Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
went up the tower
rain storm on way to dinner
watched Germany beat Turkey
rain in am
went to castle
road the tram
to a movie
bought some fruit.
watched part 2 of the first lord of the ring movie
major long hike sraight uphill(im not over exaggerating)
went to bridge to look at castle
went to castle - it was insperation for walt Disney cinderella castle
went back to train
met people on train
went for dinner with people from train.
now its late and time for bed.
We are off to amsterdam for 4 days- then to paris on friday. This is vaction for us and i might not get to the blog much!
i will fill this one up later!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I will update my last blog after this one is posted.
We have not done that much in the last few days when I think about it. On Saturday we left London and got on a train. We had to take 3 different trains to get to Munich. That means 2 transfers. When we booked the tickets, we didnt realize that we had 20 minutes to catch the one and only 10 to catch the other. And of course the train was delayed a bit so we had only 12 minutes to catch the first one.
We made both of them just in time. We arrived in Munich and basically had supper and watched some tv and went to bed. (oh- its all German except CNN- yay)
On Sunday we took a walk into the city center. The whole city isnt that big! We saw the Munich Glockenspiel. Its a big coo coo clock tower that has moving figures. We then wandered over to the HUGE park on the other side of town. There is a river that runs through it and where it enters the park it creates these waves that surfers ride. It was pretty cool to see. They would stand on each side of the fiver (20 feet across?) and take turns riding this wave. (I will be posting pictures but not sure when as the internet is a bit shaky here) we continued walking along the river watching people propel by. The river runs fast and shallow (3 feet?) and there are signs for no swimming but that doesnt stop people from hopping in and being washed away down stream.
We walked for a while and then heard music. We followed the music and ended up at the Chinese Tower Beer Garden. We found a map of the park and we were only 1/2 way through it. I mean this park is huge! after hanging out here and having a coke and ice cream we took a bike taxi back to the main part of town. For supper we had a Donner kelbab. Its like a thick pita filled with meat and lettuce and tomatoe and sauce and whatever other topping you like. For those who may know- its like a Shawarma. It was very good. The people there only knew a few words of English but it said on a sign that it was Halal, which is a certain quality of food required by Arabs. So we figured that it had to be ok. It was really good! We came home and watched Braveheart on Dave's Laptop
On Monday, Dave headed off to work and it was my job to figure out where and how to do the laundry. I asked the guy at the front desk and he told me of a place that he biked by each day. So I walked that way- man oh man does laundry get heavy! There was a sign in English of how to work the machine but not of where to get the soap or token or anything else. The lady working there did not speak English at all. There was a guy doing his own laundry and must have seen how lost I looked. He started helping my by pointing to things. I gave him my money and he put it in the machine and got the soap and tokens and helped me start the machines. When my laundry was done he was gone but another man was there and he spoke some English. This was good. He showed me how to use the spinners and then the dryers. I'm very thankful for strangers help!
I came home and vegged in my room. After lunch(3:30?) I went out for a bit and was caught in a rainstorm. I waited it out by going to the grocery store and getting a few things. It maybe lasted 20 minutes at the most but everything was soaked!! Mind you it was dry again by 6.
Dave and I went for supper and came home and watched part one or the first Lord of the Rings. Thats how bored I was of CNN.
It is very Hot again. It was hard going from 18C weather (maybe 20C) to 25C +. Today its supposed to be 29C- blah! I have decided that I like a bit cooler weather. Mind you the heat doesnt feel as bad today as we are getting used to it. And I havent left the hotel yet.
I woke up this morning feeling nauseous like i had indigestion. I came down for breakfast with Dave (who now has my cold full fledged and Im over it) and I couldnt eat a bite, well i forced 2 down of toast with jam. I came back to the room and almost fell asleep on a chair so I went to bed and just got up at 2:30. Im sure I could have slept more (as I had fallen back asleep many time this morning) but I made myself get up!
**disclaimer** mom said this sounds like i was pregnant- im not, but i didnt want to post that I went to the toilet twice and felt better :P, but because of that I now did post it :P
I am now in the lobby where its a bit cooler and the internet is a bit stronger.
Tonight we are having supper with Dave's coworkers. So I dont have to leave til 6:20 and its 4 now
have a good day- and dont forget to read the last blog again as I will be updating it.
Friday, June 20, 2008
We have done a lot over the last few days.
Here is a brief recap of what we have done.
London Muesum- we saw a lot of cool things and had a couple tours of different collections. We didnt know what we wanted to do afterwards so we headed down to the theater district to see what kind of deals we could get.
Spamalot- apparently it was a deal for Spamalot but it was the same price at home with exchange rate. for 2 tickets it was $150 CAN. Oh well- we went for it! It was soo much fun. It was a Monty Python play based on the Holy Grail. It also incorporated a few of the skits that were done as well. It was great! Dave thinks it was his fist musical that he saw live. We even had good seats- near the middle of the first section- about 30 rows up. Dave didnt want to see it when it was in Toronto, didnt want to see how badly the ripped off the movie but being in London (it was a British TV series and movies) he thought that we could try it. He had a great time and since it was directed by one of the Pythons it was very close to the movie.
Temple church- We went looking for the Temple Church that was in the DaVinci Code. We knew where to start since it was pointed out to us on our pub tour. We found it but it wasnt open to the public until later that day, so we were unable to go in. But we found it.
St. Pauls - From there we went to the Cathedral Church of London. We took a guided tour of it and learned its history. It was built after the great fire of London in 1666. St. Pauls then survived WW11 by a team of volunteers who put out fires on to roof of it during fire bombings. It was the center of town and peoples lives and loosing it would have people loose heart, which Hitler knew and specifically targeted. After the tour we climbed up and up and up! it was 150ish steps up to the whispering gallery. Its acoustics are such that when you whisper something to the wall it travels around the room to the other side. then another 200 some steps up to the outdoor lookout. That was in a very small spiral staircase with a seat to rest only every so often. but the staircase going back down to the whispering gallery was a bit smaller and had wooden steps. This made it harder for me. Going back down from whispering gallery played tricks with Daves eyes and gave him a bit of vertigo .
Tower of London- From St. Pauls we headed over to the Tower of London. This was a cool place and we were just on time for a guided tour. We learned that its still a palace and that the king or queen can still go live there if they wish. The tour guides live there and pay rent. They are essentially the queens body guards. In order to get that job you have to be in the military for at least 22 years and have at least one medal and one other type of recognition. The tower has a long history of buildings and such. I recommend going and taking one of the tours.
swimming- We came home and went for a swim.
Science Museum- We spent a good part of the day here. It blows Toronto's science museum out of the water! They had soo many hands on things that we spent most of our time playing!
Holy Trinity Church- Near by there was the Holy trinity Church. Some of you might recognize it if i say the head minister is Nicky Gumble. We had to go and see since we were that close. We were going to go in but there was a wedding reception happening in the gardens so we didnt go in.
dinner with a Googler- We had supper at a fish and chips place with one of Daves coworkers. It was yummy!
there- thats finally updated!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I will now give you a (hopefully) brief account of what has been happening.
Saturday we went to Merrion Square in Dublin for the World Street Performers World Championship.
It was a good day. Lots of laughs. We saw a juggler, world record breaking sword swallower, gymnastics team, a sarcastic Canadian escape artist, and a person who could balance things like a tea pot on a stick in his mouth. We went home to relax and pack.
Picture this. Dublin. Sunshine through the mist over the ocean. Can you see it? Me neither. I'm not there either. We left on a ferry on Sunday. It left from the docks in Dublin and took just over 2 hours to arrive in Hollyhead in Wales. From there we took a train right into London. we were surprised that no one checked out tickets on the train ride at all.
We found where our hotel/apartment and headed out for dinner then home to sleep.
Since we didn't get much or quality sleep we went on a hop on hop off bus tour of the city. The bus tour also involved a river cruise and walking tours. We did take advantage of that. We got off the bus and hopped on the river cruise and had a nice 30 min ride up the Thames. We got back on the bus and continued for the rest of the tour. It was getting a bit chilly at this point so we quickly went home to get our sweaters and put on jeans. Then we went back to the tour and joined a walking tour. It was a ghosts and gaslights pub tour. Our guide decided that since we were starting at 6 and the sun doesnt go down til 930 that we would skip the ghosts and go strait to the pub tour. It was pretty good. If we had realized that it was a pub crawl we probably never would have went. We ended up visiting 9 different pubs! Our tour guide was awesome and funny! He had at least one pint at each pub. We ended up with him until after 12 midnight! He said it was the longest pub crawl that he had been on. We didn't drink at everyone but it was fun!
Tuesday morning we joined up on a Changing of the Guard tour. We had the same guide. It turns out that he was at the pub til 1am. We were not in the big crowd trying to see the changing of the guard. We saw the inspection of the new guard and band and them heading out to the place. Then we rushed over to the other side of the park to where the old guard were off to Buckingham Palace. Thats when the tour ended. We didnt see the pomp and circumstance of the switching of the guards or whatever. But Dave and I stuck around when everyone one else from the tour left so we got to see the band and old guard return to their place. We headed up to the palace when everyone cleared out a bit. This is when we saw the men in the boxes being changed places with.
From the we went to the Canada Gate. It was built in 1906? or something. It was made with the coat of arms for each province up to that time. The provinces that were added later coat of arms were added on the pillars. After this we walked up the Mall (pronounced Mal) which is a park, to Trafalgar Square. We had lunch along Charring Cross Road. You might remember this from a song from Spirit of the West called "Home for a rest"
you'll have to excuse me, i'm not at my best
i've been gone for a month
i've been drunk since i left
there so-called vacations
will soon be my death
i'm so sick from teh drink
i need home for a rest
we arrived in december and london was cold
so we stayed in thebars
along charing cross road
we never saw nothin' but brass taps and oak
kept a shine on the bar
with the sleeves of our coats
I copied and pasted it and I dont feel like going back and putting the
capitals in. SO there!
After lunch we were off to Westminster Abby. It was Beautiful! We were
not allowed to to take pictures, but i did get a couple in before they told us.
It was a bit weird seeing all those tombs and monuments that are in there!
soo busy. Who wants to be buried in a church?
Theres people buried on top of people. Its a great place to go.
I recommend getting there earlier in the day as there is a lot to see
and if you go after 3(like us) they give you a shortened audio tour so
you only see the main parts.
After that we were tired and sat in a park for a while and walked
along the river home again.
We even ordered in pizza because we didnt feel like going out.
After pizza and some tv we went down to the swimming pool
that was nice a relaxing!
Ok- so that wasnt that brief of a post but oh well.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Today Dave and I went and got a Eurorail pass for when we are on mainland Europe. It will let us travel on trains for 10 days over a 2 month period. This works out perfect for us!
from there Dave went to work and I headed back to the Art Gallery. I saw the rest of the gallery. It wasnt as fun as the other day. I finished up within a couple hours.
I went across the road to Merrion park. This is where we will be on Sat. There is a statue there of Oscar Wilde.
who is he?
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories. Known for his barbed wit, he was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day.
He was born in 1854 in Dublin and later studied at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. After his love Florence Balcombe became engaged to Bram Stoker, Wilde left Ireland and spent the next few years in London, Paris, and the United States. He married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and the couple had two sons. As the result of a widely covered trial, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years of hard labour after being convicted of the offence of "gross indecency."
There you go!
His statue is not coloured. It is apparently made from many types of material that makes it look like it.
It was a really nice park.
From there I thought I might as well check out the U2 wall. I had seen it from my viking tour. This was nearby and worth a gander.
I was walking along and couldnt find it. Someone wanted to know if I knew where a cafe was and then proceeded to ask if I was from Canada. Turns out so was she! From Owen Sound but came to Ireland 10 years ago for a year and just never went back. we figured out where I had to go and she was off to an interview.
I found the U2 wall and it was just a wall with graffiti on it about U2 and how great they were.
Some people were there to wait to catch a glimpse of them. One guy said he would be there til 11 pm tonight! crazy what some people do!
I came home after that and thats about that. I am now uploading pictures.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
June 21 we are off to Munich, Germany for work.
June 29 to Amsterdam, the Netherlands for vacation
July 4 to Paris, France for vacation
July 7 to Belgium for work. Im not sure the town- but its near Mons..
We will be getting a train pass to go to each of the countries for a lesser price.
hope that keeps you up a bit!
I went to the National Gallery of Ireland.
They were having a special exhibit of Impressionist Interiors. I have attached the description at the bottom.
I know some of you don't like art galleries but i had a good time. I spent almost 2 hours in that one exhibit. I then ate lunch and wandered around another floor. I only got one floor in when it was 430 and I was ready to go back home. I hope to get the other floor and a half done before I leave. But if I don't im not worried about it.
Last night we had the same guy as Friday pop in again. He left today to go back home to Holland. We went out last night to the bar down the courtyard. They had live music. We were hoping for Irish music but it was some guys from the US. It was good anyways. Another night we will go in search of Irish Music. In Temple Bar area they have a lot of pubs advertising live Irish Music.
This exhibition highlights the intimate observations of the Impressionists and their circle. It features 46 wonderful paintings and drawings by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt, Gauguin, Vuillard and Morisot, many of which have been brought together from important collections in Europe and the United States of America. As well as displaying key works from the 1870s and 1880s, this exhibition will show how artists such as Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard carried on the Impressionist legacy of 'intimisme' into the twentieth century.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
This was a great day!
We started off by waking up really early though. We had to be at the Train station for 6:40am. We left the apartment at 6 for the 20 minute walk. We had brought sandwiches with us for breakfast which we ate while we waited. The train left at 7am. We took the train to Limerick Junction and transfered to another train which took us to Limerick for 9:15.
At that stop we boarded a bus which we stayed on for the rest of the day. Our first stop was Bunratty Castle. It was completed in 1425 and is now restored to its former glory. Everything in the castle was over 500 years old (some furnishings from other parts of the world though). It was neat to see how steep the stairs were and how high ceilings were. We learned where the phrase "turn the tables on you" came from. They had a long table which one side was smooth and the other was rougher. If you were not as welcome or they didnt like you at all they turned the tables. You knew then what they thought of you. Theres a whole village set up there as well with a blacksmith and others.
We took a lunch stop at O'Connor's Pub in Doolin. they were almost faster then McDonald's. We found a table, went to the bar, ordered, sat back down and 3 minutes later our food was delivered. Isn't that crazy?
From there we went to the Cliffs of Moher. These are really really tall! Aparently they are among the highest sea cliffs in Western Europe. And I guess a lot of people have fallen off these cliffs including a mother and 2 year old son (suicide) last month. There are a lot of the type of signs around with "call this number if you need to talk."
On the way to Galway we stopped along the burren. This was pretty cool as well as a bit boring. It means "rocky place" and that exactly what it is. A lot of limestone. No grass or anything. Well there were some flowers. In the outline of the day they included this quote from 1649 by one of Oliver Cromwells men: "No tree to hang a man, no water deep enough to drown him and no soil deep enough to bury him." I have some photos that I will upload.
An hour later we were in Galway with 40 minutes til our train. We sat in a nearby park until it started to rain and we were ready to start lining up for the train. We arrived home at just before 9pm. We came home and went to bed.
We slept in. That was nice :) I like sleeping.
When we got up we headed over to the Charles Beaty Library. We first stopped at a fish and chip place. It was good but nothing too exceptional, very greasy.
At the library they had some really old documents from Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.
Since I wasn't feeling too well from the grease we didnt stay too long. We did look at all the documents from Christianity. They have what was known to be the oldest documents from the letters of the apostles until the Dead Sea Scrolls where found. There was a lot of cool things like that there. They also had a really old Qur'an and thats about how far we got.
We then got some groceries and then came home.
Dave went off to work after I made him bacon and eggs. I stayed home and did laundry.
We went for supper at a place called Odessa. It was a nice restaurant. They had really really good food. I recommend it if anyone gets out here.
Friday, June 6, 2008
On Thursday I booked our passage from Ireland to London. We will be taking a ferry and a train to get there. It will be an all day trip- but thats ok. We will be staying in a corporate apartment. It was a sunny day so I enjoyed the walk to the travel agent.
On the way back I found a Christian book store. It was kinda small with a limited novel section. They had a lot of gift type things and biographies. I did end up buying a book though. Then I came upon a mall (Jervis shopping center) that I had seen but not went into. Since I had to use the facilities I ventured forth. I was successful in finding the bathroom and they didnt charge!
I took a short gander around and decided I should come back. On the way out I spied a book store and right in the door way beckoned a 50% off this book sign. I had to investigate. I read the first few pages and decided it was worth a read. It ended up being E5. not bad!
Dave and I had decided that we would go out for supper that night. We went to The Blue Goose. It was pretty good food. They served A LOT! good eats.
That brings us to today. Friday. Dave told me this morning that he would be home early. Since I'm usually home I didnt worry about it. I stayed in my PJs reading and chatting online when I decided that I better do something. I took a walk down to the mall again. This time my mission was to procure a sketch pad and pencils. I also printed a couple pictures from my camera that I thought would be interesting to try to sketch. I came home, read some more and waited til Dave came home. We went and got a couple groceries and made supper- it was yummy if i do say so (and dave said so too) rice, pork chops, squash and garlic bread! sounds like a weird combo- and it was. But yummy anyways.
I uploaded some new pics- check them out!
We had someone open the door tonight. Turns out that hes here for just one night because he was too late to get to where he had to go. Barely noticed him since he got here. Now hes gone to town and will be leaving in the morning. oh well.
well- we have to get up early to go on the train ride. We are leaving the house at 6 am. So I better get some sleep.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I did some laundry and groceries. Dave and I went out for supper and come home to see that the tv was working again. But since we bought a couple DVDs we watched one of them. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. We will leave the movies here since we wont be able to play them at home.
Yesterday was a good day.
I headed out to the Museum of Archeology and spent the day there.
When i was 5 minutes from there it started to spit and when i reached it it started to rain. I ate lunch in the cafe there.
At the museum they had some bodies that were found in the bogs. They were quite well preserved. The one was only a torso and arms. The hands on it looked like they were still alive, just blackened. It was kinda creepy though.
It was still raining when I left so I went over to the mall to see if i could find a sewing kit and a new poof (mine broke in the shower that am). Do you think I could find anywhere that had a sewing kit? no one even knew where to tell me to look. I finally found some thread at the grocery store near the apartment. I had a small kit with me but Dave and I both had buttons fall off here and I wasnt sure that I had enough thread.
Last night we said good bye to our room mate. He's off on vacation for just about 2 weeks. He will be back at the apartment during the week that we leave. (so ryan - we are asking him to fwd it)
Today I have vacation planning stuff today for the next few weeks.
Monday, June 2, 2008
we left for the zoo after lunch and spent the day there.
It was a very enjoyable day.
Since I figure you have all been to a zoo i will leave out most of the details. There were animals and expensive food. You can see some as soon as i upload the pics :)
One thing that we didnt expect to see there was a Tim Hortons.
Im not kidding.
It was really there. Brand name.
We had to buy a donut, and man it was expensive. E1.95 which is $3.50 Canadian!
But oh soo good.
There was a guy there who said that we must be Canadians since we were taking pictures of the place. Apparently it is not uncommon for us Canadians to act silly in this way. He told us that a lot of Canadians are surprised to see it. They were selling donuts for a while but just recently added the coffee.
He also said that there was a few convenance type stores that sell the coffee and he thinks theres a shop near the airport not in though.
so that was our highlight of the day.
our lowlight was the TV service went on the blink and we couldnt get channels so we are reading and Im typing.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Apparently there used to be a horse market in Smithfield courtyard which was removed a few years ago. They removed all the guck from years of hoses by hand washing the bricks:
Smithfield Market was laid out in the mid 17th century as a marketplace. Until recently the square was lined with inner city 'farm yards' housing livestock. In 1964 Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor spent time here, as Burton worked on the film set in Smithfield for the film adaptation of John le Carre's novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Recently, Smithfield has been rejuvenated under the HARP (Historic Area Rejuvenation Plan). The restoration involved lifting more than 400,000 one hundred and twenty-year-old cobblestones, cleaning them by hand and re-laying them. Contemporary architecture and twelve 26 metre gas lighting masts, each with a 2 metre flame, now flank the square. The smell of horses can still be experienced at Smithfield at the Horse Market (every first Sunday the month) and the sight and sounds on these Sundays give an impression of what Smithfield once was. The city council is in the process of trying to move the horse market out of the area, with some newer residents especially uncomfortable with its atmosphere. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithfield,_Dublin
After we checked out the horses we headed down to the Maritime Festival down at the River Liffely where we saw the famine memorial.
We were checking out a pamphlet for the sea safari when the guy came up to us and said one was leaving in 5 minutes. We made an impulse decision and decided to go on it. it was A LOT of fun!
we went on a zodiac out to the sea. The water was calm though so we didnt get to wet or bounce too much. It was an hour and a bit ride. It was nice to see the "emerald isle" from out there. You can see how it got its name.
From the tour we continued to look at the rest of the festival. It was a lot of booths to sell things, tall ships and buskers. We stopped to see some of them. The best was the traveling electric guitar players. They walk with these special u shaped things on the speakers on wheels while playing. Its a lot of fun to see. If I can I will upload the video. If not you can see the pics soon.
From the festival we came home to grab our books and headed out to the major park. We spent the rest of the afternoon there. Now Im home (now its 630) and wondering if I should start supper because Daves napping in the chair. hummm
new pics are up. Same link as before
We went on a bus tour called the Celtic experience. It was a small bus- more of a big van. It seated 14 people but there were only 6 of us.
We saw burial grounds, old ruins of abby's and castles, and had a great lunch. Dave or I will need to write more about this. Im too tired right now to think about it.
im going to make a new post about today. easier to remember :P