I kissed the Blarney Stone. It's not a very attentive lover. Two seconds after it had me it was on to the next girl. But that's okay. I always knew I'd get my heart broken in Ireland.
On Tuesday the 18th I got the ferry to Ireland. That was literally my day; getting to and onto and from the ferry. Gawd, it was painful. And expensive. But worth it. So worth it. I arrived in Dublin in the evening and was so sick with a cold that I went to bed without walking around the city (except the walking one inevitably does when getting lost on the way to the hostel). It seemed like a nice enough place but I was dying.
In the morning I got up and wandered around the city a bit but wasn't really feeling it. I went back to the hostel for some pathetic reason but lo and behold I wasn't alone in le dorm room. A girl from Finland who'd been out until eight in the morning was just waking up at around midday and was sweet enough to invite me along on the tour she was going to do of Trinity College and the Book of Kells. It turned out she was back in Dublin visiting her boyfriend and friends after having au paired in Ireland for seven months a while ago. She hadn't done any of the touristy things while she was there though- hence the tour- and was more like a local. This was very much in my favour as after the tour- sexy, sexy tour guide. It was mostly the accent and the Irish wit, I think, but seriously. Swoonage occurred.- she decided we would get some food and go and sit in Phoenix Park and on the way back we would walk through Temple Bar. I had so much fun with that girl. Really, she was my angel.
After another early night (colds kill my normally exuberant and adventurous nature) I spent a little longer pottering around Dublin and then had lunch with my Cheesecake Friend from Bath and her boy plus their friend. They were loverly and we resolved to meet up in Galway, where I was bussing that afternoon. I must say, I'm a big fan of bus rides in the Irish countryside. It's a beautiful, beautiful place. That night in Galway I sat with some really friendly people in the common area at the hostel for a while and a few of us went out for a drink. Nighttime antics in Galway are a thing to behold. Mostly I think the Irish are swell, their pubs are hilarious and they are uber friendly, wonderful people.
My first day in Galway I bought a cheap ticket on a cheesy tour to the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. Not much to say, really, except that the sights took my breath away and the sounds (mostly of the tour guide's voice) most definitely did not. People irritate me. It was worth it though, to see all of those stunning things. Both that night and the next I got a drink (or perhaps more...) with Cheesecake friend, her boyfriend and various other new and established friends. T'was nice, I don't do that a lot. Other people's friendliness aids me in mine, sometimes.
The second day was a beach day. I picked up some fresh food from the market and then went to enjoy the sun and I Capture the Castle by the sea for quite a few hours. It's stupid but whenever the sun comes out here it feels odd, like I've gone home.
On the third day, I left Galway early after a walk along the river. I ended up in Limerick by midday where I just walked for a long time. By nighttime I was in Cork in the loft room of a hostel talking to the least obnoxious Americans I'd met since I came to Ireland. Really, they were awesome. Which was such a nice change. The Americans love Ireland, though it seems like they don't know or understand it whatsoever. Case in point: "What happens if I kiss this thing? Does it give me good luck or something?" Guess what he was talking about. I'm being nasty and judgemental, I know. No excuse to follow, just telling you I'm aware of it.
Blarney was amazing though, which is the day trip I took after I arrived in Cork the night before. I stayed in the grounds for a very long time and they were absolutely magical. And the Castle, though people said it was a let down (mostly American people...) was great also. Kissing the stone was embarrassing but necessary.
I went to Kinsale on my last full day in Ireland and just sat and walked through a postcard all day. And got boots full of seawater but that's a story for another time.
There's little to say about Ireland because all there was was a really happy week. I can't describe that, not really, it's just this strangely romantic and wonderful place. I was sad to leave the next day after arriving to a literally glowing Dublin the night before but after hitting the Writers' Museum I sort of had to get on a ferry back to England. I was okay with it; Ireland is so pretty but I am really excited for what's coming up next.
I spent another two nights in Manchester and am now in London. Manchester and my hostesses were perfection and Camden Market yesterday was absolutely fantastic. I got to see Claudia again, whom I met in Edinburgh, and meet another one of her friends. We had so much fun looking at all sorts of needless items for hours. I've been staying with the daughter of my Norwich hostess, as well as her boyfriend, and they've given me some wonderful London experiences. Breakfast in a "caf" with grease lined ceilings and mismatched cutlery (fried slice is heaven, FYI) and dinner at an Indian restaurant plucked straight out of the early nineties. Today I move onto a hostel for the next two nights.
So, anyway. As you can see by my previous post, I'm writing again. It's more of a regression since everything comes out sounding like what I wrote when I was fifteen but basically that's a good sign because that was before life turned me into what I am now, or was. There are a lot of things I'm doing on this trip that I had stopped doing. I am reading books relatively quickly and actually finishing them which had ceased occurring for me for a while. And I'm trying things just because I can and I'm here which- I think mostly people know- would never have happened in Melbourne. In many ways I think I like myself better out here. So yay for that, I suppose.
It is the eve before the eve of my departure from the UK. And what have I done? Quite a few things I suppose. Fun and not-so-fun, big and not-so-big... I've learnt more than I knew it was possible to learn in two months (take that, University!) and probably changed more than I can say or comprehend considering it was only 65 days ago, or something, when I couldn't even pack my bag properly or adequately say goodbye to people. And now there is more learning to be done. Here is my decision about the rest of my time away: shortly after I arrive in Canada, I'ma begin WWOOFing and hopefully continue doing so for a couple of months, at least. We'll see how I like it, some of you have witnessed me on a farm before so it's possibly going to be a disaster. But hey, that's the same with most of my decisions these days. Not something worth getting upset over since it seems to be my life; disorganisation and questionable judgement. Wish me luck!
It's not a perfect metaphor.