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November 2nd 2006
Published: November 3rd 2006
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Irish Traffic JamsIrish Traffic JamsIrish Traffic Jams

These ladies were in no hurry to move along this morning.
As I write, I’m lying on the third floor of the Marlborough Hostel in downtown Dublin. I don’t see any cockroaches or mice droppings on the floor so I’m good so far. The prices are definitely not what I expected for a joint of this caliber. Tonight we are staying in a private room with two sets of bunk beds and one single twin. Billie and Matt took the bottom bunk on one set and Robert and I will flip for the bottom bunk on the other set. There is a bathroom just down the hall and only two other rooms on our floor. We had to each pay €20 a night for this room and since tomorrow is Friday, we have to each pay €25. When you add that all up, we are paying a shit load of money to sleep on lumpy mattresses with no amenities. (Autum, I can just picture you traveling across Europe and staying in hostels so I’ll try to enjoy it for you! I tried to buy you a membership card so you could start traveling but they were all out, bastards!).

Robert’s alarm went off too damn early this morning but I had
Crag CaveCrag CaveCrag Cave

A quick stop underground while enroute to Dublin.
to drag me arse out of bed so that I could get a warm shower and wash yesterday’s funk off my body. I think the cars were all packed up and we were on the road well before 10am. Right off the bat on our little winding road into Cromane, we hit the morning traffic jam, a herd of cattle being moved down the road by a little old Irish man. Well he wasn’t so little but I’m sure he was Irish. It was kinda fun to follow him down the road. The drive was estimated to be roughly 4 hours from Killorglin to Dublin and that was a pretty good guess. Instead of AAA like we have in the US, here they have AA Ireland (www.aaireland.ie) and you can print driving directions off much like we use MapQuest for.

The only detour we made along the way for the Crag Cave. I have been in caves before in Missouri but it was a first-time for others so we paid the €9 and went underground. I found a pretty cool game though, it is a 2 player strategy game and relates to ringforts and kingdoms. I’ll post more when
Where Bad Girls GoWhere Bad Girls GoWhere Bad Girls Go

Gee, I didn't realize these places really existed!
we figure it out. I got a crossword puzzle in the pattern of a celtic knot. I probably won’t be able to do it but it will look cool while I’m trying. I also picked up a cool little Christmas present for Mo.

I did the driving today, being a backseat driver is just not my cup of tea. Billie actually drove as well today and us ladies safely delivered the guys to Dublin. And wow, what a city this place is! My recommendation is that the western country is for older people and families and Dublin is for the young party folk. There are over a million people here but it is fabulous. I had imagined that this is what the streets of London and Paris might look like. The river Liffey follows down the center of Dublin and there are bridges that stretch across each side. The sky was already darkening by the time we found a place to park so I didn’t end up getting many pictures today but I’ll make up for it tomorrow.

We found a parking garage off Jervis Street which was approximately ½ mile from one of my geocaches. It was
The Road Gets WorseThe Road Gets WorseThe Road Gets Worse

The death toll is higher here but I believe it, I've seen how these guys drive.
directly across the street from this three story mall so we walked in there to find a tourism office or some brochures. Better yet, a bookstore was the first thing we encountered and I found several street maps of Dublin. I also picked up a book similar to our DMV book so we can understand some of these damn signs. Today when I was driving, this car in front of me passed the car in front of it and just drove down the middle of the road even with oncoming traffic! And I kept seeing this happen over and over again. No matter they have to keep track of how many people have been killed on their highways. Around here, the government pretty much runs most of everything, including the Irish Stud Farm which we drove by today.

The map led us almost directly towards Hard Rock Café so I could get my token souvenirs; the HRC Bear and shot glass. On the way, we were sidetracked by a sign for a tattoo parlor. We went upstairs and checked out their selection and I scheduled an appointment for tomorrow afternoon at 1pm. The only problem is that he quoted
The River LiffeyThe River LiffeyThe River Liffey

This is the river that flows through Dublin. It is really quite beautiful at night with the bridges lit up and the streets crowded, the sound of many different languages.
me €200 for a basic celtic knot that would take about 1 to 1 ½ hours. I could get something like that done back home for about half the price. I had to pay a deposit of €20 but I would rather lose that then a whole chunk of money for an overpriced tattoo, even if it is in Dublin. Robert and I really wanted to get tattoos here in Ireland but if we get an Irish themed tattoo, that’s the same difference, right?

After the Hard Rock Café, we headed south to locate our hostel and check in. It is a 24 hour hostel which means that you can come and go at any time and the front door is always kept locked and monitored by the front desk clerk. We paid a deposit of €10 for our linen, like I have any extra room in my suitcase for their sheets, pillowcase, and blanket. Afterwards, we walked down to Upper O’Connell street in search of an ATM to replenish my stash. Robert and I had dinner at McDonald’s and Billie and Matt disappeared in their own direction. We walked back towards the parking garage because I was freaking
Hostel RoomHostel RoomHostel Room

Robert sitting on the spare bed, Matt and Billie cuddled up on their bunk. Our cozy little home away from home away from home.
cold in just a sweater. All those girls walking around in their scarves and hats made me jealous. We stopped by the Jervis shopping mall on our way through the area so I could warm up and do some more shopping. I bought two Christmas presents for the kids and this adorable, cuddly, soft, fuzzy reindeer outfit for Kara’s baby to wear for Christmas. The clothes in that store, Motherware, are some of the most attractive outfits that I have seen for kids anywhere.

We drove the car closer to the hostel and parked it in the No Parking except Coaches from 0800-1900 and I hope that I don’t get towed. To me, that sign means that anyone can park there after 7pm as long as they move their car by 8am. I set my alarm for 0630 and I keep looking out the window to make sure the car is still there. The parking garages charge €20 a day and an additional €6 to leave your car there overnight. After the price I paid for this cheap room, I am watching all the little pennies. Then Robert and I walked down to find our first geocache, a webcam. It just happened to have an internet café right in front of it. Their rates are really great too, it ran about €2/hour so we played around for a little bit. I posted yesterday’s blog, checked MySpace.com and read everyone’s comments, tried to message Brandy but no luck, read all the comments on my travelblog, and checked the bank situation.

We’re back in our room now and I just enjoyed eating a Nestle Milkybar Chunky and some Cadbury Buttons, both white chocolate. I washed them down with a Fanta Orange that is really carbonated, the bubbles keep coming back up through my nose.

Tomorrow I am off to geocache and see as much of Dublin as possible in one day. Many sights are within walking distance of our hostel but we’ll have to drive to reach the Guinness Storehouse and for Billie to see her Bram Stoker’s Experience in Clantarf.


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3rd November 2006

Hey! Are you getting to see any Viking stuff now that you're on the Dublin side of Ireland? I guess (despite my last name) that I didn't realize how big of an influence the Vikings had on Ireland. If/when we make it to Ireland I know we'll be looking up some of the Viking sites. Still loving the descriptions and the photos. That cave formation was wild! OK - and Robert in the trunk was special too. LOL. What a great idea to pick up games and sand from the country you're traveling in. Fun momentos to bring home. Your description of the hostel sounds a lot like my experiences. Seems like a great idea if you're travelling alone but if you've got 4 people, the cost and hassle isn't really worth it. Gotta go to work now - I'm not on vacation yet.
4th November 2006

G's Vikings
Actually, we haven't really gotten to see anything it seems, just the major tourist attractions. We are going to try to hit some geocaches so maybe we'll find some history there.

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