Categories
Europe

Fourteen!

Another country to add to my list of visited countries 😀 Northern Ireland as in part of U.K., I still don’t know if Northern Ireland is considered as a country or part of one (U.K.).

My trip started in Cork, obviously, and my first stop was Dublin where I met a friend of mine that’s living and working there and some friends of him. First night, Friday night, party night! Again, obviously! I am getting old, but not dead 😀 The night can be simply resumed as a blast! Expensive like hell, but this is Ireland after all…

Someone said that the world is smaller than you think, and it is! What’s the odds of going to Dublin, going to a disco in Dublin and finding some friends from Galway at that exact disco??? Or the disco is the only one in Dublin (I really hope not), or this was a huge coincidence!

Next day, Saturday internationally known as the hangover day (some might get drunk the whole weekend and use the Sunday as hangover day, that wasn’t the case with me…, this time…), we had to wake up at 9am, and after a thousand snoozes I managed to move my ass out of the bed! Breakfast, rent-a-car and get into the road!

We went directly to Belfast without stopping there, while on the road we made our plans, or draft-plans, and we decided to visit the Giant’s Causeway and the Rope Bridge and before passing in Belfast we thought about doing the Coastal Route…, and we got lost trying to cross Belfast…, seriously, the traffic signage is awful! Well, just with that we lost around an hour…, so change of plans again! Directly to the Rope Bridge before it closes!

Guess what…, I was the co-pilot…, and we arrived successfully at the Giant’s Causeway…, oh wait…, the first stop was supposed to be the Rope Bridge :X

Regarding the Giant’s Causeway, it was one of the most fantastic things I have ever seen made by Nature! Something unbelievable! And since I am a lucky bastard, of course the weather was perfect!

We spent sometime there and then we headed to the Rope Bridge, it was on the way anyway, so my mistake wasn’t that big…, and about this…, the Rope Bridge is really great, the landscape is breath-taking and blablabla…, but unfortunately the price is quite high for “just a bridge”. We paid, and I don’t regret at all! I would go there again, and I would pay for it again! But still, quite expensive…

Then the Coastal Route until Belfast, where we spent the night on a hostel which the receptionist is Portuguese! Seriously, again?? What’s the odds of that??? Again, we got lost in Belfast…, that city suffers with a huge lack of information… As good “tugas”, we asked for directions to a guy that was on the industrial area (yeah, we got that lost) and the guy was precise as a compass! Every single detail leaded us to the hostel without a mistake! I think I never got so precise information until now and I am not kidding at all! The hostel, quite nice! 5 beds room to 4 guys! Private and cheap! 😀

Sunday, tight schedule because the last bus from Dublin to Cork is at 6pm…, but we had time for some sightseeing in Belfast and for the worth-to-do black taxi trip (do some googling, there is no direct link to a “good” link with that information) where we saw and heard by a 60-70 years old taxi driver about “The Troubles“, quite disturbing to hear such stories how religion can be such a bitch! I truly recommend everyone to try this tour, better if the local is old enough to tell you about “the troubles” and make you feel that he was part of it, though he never said it directly nor we asked (of course).

Then the returning to Dublin, and mine to Cork…, a long long trip!

One question that you might ask is how hard is driving in the “wrong side of the street”…, well, I still don’t know (yet) in first hand, but what I can say is that I laugh a lot! The obvious complications are the gears and changing directions, roundabouts don’t seem that hard, it’s just following the stream and you’ll get there…, but the best part, the one I would never think about, is the safety belt! I would never guess that the driver would try to pull the safety belt from his left side…, while the belt is on the right one 😛 He said that’s just a reaction, you have the gear in front of you, so the belt must be on your left! 😀

Well, next stop might be my 15th country 🙂 Still counting 🙂

Categories
Europe

Hiking Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain

Oh gosh, I don’t know how I have strengths to write this today…, but I have to! Today makes exactly one month since I arrived in Cork, so what’s the best way to celebrate it? Hiking the island’s highest mountain! Carrauntoohil!

Categories
Europe

Visiting the Blarney Castle and Gardens in Cork

Another Sunday, another sunny surprise! What an amazing day, I wasn’t imagining to have such a great day and enjoying it so much! The Blarney Castle and Gardens definitely worth the visit if you are in Cork!

Categories
Europe

Cobh – The Cove of Cork

My first stop, quite short though, but it was a nice unexpected sunny day! Who would’ve guess? Not me, definitely!

Talking about the Cobh I visited, not the Cobh I should have read before going there…, it is a very cosy town with very characteristic houses. I can’t upload my photos, for now, due the limitations of the internet providers…, but I think you can trust on me 🙂 It remembered me some fishing villages and towns in Portugal, the area nearby the beach. Houses quite alike to each others, all together just with a different color what makes a rainbow of little houses, a nice place to walk on a sunny day 🙂

As almost everyplace in Ireland, churches…, the main “church”, the Cobh Cathedral is something worth to see, on my opinion it looks better from outside. Inside isn’t nothing that special, at least for me that I am used to the great ornamented churches and cathedrals in central Europe, but still, if you pass by you should get inside anyway!

Another curiosity about Cobh, and this was one of the nice surprises for me (because I didn’t read before going there…), is that Cobh is the homeland of the first emigrant to the USA to pass through the Ellis Island facility, Annie Moore. I knew that a lot of irish people traveled to the USA looking for a better life, but I wouldn’t guess that I’d visit the homeland of the first one passing through Ellis Island. It was nice to know, and I believe they are really proud of that!

And at least, another curiosity about Cobh and the Cork Harbor, Titanic was there! The bay is really huge and they have a landmark saying that that was the port where the passengers used to get to the Titanic, which of course couldn’t dock close to the town. They also have a sign telling that from there you can see the place where Titanic docked, so you only need to let your imagination flow and you might be able to “see” Titanic 🙂

Next stop and next blog post: Blarney Castle!

Categories
Reviews

2010 review and 2011 goals

In the beginning of this year I wrote a summary of what happened to me in 2009, a great year indeed preceded by a better year, 2008! Well, unfortunately I can’t say the same regarding this year and the name of this blog might give you that same idea.

I started this year with a goal, visiting castles in Portugal and writing a guide how to reach them using only public transportation…, well, I didn’t do it, just visited (again) Óbidos and nothing else, neither the Castelo de São Jorge which is 3 or 4 kms away from my current house…

Last year, when I returned to Portugal, I had the goal of going abroad again this time for a longer period…, that was the main reason why I accepted this job, I naively thought that being on a multinational company I would get a better chance, maybe in a couple of years I’ll harvest the result of this bet, but so far I see no vantage of this. We are now in December, and I am still in Portugal however not unhappy as you might expect, I really had the chance to prove myself that I am better than I thought, I just need to push a little bit harder and I will get it! I got the opportunity, I blowed it but most important, I also learned with it! I’ll keep this goal, to go abroad, but now with a slight difference I won’t make such a big deal of it.

I have now a nephew! That’s really a big thing for me, considering that there is nothing to be proud of my achievements this year, this is really something that makes me happy and really overcome everything else! Needless to say, that I really mean what I just wrote.

Another thing that I want to change is my blog’s name, but for that I need that something changes in my life, something worthy. The same applies to my life goals, I am almost 28 and I really had amazing experiences that makes me feel that I am having a great life! I shouldn’t complain about it, but I do. I feel that something is missing and I already know what that is, I need to do something meaningful with my life such as volunteering and helping those that really need it! This might sound pretentious or just another “Miss World” expression, but it isn’t. As I said, I am almost 28 and eventually I will die, sooner or later (duh), why spending my life helping others getting richer when I can spend my life helping others having a better life? My goal for this year is getting a way of self-sustain and invest sometime to learn something that I can earn money working at home and anywhere, this doesn’t mean that I will quite my job but that I want to get a Plan B.

In resume, 2010 was a failure as a personal perspective, but another amazing year regarding familiar aspects! The balance is positive!

2011 WILL BE better, definitely! Nothing concrete to do, and I don’t need to. I will keep trying to go abroad, maybe I’ll push a little bit harder, but as I said, I will just try! It is not a goal, it is a bonus in case I can get it! I will find a way to self-sustain and I will invest sometime getting good at it!

I am not lowering my goals to avoid disappointments, I just want to live one day at a time and keep avoiding to get resigned with my life!

Oh, and I almost forgot! I will keep writing in English, I have friends everywhere and not all of them know Portuguese (thanks google for the translator! but it isn’t the same thing), and I really need to improve my English…, is not that bad as used to be, but I really need to improve it! All the grammar-nazis are welcome to correct me, but privately, please 🙂

Categories
Europe

Visiting Zurich for a few days

Zürich (DE), Zurich (EN) or Zurique (PT). It was nice to be away, again, and hearing german in the streets, it was a really nice sensation of nostalgia and great moments.

That was my first time in Switzerland, not counting those two hours of transfer when I went to Athens, and it was great! Of course the reason that made me go to Switzerland was responsible for 80% of the experience, visiting a friend (João Moreno)!

Categories
Europe

A weekend spent in the Greek Island of Syros

One of my plans was to visit one of the Cyclades islands, so I thought, why not the capital island? That’s how I decided over Syros, though I almost stayed in Athens… Thankfully it seems I am blessed with luck, and that led to acquiring a new nickname, Big Ass!