A Travellerspoint blog

London Again

Brads Bday :-)

After spending a few days with our mate Katie, we jetted back down to London to spend my birthday with some friends, Adam and Jayne, who we met on our Sail Croatia trip.  

Jayne picked us up from the tube station and,  after dropping off our bags, we decided to get into the Olympic spirit and head to Hyde Park to watch the Olympics on the big screen. We didn't even realise when we decided on going back to London that the Olympics would be on! Rare... We really should start checking the World Events Calendar that we have bookmarked on our iPad... Meh.

Adam had been at work, being a Friday, so we met with him after work for 2 for 1 cocktails which went down a treat, and slide very well across the table, up into the air and then onto Jaynes head. We'd love to see Jayne TRY and do that on purpose and be that successful. Lolz! Clearly that was time to leave and continue the party at their place. 
On Saturday, I finally got my hair cut after 4 months. Adam and Jaynes place has a stack of people living there so it's pretty easy to get into party mode, so by the time I had pre-haircut vodkas and then haircut beers, I was rather tipsy! When we were ready to go out, Adam was already not feeling too well because he'd peeked too early. Rooky mistake. He made it into town for about 34 seconds, then then turned around and walked out to go home. Haha We first met up with Kate's school mate, Katt, who has developed quite the English accent after being there for 2.5 yrs with her boyfriend. We then had quite a funny night of nearlys... Lined up for Stanton Warriors (DJs) but the line wasn't moving so we moved on to a nearby pub. As we got settled there, they turned the lights on and started to close up! Then off to try Ministry Of Sound club and lined up there too, only to be told after a little while there was already too many people in there. We still had a fun night missioning it around Londontown.

Sunday, being hungover, we went for an early pub dinner up the road. Somehow this ended up in Adams red wine collection being demolished and yet another big night in! And Adam calling in to work sick... Oops...

We thought our flight to Greece on the Monday was in the morning but when we checked it, we'd actually booked it for 830pm! This meant that we weren't actually going to make it to Santoriniuntil after lunch on the Tuesday of my birthday. What long and painful trip.

Thanks to Adam and Jayne though for looking after us for a few days and a great birthday weekend!

-No photos allowed... Lol

Posted by KPad 09:51 Archived in England Comments (0)

Scotland

In a car again. At least it's on the right side of the road. If only the GPS maps were up to date..

We had two nights in Glasgow, and one full day so we jumped on the hop on-hop off bus to do a tour of Glasgow. Boooorrrriiinnnggg! They try to fit in so much stuff that there is no time for the tour guide to insert any humor, and it was a lot of "and the building on the right is where the (some other awesome building) used to stand". We stayed for the whole trip but were very disengaged, yawning, annoying each other to entertain ourselves, etc. 

The next day we grabbed our hire car and started to make our way to Isle of Skye, via Fort Williams where we had some lunch and Brad tried his first Fosters! The verdict on Fosters is, "pretty reasonable".... The drive to Isle of Skye was magical. Absolutely beautiful scenery and we were buzzing with excitement. It was raining and had low clouds but amongst the mountainous landscape, it looked mysterious and like something from a movie. 
Once we got to our destination, Portree, we went to the pub for a pint, chatted to an old local dude who had lived there for 50 years, and then had some dinner. The next day was going to be an exciting one! 

We woke up early to have brekkie, then hit the road to explore the Isle of Skye. We stopped and checked out the Old Man of Storr. It's a two hour trek up see it closer but the ground was really muddy and we only had our runners. We were slipping and sliding all over the shop so we decided to admire it from the road.

I was really excited about seeing Kilt Rock because a few years ago I saw a photo from when my sister-in-law, Toni, visited Scotland. I was in awe when I saw the pictures so it was a must see for me. On the way to Kilt Rock we had a few stops at cliffs overlooking the ocean. After a little umm-ing and arr-ing, we decided to make a trek down the hill to the bottom of one of the cliffs to see an old rock building, waterfall and a fly fisherman up close. It was worth the walk! After the mission back up the hill, not so easy in jeans, we moved on to Kilk Rock and it was just as beautiful as Toni's pictures. Kilt Rock is where a waterfall mets the ocean, falling off a steep cliff face. So happy that I got to see it :o)
We decided to drive to the other side of the island, and return home through the centre. The drive was a little windy road through the mountains and I couldn't help but stop and take too many photos of the sheep chillin' on the side of the road. They're so cute! Brad wasn't too sure about one sheep that looked a little unimpressed with us being so close... 

The next day we jumped in the car and began our journey to Inverness, a place where my mums family come from. Via Lochness.... Meh. Inverness is a lovely little town (sorry, city). We missed out on the walking tour so we just tooled around taking pictures and then retired in the pub for a pint and some dinner. Heading to the forest tomorrow to stay in a wood cabin! Woohoo!

Well the wood cabin didn't disappoint! It was very secluded and had a large common area with big comfy lounges, bar and dining room. We arrived at about 2pm, sat down on the lounges with some drinks and didn't move for about 8 hours... We blame the weather. The rain was on, off, on, off. Plus we had lots of blogs to catch up on, and also travel plans to make. We only had one night at the wood cabin and it was certainly a relaxing one.

The next day we made our way to St Andrews, the home of golf! Wow what a beautiful, picturesque place! We went to the Old Course and had a game of putt putt, which Brrraaaaddddd won. It will be the only game that he has and will ever win of putt putt, just sayin'. Hehe  It was really cool though and super cheap at £2! Then we went for a walk into town to grab some lunch before going to check out Donald's favorite golf store, picking up some golf souvenirs, walked around St Andrews Cathedral that used to stand on the seaside, and the grave yard that surrounds it. Not a bad place to be buried! It was really beautiful, in a weird graveyard by the sea kinda way. After this we went to find our guest house and were pleasantly surprised at the amazing place that we'd have the pleasure of staying. Reminded me so much of my mums style of decorating and had a bed that was like a cloud! Ahhhh it was sooooo goooodd! We went to the pub for dinner but found the service and atmosphere terrible so we bailed home to make the most of the cloud bed. In the morning, we got up early to go to Edinburgh to pick up Katie for a day trip to Stirling which is just above Edinburgh. We had a few troubles getting into Edinburgh because our GPS wasn't very up to date and took us on the Edinburgh City by-pass, instead of into the city. Needless to say, we were an hour late. By the time we picked up Katie and drove around in circles due to road closures for the fringe festival (should have checked the events calendar...), we saw plenty of Edinburgh City and eventually got to Stirling! Again, the GPS didn't do a very good job of navigating us to the William Wallace monument, and we didn't help by chatting away and not paying attention to the signs, we drove around the base of the hill for about half hour before actually getting to the top. It was well worth it in the end because the view from the top was awesome! William Wallace is the guy that Mel Gibson played in Braveheart. Another movie to add to the list of the many movies that I 'should' have seen by now. 

When we got back to the hostel, we all got ready to go out! Katie works at a hostel so we cruised over there to hang out with her co-workers/mates, before hitting the town for an unofficial pub crawl. The next day we went on the free walking tour which was really interesting but went for 3.5 hours which was a bit lengthy in the state that I was in after our big night.... In the evening, we went to see Axis of Awesome who are an Australian comedy act, and we got to meet them after! Before the show, we were sent on a wild goose chase up and down the street, from one door, back to another door, back to the original door, and we did this about three times becore we all chucked the shits. Katie ended up asked a lady who looked like she knew where she was going. A few of us recognized this lady but couldn't quite out our finger on where we knew her... Until one of the Aussie guys from the hostel asked her 'are you that chick that is in those things...?' and she replied, 'yes, I'm an Australian actress and you may recognize me from All Saints and Winners and Losers'.  Well that was slightly awkward but we all had a good laugh and she was really cool. We chatted to her after the show and she went to uni with the Axes of Awesome guys so that's how we got to meet them. We still had to google her name after she left, even when she introduced herself to us... Her name is Virginia Gay...so there you go! Haha 

Scotland is by far one of the most beautiful places that we've ever been to and would definitely recommend that everyone visit someday. And we loved catching up with Katie in the wonderful city of Edinburgh. Which we hope to go back to someday because we didn't get to see everything...we didn't know there was so much to see!

Isle of Skye Pics

Inverness Pics

Log Cabin Pics

St Andrews Pics

Edinburgh Pics

Posted by KPad 09:40 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Driving Ireland

Galway, Cork, Kilkenny


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Now that we have our wheels, first stop is Newgrange. Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community. Archaeologists classify Newgrange as an Ancient Temple; a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship. At dawn, from December 19th to 23rd, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber, gradually extending to the rear of the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. This event lasts for 17 minutes. The intent of its builders was to mark the beginning of the new year.

Next stop, Blarney Castle. This was our favorite castle and has beautiful gardens and walking tracks which we didn't realize until after we paid the €12 each to get in, 45 mins before closing time. This is not enough time and we were pretty disappointed that we didn't get to walk around the beautiful gardens. 

We stayed the night in Galway. Galway is on the west coast and is the place where the term 'Lynching' comes from. We were excited to learn more, with Kate being a Lynch and all! We learnt about the 'Legend of Mayor Lynch' and how he convicted his own son of murder and sentenced him to death by hanging. On the day of the public hanging, the Mayor was unable to escort his son through the large crowds so returned home to hang his son out of their own window! Hence the term 'Lynching'. http://legendquest.ie/mayor_lynch.html
After our Lynch history lesson, we checked out the Spanish Arches, went for a walk out along a long road into the bay, then went for a drive along the coast, and went to the pub for a pint! 

The next morning we hit the road to Cork. The drive down the west coast of Ireland is beautiful. Lots of lovely luscious green grass and farming land. Not a lot of places to pull over and take pictures though which was annoying. We stopped at the Cliffs of Moher which are stunning. Apparently. It was raining and a big cloud popped itself right on the cliffs edge so we couldn't even see the cliffs edge. This was disappointing, especially because you still pay the €6 each before you get to the cliffs and realize that you can't see a thing! They should tell people that before they pay. We jumped back in the car and continued driving to Cork, via Limerick for lunch.  It was about 8pm by the time we got to Cork so we just dumped our bags and headed out to hit the town! Shame there was nothing going on... 

The next morning was my (Kate's) birthday! We got in a really quick Skype with mum and Donald before realizing that is was check out time and we were still in bed! We hurried to pack up our stuff and get out of there and begin our journey to Kilkenny, via Cahir Castle and Rock of Cashel. 

We checked out Kilkenny Castle from the outside... I was particularly impressed with the backyard. Perfect for a game of backyard cricket. Brad had surprised me with the accommodation with a castle view! It was a lovely place and after we did a little detoxing in the sauna and jacuzzi, we went to a Spanish restaurant for tapas and champagne. The food was really lovely, except my last dish of goats cheese and red peppers, which gave me food poisoning and I was throwing it up the next morning....and at the airport. We had to drive from Kilkenny to Dublin to fly to Glasgow and it was not fun at all. When we got to Glasgow, I jumped into bed fully clothed and slept for four hours, went and had dinner, then slept through till 10am the next day. Woke up feeling a lot better.

1st Day & Galway Pics

2nd Day & Cork Pics

3rd Day & Kilkenny Pics (Kate's Bday!)

Posted by KPad 06:43 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Dublin

Ireland


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Jacket in summer, this isn't right! After being without rain the last two months and temps around 35°, 18° is pretty cold. We had a dorm room here again, and we're pretty sick of them now. So many people are very inconsiderate! We weren't feeling the best, trying to re-adjust still after EXIT Fest. The highlight in Dublin was the free walking tour. Our guide was really funny and it was interesting to hear about their struggles over the last 1000 years or so, particularly with the Brittish. We had some traditional Irish meals and a few pints but we didn't have much left in the tank. 

The next day, we retraced a lot of the tour and also visited St Patricks Cathederal - mostly because someone forgot to put the SD card back in the camera.... *coughbrad*
We cruised around the Temple Bar which is an awesome street with bar after bar after bar! Good for getting drunk in, or sitting and doing some quality drunk people watching. We had a few drinks but were wary of the prices. No more €1 beers or €3 cocktails like in Eastern Europe :o(

From here we planned a few days navigating around the countryside via car. We went to pick up the car and after watching about 50 people come and go from the car rental place after our arrival, we finally got our car and were on our way! 

Photos

Posted by KPad 06:40 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Budapest - Take two

Hungary


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The bus ride from Novi Sad to Budapest wasn't too bad, but was longer than expected because it took almost 2 hours at the border. They were searching some buses for large quantities of cigarettes (very cheap in Serbia) and running the drug dogs over all the bags.
Mark, Kate and I made it to our hostel and were in need of some healthy food and a good rest. This particular hostel wasn't the one for us in this time of need... It was a party hostel which was a mess and the people running the place were more concerned with drinking then actually being helpful at all. Plus we were in a 14 bed dorm. Through the night, Kate was woken by a dude because she was apparently in his bed. All the beds are allocated so when we arrived, the hostel guy takes you to your bed. Kate explained this but he insisted this was his bed for the last two nights. The hostel guy was less than helpful in trying to resolve the issue (too busy tuning some chich outside), and instead of telling Kate which one was actually her bed, said 'don't worry about it, just go back to bed!' Yep, go back to bed in the bed that some dude has been sleeping in for the last two days. Awesome. Turns out the guy had actually been in the wrong bed for those nights. What a dick. As you can imagine, Kate loves her sleep and she was ropable. We will be BAD reviewing Carpe Noctem Vitae hostel...when we have nothing better to do. Haha

We spent the day relaxing in the thermal healing baths which was nice, and after another shitty nights sleep, we were off to Ireland. Had to say goodbye to our buddy Mark in Budapest which was very sad. Especially seeing him walk off down the street with his backpack. He was only going to the laundry-mat, but it added a little extra drama. Haha. Back to the two of us again first time in over three weeks. We've all established that going to the pub just isn't the same. 

No more photos here, couldn't be fucked...

Posted by KPad 06:36 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

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