Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dublin and London: The nicest people EVER! (part 1)

Just Cathy and I. We both left for our little adventure on the 30th of April. A lot of this trip was just pure luck. We went to Dublin not having a clue about how to get to London (we knew there were ferries....somewhere) and not having confirmed tickets from London to Paris. I guess we just figured it would all work out, or we hoped.

We got into Dublin really late, around 10 or 11 at night, just in time to go to bed! After arriving in Dublin we waited in the freezing cold for a bus which was supposed to stop directly in front of us (the bus stop, who knew) but instead was like 200 feet ahead! So there starts the adventure, 100 people quickly walking to this bus to get a seat because who knew when the next one would come. You think in a city that spoke English it would not be this hard. We finally get on, after my feet had frost bite and it took us a few blocks to our hostel. We were looking for a certain street and we asked a man in the convience store where it was and he told us in 2 lights turn left. As we stared walking down the street we hear this man running toward us and yelling. It was the same guys and he was like sorry I told you the wrong directions, its in 3 lights. Haha HE AS SO NICE.

The first day in London (the 1st of May)was filled with bus touring. We took the " City Tour hop on-hop off" bus tour. It was great! A great big green bus where we could sit on the top, with Catherine's camera and look like HUGE tourists. On the tour we passed, and even stopped at, sites including: Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, Phoenix Park, National Museum, the Dublin Spire(Millennium Needle) along with seeing the whole city. Our favorite was the Guinness Storehouse because it just opened in 2000 and we received 2 free samples of Guinness one including a pint and the top of the tour which had the best view of Dublin in the city.

That night Catherine and I decided to be social and take a night out on the town. We wanted to witness some real Irish Pubs with some music and beer. We ate some pizza in the middle of downtown for dinner and a really sketchy place! I am not sure how, but Catherine and I seem to be attracted to those kind of places. We passed this one bar that looked fun and then we looked in and it was all middle aged men and so we figured we would spare ourselves and so we went into the next bar. I was looking for a bathroom to get the gum off my butt in my pants that I somehow sat in and sure enough its the same bar with just two different entrances. It was great and totally expected. We had a cider beer there and felt we should continue our adventure. We walked down the street and wanted to go in this one club but it was still a little early so we went to the pub across the street. There were two actually but we wanted to go into the one on the left so we did. Sure enough they were both connected! We were not sure if they were two totally different bars or if every bar in Dublin was connected to both bars on each side. Maybe it is to attract more customers. It was so fun. We drank our ciders and just talked while we enjoyed the music. We went across the street to go to the club and after we found out it was around 9 euros, I can't remember the exact amount, we decided no since it was a little out of the budget. We decided to head back towards the hostel since we had about a 15 minute walk and find another bar on the way. We passed this club/bar that looked like a lot of fun so we went in. The music was playing loud, people were dancing and the bouncers were welcoming us in like they new us. We had another cider at this bar, seems to be the theme of the trip. We wanted a shot and the only thing we seemed to agree on was Raspberry Vodka which was a terrible idea! GROSSE! Soon enough these two guys come up and start talking to us. They were so drunk and I don't know how many times I had to repeat myself cause they would ask us the same questions over and over, it stared to be a joke after a while. Catherine took a shot of vodka with them which I wanted NO part in and another mixed drink. After the guy who would not leave Cathy alone felt the need to start hating on American's I yelled at him and then we went to dance. We were about to leave the club and one of the guys was like I will walk you to the hostel. I told him no thank you and he kept insisted so we told him one last time that we were ok and then we booked it out of there.

We had to leave at 7am from our hostel because to get to the port is was "only an hour away" which we soon found out to be a HUGE lie. We walked to the port. We thought we were on the wrong side so we took this little boat, which was a rip off, which cost 1 euro to get to the other side, about a 20 second boat ride. About an hour and a half later we finally got a cab cause we had no idea where it was. It was not as easy as everyone was telling us. Our hostel said it was really easy to find and you can't miss it, which you clearly can because we did. The cab picked us up illegally, we found this out by the police sirens and lights flashing at us and yelling at us to pull over. About 10 minutes later and a speech from the cab driver saying that tickets are the last thing to worry about in life, we arrive at the port. Just our luck we were at the wrong port. Yes there is more than one, who knew? So being in the middle of nowhere and with a lady working for the ferry agency wanting nothing to do with us we call another cab from the pay phone. The cab arrives but without Cathy telling me until later it was not the cab that we called for, but it worked. This was the nicest man that I have ever met!!! He was laughing hysterically about how we thought we could walk to the port from our hostel. He was teaching us Gaeilge, the official Irish language until the dirty Brits came over and took over Ireland, you could tell he was still a little upset about it. He let us listen to Irish music and radio to hear the language. By the end of it he finally got us to our boat and we said our goodbye's to the best cab driver ever.

We had to wait in line to get a ticket for the fairy because we did not look into it prior. The company was Stena Line and they had the really quick boats that you see on tv with the pointy fronts for ultimate speeds. We bought the "sail and rail" package which included the fairy from Dublin to Holyhead(Whales)via ferry then from Holyhead to London via train. The whole thing was 44 euros and a deal! We were not worried about not getting a ticket because everyone told us the boats are huge and they never run out of seats. Well it was a national holiday, another little fact our hostel left out, and we took THE LAST SEATS!! Now with a boat with thousands of people aboard we got the last 2, we almost peed ourselves with excitement. The boat was gorgeous. It had restaurants, stores a casino and I am sure much more on it. It was like a cruise ship. The boat left Dublin at 11:10 and we arrived in Holyhead at 12:49 so the trip was not bad. From there we took the train right away and we arrived in London around 6pm. Our train was an adventure in itself because there was a group of about 4 women who were drinking the whole time. They had a bottle of coke and liter of vodka and they did not stop drinking when they ran out of coke. They somehow convinced a man on the train who was with his young daughter to drink with them and one of the drunk ladies was coloring with the daughter, it was a sight to see thats for sure.



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