England & Ireland – Travels With Nate #1

England – Ireland – England

August 28th

My first stop is England. I used to live here so I have a few old friends and some family living in the area. I am staying with my grandparents so that makes things nice and cheap.

August 31st

My first couple of days back home has been kinda boring. I met up with a couple of old mates but you know how things are. We have been apart for two long. Once we have talked about all the old stuff we all fall silent. Oh well. I think I will go on a trip somewhere. Being cooped up with my grandparents is starting to grate on my nerves a little bit too!

September 4th

Hey, things are picking up finally. I was starting to think eternal boredom was going to plague my travels. Well, it’s not going to. I went with some friends to see the England vs Germany match! Wow, I forgot how much fun watching REAL football is! Besides we beat the pants off Germany 5-1!!! Go ENGLAND! Spent the next day recovering from our victory by keeping the couch company. The paper said that about 1,500 pints of Guinness was being sold every minute during that game, and at half time the national power grid almost collapsed as approximately 2.4 million people tried to make a cup of tea!!

Bought a plane ticket to Dublin, Ireland yesterday as well. I definately need a break from my grandparents.

September 11th

My God! I could not believe my eyes at the papers. I woke up today and decided on another day going around London. I was going to meet an old friend that I hadn’t managed to hook up with so I decided to head to town early and check out the Houses of Parliament. While waiting in line to go in and take the tour I heard a news snippet about a possible bomb at the twin towers. Little did I know what was going to happen. I spent the rest of the day in London and just as I was going to meet my friend in Leicester Square for dinner and drinks I saw the headlines. My heart goes out to everyone in New York! I had an okay time in London but with everything going on back home I just got homesick and had an early night.

September 13th

I have been glued to the television for the past couple of days. I was touched by everything the people of Britain have been doing. I totally forgot that I was flying to Ireland today. I can’t get through to the airlines and there is still a no fly zone over London. So I am just going to go down to the airport and find out what’s going on.

September 20th

Ireland was great. My flight was super late getting into Dublin. I didn’t land until almost 2 a.m. I managed to hook up with a guy from Oz and a girl who lived in Dublin. The three of us got a taxi into downtown Dublin. The girl had her own place and the guy from Oz was meeting friends downtown and going to crash with them. Me, I had no idea what I was doing. I went for a walk and came to a place called Abbey Hostel. My guide book said it was good so I went in. I was told they were full for the weekend but I could have a place for the rest of the night. Sure. So I went and bedded down for what was left of the night.

At 5 a.m. my whole bloody dorm room decided to get up and leave. Lights on, chatting, packing the whole bit. GRRRRRRRR!! I was getting really pissed. Between New York, my grandparents and this, someone was going to pay. I headed downstairs at 7:30 and found that some people had cancelled and I could move rooms and stay through the weekend and next week, but I could not move rooms till 2 p.m. No problemo!! I had some brekkie and a nap.

Running low on smokes I headed out to find a store. It was about 10:30 or so. Well, guess what! Yup, that’s right, Ireland declared Friday a National day or mourning and the whole damn city was shut down! No where to eat, drink, or smoke! GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! I found a nice guy at my hostel who was supplying us all with smokes for a while. Finally bars and pubs began to open about 7 p.m. Hooray.

The rest of my trip turned out much better. I went on a little bus tour of Dublin including, Dublin Castle (booooring), The Guinness Brewery (COOL!) and a bunch of churches and old buildings (VERY COOL!). Made good friends with my roomies. They are all very cool people and lots of shoutouts to you all! I had the pleasure of going out with 7 girls!!! Woohooo! And before you ask, yes I was the only guy (puffs out chest). Actually there was only one I was interested in. Her name is Sharon and she is from South Africa. Not only was she super hot but she was interesting to talk to and has a great outlook on life. We hit it off and we spent most of our time together going around dublin and visiting different art galleries and shopping areas of the city. Not to mention the pubs, bars, and clubs.

I also went out on a couple of day trips into the country. I would highly recommend Wild Coach Tours (01 2801899). They were great. I went on two tours with them and they were both fantastic. My first tour was to Malahide Castle. Cool place. I don’t know if I would call it a ‘real’ castle but it was impressive and had a lot of history behind it. The castle is about 800 years old and finished construction about 200 years ago. The house has just become publicly viewable. It was lived in by the Talbot Family until about 15 years ago. The trip was �15 and ran about 5-6 hrs. Good deal and a lot of fun. The drive is breathtaking and the little towns you go through are cute.

My second tour was to Powerscourt Gardens. Make sure you go on a sunny day. I was blessed by blue skies and sunshine. The house itself is still there but it was gutted by fire in the 80’s and the family doesn’t have the money to fix the damage. But that’s not why you go. The gardens are the impressive part of this trip. They are truly incredible (see if you can find the old tower hidden in the trees!). Again the trip was �15 and only took 5-6 hrs!

All in all I would sum Dublin up as a great place. It’s not too expensive and the people are wonderful. There is something to do for everyone who comes here. With 800 pubs and clubs in the city the night life is like nowhere on earth. The people in Dublin are young (about 40% are under 25) and very out going and nice.

If drinking isn’t your thing Dublin is also a city of immense history and vibrant architecture. Go there and enjoy yourself! (and have a pint of the black stiff for me! 😉

Next I don’t know… Supposedly Egypt, but let’s see what happens in the following days!

PS: If you have any questions about places I’ve been or am going feel free to e-mail me at complexfire@hotmail.com