met some people while having tea. (having Tea after church is like having Coffee after church in the US) After we had lunch back at the hostel we went to the Zoo. It was fun, got to see the animals, see some cool birds I hadn’t seen before. I took a picture for a group of teenagers, they were somewhat abnoxious, but they were more tolerable than teenagers in the US only because of their accents! LOL We picked up some fish and chips on our way home. We skyped with the Barrs for a while, and before then we listened to a sermon, since we didn’t really get one at church. I went to bed at 11:30pm after repacking all my clothes.
Monday, April 16
I woke up at 6:50 from Uncle Bill. Packed the remaining clothes and ate a scone for breakfast. We left the hostel at 7:30am to go to the bus station. We got on the bus and arrived at the airport at 8:10am. We checked our luggage and went through Dublin security. Uncle Bill had around 70 Euros to spend so we stopped by the Chocolate Lounge Cafe and ate breakfast with coffee. I had a Bailey’s Mocha, it was quite good. Uncle Bill bought two bottles of whiskey that you can’t buy in the US to use up his money. After eating we headed to our gate. We had to go through US customs and security, and as a result almost missed our flight. We got on the plane a little before 10:00am and it was leaving at 10:15am. We weren’t the latest ones either, I don’t think a lot of people knew we were going to do customs in the Dublin airport. The first film was Sherlock Holmes a game of shadows, that was fun to see again. They showed three others but they weren’t very good. The food was better this time, flying from Dublin to US then from US to Dublin. They had real butter, the cheese tasted better. We arrived in Atlanta around 2:15pm, Lynnea’s mom didn’t have a phone so we couldn’t call her to ask where she was. We said good bye and she left. We weren’t able to transfer out luggage so we Lynnea couldn’t get her checked luggage (we bought a ticket for Lynnea from Dublin to Charlotte, stopping in Atlanta because it was cheaper than Dublin to Atlanta, however, she got off in Atlanta and didn’t board for Charlotte) so we’ll send it back with our grandparents who are coming at the end of April. We got to our gate and waited around until 4:00pm when we boarded the plane. The flight was so short it didn’t offer any drinks or snacks. At this point I was quite tired (my body was saying it was 11:30pm) and I slept off and on the 55min flight from Atlanta to Charlotte. We arrived at 5:35pm and picked up our luggage. My dad brought Uncle Bill’s car and we got in and came home. Everything was so green and it was very warm here. It definitely made it less depressing coming home to everything being green. We got home around 7pm. We unpacked, greeted our family, and made pizza for supper. We sampled some of the cider I brought back and gave gifts that we’d brought back and souveneers we’d gotten.
And thus ends the Fellowship, or rather the Trip to Ireland. Uncle Bill and Lydia left the following day to go to Virginia Beach (Uncle Bill lives within 5 minutes of the Barrs). It has been an amazing trip and I miss it very dearly, time to get back to life though. Following are some Irish trivia I’ve thought up.

Irish Trivia: in Ireland
1.The guys wear skinny jeans the girls wear tights
2.You can’t buy white eggs, and they’re all free range
3.All products go bad much faster because they use less or no preservatives in the food
4.Buying age of Alcohol is 18, but you can drink it at home at any age
5.The teenagers are tollerable because they have an Irish accent
Everyone drives stick shift because they’re not as lazy as Americans :)
Irish beef is grass fed or fed some grass during their lifetime
Organic gardening and methods are much more in practice and much larger (percentage wise) than America
The roads are often so tight you have to pull over onto the grass and stop to let the other car through
I hope you have enjoyed learning what it was like to be on a trip with 5 crazy Englishes and 1 crazy Barr. God bless and good luck to ya!

English Vintner