Monday, 8 September 2008

The Emerald Isle

I'm sitting on my laptop at my friend Denis' place, eating breakfast, only hours before having to leave to fly to Edinburgh. I've got nothing but positive memories of Ireland, apart from the amount of Euro I've been spending, apart from that I've had one of the best times on my trip so far! Much thanks goes to Denis and Angie for inviting me to stay here with them in Dublin, they're 2 of the best, kind-hearted people I know.. even organised accomodation for me in Galway with some mates of theirs!

Galway was brilliant, I stayed with 3 lads just outside the center of town. We went out for pints on 2 of my 3 nights there, only planning to have a couple of drinks, it always ended in half a dozen or more, but whatever, it was all good. One night in particular we went to a pub called Taaffeys (or could have also been The Quays) where there were some irish blokes playing Irish songs, I ended up having a song requested for me by one of the lads, the song was Raggle Taggle Gypsy O..

Here's a link to Youtube if you want to hear the song:

Also at Galway I did my first touristy thing in Ireland, I went on a coach bus tour down the coast into The Burren where I was able to see the Aran Islands f rom a distance, the Cliffs of Moher, the Aillwee caves (where I experienced total darkness) and the stone shelter called Poulnabone Dolmen. It wasn't just about the main attractions for me, I enjoyed passing by the country-side.. looking at the rolling hills, traditional Hooker sailing boats, dilapidated castles and the small stone walls seperating people's properties and keeping livestock in.

Dublin has been good to me too, Denis and Angie took me to the Dublin Botanic Gardens on 1 of my first days here, took me to the beach at Portmarnock, played some hurling in the park up the road, watched Gaelic football in a pub, also watched the all Irish final of Hurling in the pub.. it's a good spectacle sport.

I hope I paint a pretty picture of Ireland but like all places there are people you'd want to avoid, those people here would be the Pikies, who are also known as travelers, basically you wouldn't trust them as far as you could throw them, in other words you'd want to avoid them. Denis here had grown up knowing plenty of travelers and knows how rough and sketchy they are, anyone with a deep-rooted culture of fighting should be avoid really. I actually saw some riding past on their horses, that's another thing.. they have horses, back home you'd never find a poor minority group owning dozens of horses!

I could keep going on but I need to pack my bags as I'm flying off to Edinburgh in a few hours. I have no more plans after this plane flight, will probably stay in Edinburgh until the 20th and only make my way back to London for 1 night or before I leave. I've also been adding photos to my picasa album if anyone would like to see some of Ireland.

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