Easter Break

Sonntag, 19. April 2009, 20:22 Uhr von Felix

I do not know about you, but I had a really awesome Easter break. The first week my family came over and we travelled a bit. When they left I packed my bags for a one week trip to lovely Bamberg where I met friends I haven’t seen in months and enjoyed a first preview of the coming summer. Leaving this morning was a bit of a pain – not just, because I had to get up at ungodly 03:45am.

After hours of waiting and travelling by train, plane and bus I’m finally back in Dublin. The bad news: quite a lot of CAs await me and the next seven days are going to be horrible. I’d really love to pick some nice photos from the last two weeks and write a line or two about them, but I am afraid that I cannot. Hopefully, I will find the time and quiet soon.

Howth & Bray

Samstag, 04. April 2009, 23:41 Uhr von Felix

Saturday morning at an ungodly hour Daniel, Isma and Chris left for the surfing trip. Now it was all equal: two girls versus two guys. Oh, and they really gave us a really hard time convincing them to hurry up in order to go to city centre and catch the DART to Howth before midnight.

Fair enough, I’m exaggerating. Anyway, we finally arrived in Howth sometime in the afternoon and walked along the pier, said hello to the fat seals and took the cliff walk. Somehow I’ve got the feeling that this is almost an obligatory trip – everyone seems to go to Howth with his guests. I can just say that it is absolutely worth it time and again. Especially on a really nice and sunny day. Sadly, we had to leave rather early because Caro and Kathleen returned to Swansea in the evening, but not before recharging our batteries in the Abbey Tavern.

After we had said bye-bye at the bus stop, Michi and I went to eat yummy burgers, started to make plans for Sunday that heavily depended on the weather and went to The Mezz in order to listen to some live rock music.

After what felt like hours of waiting the band finally started to play. But they did not play any rock, they played funky music. Moreover, they we’re a really motley crew: a pale old guy in a jacket playing the trombone, a drummer who could have come straight from the seventies („Look at dem threads“), the bearded guy on the bass guitar nodded like a pigeon, the keyboard and sax guy looked a bit like a German TV presenter and the guitarist, unlike any other guitar playing male in the world, was sitting shy in a corner of the stage. And then there was this other guy who was dressed in a retro Adidas jacket and wore some rasta hat. He totally failed at playing Mr Cool and we just thought „what a jackass“. Well, until he started to sing with an awesome voice. Each song his stage-acting got better and better and when we left we just thought „what a brilliant gig!“

Sunday morning Michi and I wanted to enjoy a full Irish breakfast a.k.a. artery killer in Bewley’s in Grafton Street. The switch to daylight saving time stole us one precious hour and upsetted our plan as we were way too late and could not find a place that still served breakfast.

So we decided to skip it and have lunch instead. While we waited for our meal in the Citi Bar, a blonde in her thirties accompanied by a half-emptied pint of Bulmers came to our table. We could smell from quite some distance that she was absolutely drunk, but being the nice, polite guys that we are we joined the conversation she maintained with herself. Difficult, because she was unable to finish a single sentence. „Aaanywayy“ she frequently said in the middle of a sentence before verbalising another one of her woozy thoughts. Occasionally she looked at her reflection in the mirror and failed at removing a streak of hair from her face. In the middle of the „conversation“ that, by the way, included asking us if we were a gay couple she announced to all the other guests that we are German and left the room.

In order to make the most of the great weather, we took the DART to Bray. Originally we wanted to walk along the cliffs to Greystones, but sadly it was closed to the public due to falling rocks and ongoing construction works. Plan B: climb Bray Head and walk through the hills. Although I am pretty sure that we did not walk the same path as Flo and I did last December, we ended up at the very same bus stop somewhere in between the two towns. I can’t explain it. And, of course, it started to rain cats and dogs. So we took the bus back to Dublin and had a nice dinner with the boys who had just returned from their surfing trip. Somehow I’ve got the feeling that the powers that be do not approve my wish to walk from Bray to Greystones…

„Aaanywayy“, Caro, Kathleen, Michi thanks for coming over to visit me – it was great! I hope I’ll be able to see you in Swansea soon.


Sonntag, 25. Januar 2009, 10:24 Uhr von Felix

On Wednesday, before returning to Dublin, we took the bus to Blarney in order to see Blarney Castle and kiss the Stone of Eloquence, which is at the top. While you kiss the stone you are upside-down and can see the ground several metres below. It felt great, but went over way to quick.
My suspicion: this way you don’t really have the time to take your own photo and are more willing to pay a fortune in order to buy the one they take for you.


Samstag, 24. Januar 2009, 16:45 Uhr von Felix

On Monday, Chris and I went with Bus Éireann to Cork. Unfortunately, Carmen could not come with us. The trip took about four and a half hours from Busáras, but it was way cheaper than the train. The bus driver was as so often very grumpy and unfriendly. There seems to be an unwritten law in Ireland that states that you have to be like this if you work in service or public transport. Of course, there are exceptions which prove the rule.

We really experienced the madness of the Irish weather: snow in Dublin, sunshine all the way to Cork and then, the moment we arrived, it started raining cats and dogs. A glance into the Lonely Planet and we were on our way to Sheila’s Hostel, a quite cheap but nice play to stay. We did not plan anything in advance, because we figured that it should be easy to find a place to sleep in January. Well, we were right and it was a good, spontaneous choice. The atmosphere was very international: Dutch, French, Canadian, Kiwis, Aussies, Spanish, Scottish and whatnot. By the way: the woman behind the counter was very friendly. Ha, exception!

We shared a room with some religious Scotsman, who played the accordion and talked about Rudolf Steiner and his Waldorf schools. Chris met a girl and colleague from his Dutch hometown. Some guy gave us a very strange handout after talking quite a lot of incomprehensible stuff. A girl from Spain invited us to have a cup of tea with her. A couple from Limoges started a way to serious conversation with us. To cut a long story short: the usual hostel encounters.

We spent most of the daytime with some sightseeing and rambling through Cork, which is a lovely city. Moreover, we went into some music and book stores and bought some really good movies at a very low price, such as the Coen’s gangster movie Miller’s Crossing for €3,60! Unfortunately one of them, The Zodiac, turned out to be a bad buy as I wanted to buy Fincher’s Zodiac. On Tuesday we saw it in the hostel’s cinema room together with some other guests and were rather disappointed afterwards. Just one tiny little word…
On Monday we went to see Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler in Kino, a small cinema where every second seat was „repaired“ with duct tape. However, the movie was brilliant. Maybe one could even call it is a must-see.

During the night we went into some pubs. Noteworthy are „The Thirsty“, because of its cool name, as well as „An Bodhrán“, where an Irishman played folk and pop songs on the guitar. But that man was not the only musician in the room. Besides Phil Lynott, whose photos covered all the walls, there was an even more famous one: Johnny Cash; the man in black. Or at least a Doppelgänger that looked just like him from the side. Elvis did not show up. He probably had already left the building.

Cliffs of Moher

Samstag, 20. Dezember 2008, 18:07 Uhr von Felix

Sundway I finally saw the Cliffs of Moher. Warning: this article contains photos of breathtaking landscapes that may cause itchy feet. Proceed at own risk. However, it is recommended!

Unfortunately I was not able to take a picture of the bikers that were dressed up as Santa Claus.