Edit Blog Post
Published: September 11th 2016
Here I am lying on my bunk on the way to Dublin after arriving by train from Clitheroe to Holyhead. The sun is shining and the sea is calm. What more can you desire on your first day of an exciting journey to visit the Irish Bogs? The bike is safely stowed on Deck 3, all clean and raring to go into the wild blue yonder of wild winds and horizontal rain. Abrahams Hostel is the rest stop tonight before another afternoon train journey across to the west coast at Galway. I should have time in between to sample the Guinness and listen to some Irish Folk Music with perhaps a whiz around Dublin in the morning to see the sights. I have my earplugs read for the late night drunken hostellers I have heard about - agh.
As it happened I was in an eight bed bunk room with some very polite young French guys. The Abraham hostel is full of foreigners, French, American, Spanish etc. who are here to savour the true Irish scene of Dublin. Following a tip from the hostel I went for Dublin fish and chips swallowed down by velvet smooth Guinness at The
Celt, which is just 200m away on Talbot St, between Gardiner St and O’Connell St. Great Irish music playing during the meal. Very rustic place and extremely popular with all ages. The whole city was alive with abundant energy. Nice to see a couple of bicycle rickshaws waiting for fares on O'Connell St, one of which I saw go past my bedroom window at 1.15am.
Hostels are not the best of places to stay, but at Dublin prices it is not an easy option without taking out a loan on my pension. The night was disturbed, not with raucous, drunken behaviour but with constant movement of people sneaking in to bed, the bunk rocking and creaking as they did so, and the constant toilet breaks with lights and water running. Just as I thought it was improving a couple decided to pack up and strip their bed at 5am. Roll on the Waldorf Astoria. Breakfast was tinned pears and scones - different - before I set off to explore Dublin’s fair city by bike. The River Liffey is quite nice with all its bridges, especially in bright sunshine, as was the Viking/medieval area south of the river. Most
interesting were the inlaid bronze images on the pavement around the -cathedral and the bronze traveller asleep on a bench. I eventually headed west along the river passing the strong smell of hops, which turned out to be the Guinness factory - nice - making the best beer ever. Passing the Heuston railway station beautifully built in sandstone in 1844 to the standard which is sadly past, I rode into Phoenix Park past the Wellington Monument and Dublin’s Zoological Gardens as made famous by the old ’Dubliners’ song. Dublin is a nice City, now onto Galway by train for more adventure. For a moment I thought I was back on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia when we went through Portarlington. The Irish get everywhere. The trains are run by Iarnrod Eireann, which I presume means Irish Iron Road. Quaint, like the French Chemin de Fer - iron road. As we go across county we notice grass and livestock with the occasional peat bogs being excavated for compost, I presume, since it is piled up as loose earth rather than the fuel blocks of the Hebrides. Arrived in Galway at 2pm after the weather got cloudy and started riding into a
fierce headwind which was blowing me about. Very dodgy. After a false start I found the Kinlay House Hostel, which is up 4 steep flights of stairs with a good bike storage room up one flight. The room is very nice compared to last night with very friendly staff. I hope my washing dries before morning as it is not over warm in the room and the wind is getting through the window frame at 300 Knotts. I am off out again at 7.30 to test the Guinness, and brave the rain which has just started beating against the window. The forecast is showing heavy rain until lunchtime and then clearing until at least Thursday night with the temperature in the mid teens. One good thing the wind is due to drop in the morning from the current 25mph to 9mph. I have got my cape out and hope that it does not turn into a parachute. It is a westerly so watch out for a yellow object on wheels floating over Clitheroe mid afternoon.
Tot: 0.439s; Tpl: 0.024s; cc: 13; qc: 31; dbt: 0.011s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb