Portrush!!

Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:59 pm
themegaloo: (Last Exile- Claus- Clear skies)
I got here! The train ride was SO PRETTY. I twittered about it briefly but there was the ocean on one side of the train and these HUGE CLIFFS with PERIODIC WATERFALLS on the other. I got confused finding the Guesthouse, but I got here and it is LOVELY and...I'm the only one here tonight. However, the internet port in my room is broken so I'm in the room next door right now typing this. With permission, of course!

Where did I leave off yesterday? I think what I did after was go investigate a city tour, which had just left so I called it a pass and went across the street to the milkshake bar. Yes, a MILKSHAKE BAR. They had like, a bajillion kinds of milkshakes. BRILLIANT! I then took my milkshake and walked down the river, which was very pretty and made my way eventually to the Bogside Artists gallery, which was cool! I bought a print of my favorite mural. I dropped that off and went to look at the OTHER mural street, which is not nearly as big for a lot of reasons, but I hiked over there regardless! And then I got sushi and watched the rugby game.

IRELAND WON OH MY GOD YES!!! They won in a GRAND SLAM against Wales on their home turf so HA! TAKE THAT, WALES!! First time in 61 years! WHOO!! It is impossible not to be excited. I think people swarmed the airport to see them get back today, heard it on the radio in transit to the train station.

So I'm on a beach. In Ireland. This is awesome! There are people surfing! THE WIND IS OUTRAGEOUS. I decided to take a hike along the beach, not realizing it was a 2 mile stretch of beach and that I would then have to walk BACK but the cliffs and rocks at the end were so worth it! And I could SEE Dunluce Castle. I WAS SO CLOSE! But...the waves were kinda in the way of actually getting there. And even then it was up on the cliff and I was...not. But it is very, very pretty. Tomorrow I'm heading to the Causeway around 10 am, going to try and go from there to the Carrick-a-Rede ROPE BRIDGE and hit the castle on the way back. Maybe. If I can figure out the transportation for it. I SHALL TRY. It's the goal at least.

For now, I am going to take a nice shower and go find the harbor, get some dinner and then maybe grab a bottle of wine because there are wine glasses in my room and I strangely feel that they should be used. I might not, but hey. It could be fun! Wine and TV! And a very comfy bed. I am spoiling myself and it is LOVELY.

Oh I am going to be in such good shape when I get back to Dublin. ALL THE WALKING.

But it really is ever so pretty.
themegaloo: (One Piece- Ace- Sleepy: Leave a message)
So I woke up this morning with cramps from HELL. Uh, ow? UNCOOL. So I went out to the pharmacy, got Supplies, walked around for an hour and a half and decided I Need To Sit Down Now And Take This Panadol, thanks. So I figured, good a time as any to update again! And it gives the painkillers time to, yanno. Do their magic thing. Plus I figured out this morning walking around that Oh Look! It is Saturday! Things don't open as early! So it's just as well I'm holding off until noon. I mean, things were JUST STARTING TO ROLL UP THE METAL DOORS! Also, it apparently rained or something last night/early this morning as it was a bit cloudy and the ground a bit damp. But it's slowly clearing up so waiting ALSO means it gets sunny for me!

Seriously, you're all going to think Ireland is SUNNY or something instead of the overcast, rainy place it usually is when you see these pictures (of which there are about 100 right now, BE WARNED--it's feast or famine with me).

SO! Recap of yesterday, shall we?

Once I left here (which I returned to mostly to take a shower--did I mention that before?), I went up to the city walls. Which, by the way, are FANTASTIC. Let me tell you a bit about Derry: It was once an island, The walled part was the entire city. Then the river stopped flowing around the one side and it ceased being an island. The area where the river once was became a march, or as the Irish call it, a BOG. During around the time of the Famine, many, many native Irish catholics came to the city looking for work and food which is when BOGSIDE (you see now?) started getting populated and stuff. So the walled part of the city is what the city originally was when it was chartered by the English (and therefore mostly populated by the English who came and settled it--plantation is the word used. but not like the south with cotton, fyi) and it's like, up on this hill and then slopes down towards the river. Walled. And these walls are BIG. But the cool part is that you can walk all around the city and when you're on the Bogside side, you can look over the whole area and across at the hills and Craggan. Really nifty. Plus they've got those hella useful signs everywhere telling you cool stuff.

After I finished my jaunt around the walls, I went down to the Tower Museum. Went through this huge exhibit called the Story of Derry (note above information!) and surprisingly, the other half was about the Spanish Armada. Confused? I was. Until I found out that one of the biggest ships of the Armada ended up in the Lough that's just up the river from Derry and they, you know, found it. So the stuff they found and information about the excavation, etc is all there. Pretty spiffy, I must say!

So by this time, I'm getting very, very hungry. I grab my handy-dandy map and figure out where this place marked out is. Flamin' Jacks, it was called. So I went, I found it was actually a pretty nice restaurant, I got garlic bread, steak and vegetables, I dined, I ate almost everything. It was delicious. And after that it was coming on 7, things were closing, the sun was setting, and I was TIRED, so I came back, dozed, relaxed, went in the breakfast room and had tea and watched a show about urban gardening (socool) and eventually went to sleep. All in all, a lovely day.

Woke up this morning, cramps as mentioned, and lazed in bed for about half an hour before going over for breakfast. Which was delicious. Something about full English or Irish breakfasts will always make me happy. Went to the Foyle Center which is a really big shopping mall and wandered about, went back on the Wall briefly to orient myself and hiked over to the Long Tower Church because it looked pretty. And it was pretty. Lovely architecture! Then made the hike back here and well. Here I am.

THINGS TO DO:
- City Tour
- Bogside Artists Gallery
- WHATEVER STRIKES MY FANCY.

I love traveling solo!
themegaloo: (Merlin- Morgana- Hallway)
Okay so this trip? = lots of posts, probably, because I want to remember it all. With a follow up post of pictures when you finally get to see what I'm on about.

Last night I headed out to a pub recommended by Seamus, the B&B owner. This turned out to be a FANTASTIC idea because I had a truly excellent time after the initial pint of sitting there going "uhhhh." I met some guys from Chicago who had come over for St. Pat's and were touring about, chatted with them off and on through the night and there was FANTASTIC live music. I mean, really fantastic. It was traditional Irish music and it was really, really good fun. Stayed there much longer than I thought I would and came back home around closing. And then had the most brilliant night's sleep.

Woke up just past 9 this morning and went across for a full cooked breakfast before going around the corner to the Free Derry museum. I amend my statement of yesterday of "right by the Bogside" to "IN the Bogside" now that I know exactly what that entails.

Okay this bit? Will make little sense if you don't know about Bloody Sunday. Click. Read. Be heartbroken. Because that's the major event of Free Derry. What kills me though is that the man that runs the museum? His brother was one of the Butcher's Dozen. The youngest one. And there is a photo of him SEVERAL PLACES in the museum, lying on the ground dying with two other people who are going to die (one within the next few seconds, the other 6 months later). And he came over to me and pointed at the pictures and said "There's my brother" and I'm just standing there wondering what on earth you SAY to that. Or THINK about it. It's seriously surreal.

There's also a "walking" tour attached to the museum. "Walking" because the area is actually really tiny and you can see all of it from well, standing still in a few choice locations. Which is what we did. And by "we" I mean me and the tour guide. Because that's all there was. Which is nice because it's really informative and personal and okay yeah it was just cool. Learned a ton about the area from him then went out after finishing in the museum and took pictures. Won't go too much into it because the pictures will really help here and I need to leave myself SOMETHING to talk about when I post pictures, right?

Heading up into the City in a few minutes. There's a definite difference. The most obvious being, oh, THE GIANT WALL THAT SURROUNDS THE CITY. They've been there for ages and have never fallen to siege. Kinda cool, really. Gonna tour those too. And there's a few more museums. And. Okay I'm just going to go do my stuff now. I just had to get the bit about the museum out so I can stop THINKING about it.

I feel a little...wrong. Touring the places such tragedies happened. Standing where people died. But it is nice to see how things have gotten better, and that's what makes it okay, I guess. And I'm helping things keep improving by being here as a tourist. I'm going to...go do my happier things now. Yep. Later!

...Oops?

Mar. 19th, 2009 08:07 pm
themegaloo: (TW- John Hart- Sneaky evil sexy grin)
Did I by chance mention that I left Dublin today? No? Didn't think so. If you follow me on twitter, then you got several updates through the day as I was on the Bus Ride Of Doom. Seriously! Four hours on a bus. And when you're in the Republic of Ireland, this is all well and good as the roads are pretty okay. And there was even one point at the beginning where I swear we were going UNDER the city and bypassing ALL TRAFFIC! Seriously! Tunnel! Cool stuff, man. But then you cross the border and while the countryside gets GORGEOUS, the roads get AWFUL.

Part of this is probably because the countryside gets GORGEOUS as by GORGEOUS I mean lots of hills. The roads just get twisty and bumpy as hell. But it was a fun experience! I broke out the laptop for a while--watched Grey's Anatomy and House until it looked like I was going to kill my battery, but otherwise I dozed a bit and watched the world pass by the window. I would have taken pictures but like. Window pictures never turn out. And we were trucking right along. It's different from going through on a train because the trains sorta bypass the towns and stuff. The buses go right through them. I saw adorable little towns! And farms and....okay, it was just fun. If very long. I might take a train back. Go from Portrush to Belfast to Dublin...idk.

But yes! I have bought batteries from the camera and took a few pictures already. It started getting dark though so I had to stop. Derry's right on a river and then it's up on this biiig hill. It looks sorta big coming up at it, but it's actually really easy to get around. I got majorly lost for a little while at first, which is OF COURSE when I had my duffle bag slug across my back (I looked like some sort of strange backpacker, let me tell you!) but I did the smart thing after exploring briefly and hailed a cab. Ended up I'd gotten pretty close to my B&B, only cost me 3 pounds, lol.

SPEAKING OF THE B&B. It is so cute. AND RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOGSIDE AJHFGAHD. The Bogside is what I wanted to come here for. But yes. back to the B&B. Got here, rang the little buzzer, the guy comes out (his name is Seamus and he is very nice) and shows me to my room which is....the very easiest one to find. I'm RIGHT across from the breakfast room, by the front door. OH AND GET THIS. My key is like. ACTUAL OLD KEY. I have to jiggle it to get it in the lock and everything. I look a picture of the front of the B&B and held the key in the foreground. So you get to see. But I left my camera cable in Dublin so you don't get to see until Tuesday when I get back. Oh, and I ended up in a room that can sleep 3 people, what? I have a double bed AND a single bed. Roflll. I was like "...okay..." But it's nice, the bed is comfy, the bathroom is big and there is a plug NEXT TO A MIRROR. First time I've found that since I've been over here.

So Seamus gave me a map and marked out all sorts of places for me. Three pubs with live music, one that's th literary pub, the Bogside museum where they have tours from, a few good places to eat during the day, etc. This should work out wonderfully.

I'm here for three nights before hopping a train to Portrush, where I'll be staying another two nights while I explore Giant's Causeway. When I'm there I'll be in a place called Albany Lodge with another double bed in a room that faces the ocean (!!!). Apparently there's lots of fun stuff to do up there too.

So we'll see how my first adventure traveling all by myself works out! It's going good so far!

!!

Sep. 22nd, 2008 01:15 pm
themegaloo: (Gundam Seed/Destiny- Athurn- BWAAAA)
I HATE BANKING.

A LOT.

So I have 4 cards, 3 of which I actually use or will use. An account connected to my parents at Bank of America, my own account at Wachovia, a credit card that's tied to my parents and my own Capital One credit card which is BRAND SHINY NEW.

If you have never gone a-traveling, here's a tip- you actually have to CALL YOUR BANKS before you take off so they know it's you making those charges in a foreign country and don't decide to freeze your account, cause lemme tell ya, dealing with them from overseas is not an easy thing and it REALLY SUCKS not to have your debit card functional when you need it. Once they freeze it they can't just UNFREEZE it that easily, which likely means they'll mail you a NEW one with a NEW pin and it is tre annoying.

So you have to call them first.

I called Capital One first because it's new and shiny and they weren't too bad, even if I was plugging numbers in and recording responses and shit because I never actually talked to a person. But the option was THERE to do the calling thing, which was a bit of alright.

Bank of America was next on my list and I called and listened to all the options like 3 times and went "..." and hung up confused.

Wachovia was sweet and easy. Just chill on the line long enough and keep asking for "Other Options" and you WILL eventually get a human being. My human was very nice and helpful and I was very appreciative and I think I said thanks about five times.

So then I went back upon my dad's advice and called Bank of America again and just started mashing zero. ANOTHER TIP, FOLKS! Mashing zero is not something they tell you but is something that works. I GOT A PERSON! Who...transferred me to another person which was Not a Person but I ended up finally at a REAL person and that REAL person got it taken care of for me.

So in conclusion: Call your banks, mash zero if they're confusing. \o/

And hope I don't need to use any of my cards if I make it home at Christmas. @_@!




....Now I need to pack. ;_;
(two checked bags, no more than 50lbs, one carry on, one personal item and I sorta want a new purse, blast.)
themegaloo: (Paddles- Moonlighting)
I keep telling myself "Today, I will post." And yet, inexplicably, each day goes by and I don't. Perhaps I'll begin, but quickly I'll erase it all. No point. What am I on about, why am I bothering?

Well, to prove to you lot, of at least the rather large percentage of you who I don't [alas] talk to daily on IM, that I have not, indeed, been abducted by little green aliens or eaten by some awful snow monster.

Not that there's any snow. Not that I even wore a jacket or thick sweather outside today. Oh, Georgia.

Perhaps I could also be updating to tell you that combining a southerner with incurably bad balance, ice, and narrow little blades strapped to her feet might not be the wisest course of action. Alright, alright, I exaggerate. I'm pretty decent compared to a lot of other people, but when I wipe out, I do a damn goo job of it. I ache and my left knee is all purple. Mind, I like the color purple aesthetically, just not when it's on my body as a result of internally busted blood vessles. I suppose, in the end, that's neither here nor there.

Hmm, I've not updated since afore Christmas, have I? Midnight Mass was amusing. I'm terrible, I forgot parts and fidgeted the whole time. The whole church thing just isn't something I do much anymore. And it's funny, because I've realized it's not for lack of faith, it's for want of sleeping in on Sunday mornings and the fact that Sunday evenings are spent flailing and telling myself that "In five minutes, I will start my homework," and then rarely actually getting around to it before midnight, before the next morning. That's just the way my life works, you know. But Mass was amusing. Catholics are funny. Because we have, what, some of the most strict ideas on sex and sexuality and birth control and shit, but no one actually seems to care that much. If you don't mention it, it's not an issue. Funny.

What else am I on about?

Oh, most people do a "Christmas haul" thing, don't they? I got clothes. Lots of nice, new clothes. I think I want more. I'm learning to walk in high heels. I got makeup. I got "Knitting for Dummies" and an awesome LotR calander which I have gone through and written in the birthdays of all the important people in orange sharpie. And told them who's month they were in, for the most part. I got my mum a popcorn popper and my dada a wafflemaker. Both were excellent ideas, in my opinion.

I'm starting to miss school and the hustle and bustle and constancy of activity, though not the stress load that inevitably brings. I have a 3.90. I'm content with that, I'll try and raise it a bit this semester. I want to go to Trinity, and then probably somewhere else after for a PhD. Somewhere big. Maybe in the US, maybe Oxford. I don't know. Somewhere. I still might go to Rice. I like Houston. But I want to see what it's like to live someplace that it snows.

The barrage of engagement announcements has decreased. Will it increase again for a few days after New Year's? I know Februrary will be full of them. Should I risk wearing heels to the block party tomorrow? I might die. But I can always come back and change them. It's supposed to rain.

I've hung out with my mum a lot this December. She's fun, she's seen a lot of places, done a lot of things, has a lot of ideas. Parents are funny like that, they know a lot and are really quite fun to talk to if you can get past the whole parent bit. Most adults are. Once they realize that you want to listen.

It's almost New Year's Eve, half an hour. I'll have no one to kiss at midnight tomorrow.

I'm happy. I hope this bodes well for the year ahead.

Edit: New Years quiz thing )

August 2012

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