Friday, April 29, 2011

Dub-win, Ireland: Part 1

Hey lovers.

Ireland. Literally my most favorite place I've ever visited. I've fallen in love with this country.

I've fallen so hard and so far that it felt painful to know that I had to leave. And I hadn't even been there for a whole day. The experience had fulfilled- even exceeded- my expectations. And they were pretty damn high to start. I wanted to start a life there and just leave everything. Even the perpetual overcast weather didn't bother me. I started planning my life there while I was in Dublin- my bachelorette party in Dublin, wedding somewhere, and a honeymoon in some quiet little cottage. :)

I HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO go back with my friends from home, like Kelsey, the studio girls, and the boys.

I'd like to thank RyanAir.

The land was so green. It was absolutely beautiful. I've never seen so much green. However, the partitioning of the land was different than what I usually see. It was odd and asymmetrical, unlike the States. And well, every other country I've flown over.

I want to live here. I NEED to come back, again and again. As we were walking around Dublin for the first two minutes, even, I felt like I was dreaming. I haven't felt this way, ever. (The closest was when I saw Jamie Cullum. Buuut that doesn't really even match up.)

The familiarity of everything may be part of why I love it but the sights, the people, the smells, the general mood of the whole place- everyone was SO happy. In the pubs and the streets- they're all happy, and I think that attracts me the most. Plus, I feel safe- and the ENGLISH. The Irish accents everywhere are a huge plus, and sound like music to my ears.

We stayed at Oliver St. John Gogarty's Bar, Restaurant, and Accommodation. The hostel was a building over from the bar and restaurant, so it was quiet.

The balcony.

We walked around to take in sights and such. I was almost in tears the whole night; it's been my dream to go to Ireland since god knows when, and I never ever would have thought that I'd make it there. It was unbelievable, even when I was on the plane. I remember landing and staring at the sky and not being able to stop smiling.

We stopped at this restaurant- not many were still open that late.

Chicken Liver Paté... well, I tried it.

Steak and potatoes... SOOOOOO GREEEEEEAT and too filling.

After eating, we stopped by the bar of the hostel. They had given us a ticket for a free drink! So I got myself a lager or something like that. Deeeelish. So refreshing. There was a live band playing upstairs in the normal restaurant area.

It was crowded but hallelujah, I didn't get groped once, and nobody tried to get in my pants! I was in heaven. Everyone was SO nice. There were a lot of older people in the bar but I kinda liked it a lot. Downstairs, the bar was playing great music from home, from the '90s, early 2000s, and good ones from today. And by good ones, I don't mean dance club music.

I even remember hearing The Kooks while we walked on the streets of Temple Bar. Temple Bar is a neighborhood of Dublin- the most popular neighborhood as it holds all the bars.

We headed in for an early night (12ish) to get up at 5:30 for our tour.

A Dublin street at 6:45AM.

One thing I forgot about was the fact that in Ireland, they drove on the opposite side of the street. So for drunken foreigners, they painted these signs on the streets before crossings. :)

We made our way to Galway on the bus, and stopped for a snack. Galway was the town that has the Cliffs of Moher, which was clear across Ireland. And by clear across, I mean like 3ish hours.


I didn't get these but they looked so much like plastic that I had to take a picture. Unfortunately, blogspot kind of kills color when uploading so you lose the effect.

The first castle I've ever seen; and in Ireland. No biggie ;) Dunguaire Castle.
"Part of the lore about Dunguaire's Castle is that the Lord of the castle was very generous and he continued this generosity into the afterlife. Today, if a person stands at the front gate and asks a question, they will have an answer to their question by the end of the day." Well I guess I fucked up; I didn't ask a question.

The cool thing is that over the summer, the castle is open to visitors and every night there is a Medieval Banquet where Irish literature is recited and Irish music is played. I GUESS I'm going back.

Just readin a book, nbd.

Our next stop was the Portal Tomb. Or, dolmen. The dolmen is a very architectural specific structure that has been found in other countries, dating back to the Neolithic period (cave paintings and such of the Lascaux caves I think).


Then it was lunch time. The way the system worked was that you'd pick what you wanted, go up to the bar, tell them and tell your table number, and they'd be out in a second. We blew through there.

Just some banga's 'n' mash.

And the cliffs!
It was breathtaking. Because it was so windy, you could hardly breath. Psych. But really, it was just unbelievable. I could hardly fathom what I was looking at- it was like looking at a painting. Confusing.
Terribly windy and a terrible thing to wear.

There were plenty more pictures, of course, but I couldn't cram another picture in this post.

And on our way back...

When you get out of the city, the fields are a healthy green with sheep, horses, and cows everywhere. Limestone composed a lot of the buildings, walls, monuments, etc... around the cliffs and some of the surrounding areas of the counties because limestone completely makes up the cliffs. It creates your typical historical view of Ireland. The limestone and rocks remind me of colonial America (Annapolis).


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1st Week of April.

Hey lovers.

Some lunchtime cous-cous, courtesy of Elise's groceries that I inherited.

One morning, we went up to the Piazzale del Michelangelo for our photo class to take pictures. It was ridiculously windy but gorgeous nonetheless. I LOVED the clouds. It reminded me one time a few years ago when I got a message out of the blue from Paula Ciarniello about how beautiful she thought the day was because the clouds gave the sky so much more character, literally just as I was thinking the same exact thing.

Fun dinners!

My Tomasso :)

Hazelnut filled cereal. Yumyumssssssss


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cinque Terre - Part 2.

Hey lovers.

So, early morning. Reaaal early. Well, it only felt really early because the morning was misty and softly lit through the clouds. And of course I needed a massive cappuccino.

The other girls went off on their own which worked out better in the long run because it's so much easier to travel in smaller groups in certain situations. And we got to do everything we wanted to! We hit up the first two towns but missed the last one... which was funny because it was the one we wanted to visit the most but I figure they're all rather similar, though it's not to say that each town has its own special characteristic.

We set off on the first ferry ride around 10AM, and rode it all the way to Riomaggiore. The ride was beautiful, even in the morning fog. It was rather chilly to start but the sky would clear up by the time we left the first town.

Cinque Terre (literally, 5 lands) is all along the coastline of the Ligurian region. Pesto originated from the region so you can find yourself specialty pesto bottled/jar-ed up to take home. Which means of COURSE I have to go back and get some for my sister and for myself. For the day, we hit Riomaggiore from the ferry, and took the trains through Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and then Monterosso in that order.

The colors of the buildings were gorgeous. I loved the green shutters- they were a great accent to every color used in the towns. I did a little research to find that someone was commissioned especially to choose the colors.

Some kids riding a little bike around. It was HILARIOUS watching them because they showed absolutely no emotion riding it but it looked fun as shit hahah

Art is plastered everywhere- the ceramic squares above, the ceramic mosaics, and the rock mosaics (not picture).

Riding the top of the train to the next town- Manarola.

The sun came out strong at this point. We decided to skip Corniglia because 1, we heard it wasn't as fun and two, we wanted to catch the sun on the beach.

Leaving Manarola.

We made our way back to Monterosso.

And of course, I couldn't just lay down, so I resorted to obsessively searching for sea glass. It's a beautiful thing to get out of something that isn't degradable and will forever lie in the beaches. The rocks are the best environment for the glass because the rocks are larger and erode in a different way than the glass. Rocks carry the glass differently, also. My favorite is the turquoise piece.

Guess who's making a shitton of jewelry when she gets back?

The evening began to set in, which meant it was just about time to go home. We grew tired from the long (but very successful) day of adventuring.

A ride home in a train with reserved rooms :)

We ended the perfect weekend in a perfect way- with a cone of gelato that Kat treated me to. :)

Round 2 of Cinque Terre- coming up in 2 weeks!