UK and Ireland, Day 6.

A few things first:
Spider Update: I killed that nasty thing the other day. I saw him on the floor, trying to make a break for it, and I beat that thing to death with my fists. With its last breaths, it cursed my name, and screamed “I will have my revenge!”

Also, I cleaned out my closet, and am getting rid of a ton of computer stuff.. so if you are in in need or for any reason desire: old printers, cd-roms, keyboards, mice, speakers, towers, RAM, motherboards, processors, or various PCI cards, I’ve got plenty. Everything works, I just have no need for any of it… not until I give it away, anyway.

Now on to this post. Day 6 was a traveling day, but turned out to be a fantastic day anyway, providing us with what I think we all now agree was the finest moment of the trip: Listening to traditional Irish songs sung by good old drunken Irishmen on the train. Anyway, the goal was to go from Edinburgh to Galway (Scotland to Western Ireland), but we ended up staying in Dublin, which worked out even better, I think. As much of the time was spent on the train, I had plenty of time to write.. Here’s where I caught up quite a bit on previous days, and just sorta rambled about things that were going on… until the music started, and I just sat back and enjoyed it all. Pictures as always.

6/8 Train to Glasgow

it’s about 8:11, we’ve just hopped on the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow… today is or big travel day, going from Edinburgh to Glasgow, across to the coast, then take the Ferry across to Ireland, then to Belfast, then across Ireland to Galway. We’ll see how we do. We woke up at 7:15, got set, and had breakfast at 7:30 (When the free breakfast starts), headed out by a bit before 8, then hit the 8:11 train. I ran around the station looking for a place that sold razors, but no love. Oh well. Any cue what the “Roseburn Stand” is? We just past it… I was guessing it was a football stadium. So now we’re on our way to Glasgow.. I think it’s about an hour. Time to catch up on day 1 and 2.

6/8 Glasgow Train Station

We’re about to leave for Stranraer..which is where the ferry to Ireland [Belfast] leaves from… we just spent the last few (2ish) hours in Glasgow.Glasgow our [this] train didn’t leave til 11:40, and we arrived at around 9-something, so we had some time to kill.. First I ran to a store and bought some razors.. Yea! Course they didn’t have just one, so the cheapest I could buy was a package of 10. Such is life. Next we headed out.. and followed Robb as he led us … in one big circle… It was starting to rain a little bit, and looked for a time like it would rain harder, but then it cleared up. Meanwhile, we headed off (in the right direction) towards Glasgow Cathedral.. We hit George Square, which had a number of statues, and a war memorial… then continued on our way towards the Cathedral, but it was still a decent ways off, and we decided to head back… we grabbed some food at Burger King (Where all Dragon-Masters eat!), ( I got a giant Orange Fanta!) then they called out our train, and we boarded, and that brings us up to now.

mountains We all had things that we wanted to see/hear/experience on this trip. I mean besides the obvious stuff, like Big Ben, and the Cliffs in Ireland (though I think i was the one that really pushed for those cliffs. they’re going to rule). and castles and stuff. Just small random things. Mine was Suits of armor, and I got those in the Tower of London and Edinburgh castle. Joel wanted to here that recognizable English siren .. the “EEE-Ooh, EEE-Ooh, EEE-Ooh” sounding one that you hear in the movies. Robb’s was… Robb wanted to see someone working on /putting up the straw on their straw roof of their house somewhere out in the hill country.. hey.. we all have different priorities, and who am I to judge his… His seems somewhat less likely to be fulfilled, but you never know.

Also, “We Built This City on Rock and Roll” had made no less than 10 appearances in the last 2 days.

We’re about an hour or two into the trip, and it’s really beautiful out here.. old timey, with old stone walls cutting across the tall green hills.. and sheep EVERYWHERE. the sheep look like they’re having a good time.

6/8 Harbor

We’re currently sitting in a waiting room at Stranrear. We’ve gone through security and now just need to wait another 10 minutes for the boat to be ready. It was pretty kewl when we got into this station… We were moving along fine and all of a sudden…BAM! Surrounded by water! Very kewl.

We’re watching a British soap opera…It isn’t all.

6/8 On the Ferry

Okay, when I hear “ferry boat”, I think that ship that Balki was on in the opening theme to Perfect Strangers… You know, a little thing where everyone is standing outside against the railing, battling the elements… ferry boatYou know… Meanwhile the poorer classes are down below in steerage dancing traditional homeland dances, and dreaming dreams of their new life in the New World…. Okay, maybe not that last part… Anyway.. this thing is more like a mini cruise ship.. or at least what I imagine a cruise ship to be like, having never been on one before.. there is a Quiet Lounge to my right, then a Burger King and a Cafe’ Next to that is Stingers Bar and Spikes Sports Bar. Guest Services is right next to the shopping center.. (and we’re not talking Ferry Gift Shop here, we’re talking Mall. then there’s the Kiddie Play area and family center (including child Cinema).. then there’s a Trucker’s Lounge/restaurant. then there’s a first place section with seats facing out the front… I’m assuming they’re special heated massage chairs that slip gold coins into your pockets while you sit there.. This Ferry rules. Robb and Joel have run off to see the rest of the ship… I don’t expect to see them again until… maybe next Monday. We’re finally getting a mix of Scottish and Irish accents now, so that’s fun… I have a bit of trouble differentiating the two, so we’ll see how well I do.

I hope Joel buys me some chips. [As in french Fries.. not potato chips.. though man, I could go for some potato chips too…. ]

He totally bought me fries… I’m in heaven.

they have these little chicken thingers, and they are so very good.. Joel got some.. and I had a few.. then I bought some (well, I sent Robb off with money.. cause I’m fat and lazy). Very Very good.

We’re alongside some land now.. not sure what it is. We’re got another half hour or so.. then it’s on to another train to hopefully get to Galway. It’ll be a shame to leave this ferry, though, cause it’s really nice.

Okay, we nearing the end of the ferry ride and we were just given chocolates…This ferry rules!

Also, this little girl just came running into this section to say (yell) to her parents:”I flushed the toilet!”

We’ll be docking soon.

6/8 Train to Dublin

Well after a nice long walk (about 20 minutes I guess.) we arrived at the station.. there was another guy on the boat, Thomas, originally from Norway, now living in Dublin, that was headed to the train station..thomashe had a full pack as well, and was asking the guy near the front of the boat harbor dealie where the train station was, so when we followed right after to ask, the guy said “follow him, and if you get lost, you all get lost.” Joel talked with him much of the walk to the train station.. I was behind a bit, taking pictures (shocker, eh?). Anyway, we eventually made it to the station, and by the time I returned from the bathroom (That Super-sized Orange Fanta filled me up, then wanted out bad) it was determined that we’d be unable to make it to Galway this evening. Now the decision must be made to either stay in Dublin tonight and tomorrow, and try to hit Galway on Thursday, or try to head out tomorrow morning to Galway, then head back that same evening. I’m leaning towards that latter one, but don’t really care that much.. Either way, we’ll see the same stuff. There is also talk of staying in Galway for the night, which seems unnecessary (unless forced by train schedules) or trying to go from Galway all the way to Wales… which seems not likely to work, time wise.

So anyway, at the moment I’m in Belfast, Well, on the train. So there’s another city I can add to the list of places I have been. There’s a large group of what I believe to be field-hockey (though it may be some other sport where kids are armed with small curved wooden sticks with fairly large flat heads) players (kids.. age between 8-14).. Then there is also a large group of older men, all wearing suits with crests and seals of something important (I’m thinking military), and they’re all very jokey with each other (and everyone else, it would seem.)

Anyway, we are now debating what the best plan of action is for the next few days. There’s a lot of conjecture about train times and all that, and occasionally Thomas (he’s sitting by us on the train) will chime in with some helpful information like “I doubt you’ll be able to make it from X to Y in one day.. it’d be quicker to go to to Dublin, then across to Wales then down through Wales.” Without a train schedule, it’s kinda hard to make definite plans.

Thus far Ireland looks just like Scotland, only with more drunken anger. Zing.. Take that Ireland!

I slept, for about a half hour… and now I’m all nappy/yawny.. We’re going pretty slow, on the train that is… so Thomas doesn’t think we’ll make it there til 9ish.. (we’re due to arrive at 8:30ish?) Joel and Thomas are talking about piano stuff (Thomas is a piano player, apparently) It’s all interesting, and Thomas is a very nice, friendly guy. At this point, I’d very much like to shave, cause I feel disgusting.

Oh also, it’s beautiful outside.. very green, very rolly hills.

Irish SingersSeriously, these old guys sitting near us.. actually they’re filling the whole car. .. They are very loud, kinda old, and very Irish.. Thick accents… Um.. If you’ve ever seen “Return To Me” think about those old guys in that movie.. all sitting around, drunk as hell, (these guys are.. the ones in the movie prolly weren’t) yelling at each other (in a jokey manner) all telling jokes and constantly demanding that the other “give us a song!” It’s really, really funny.

6/8 Dublin Hostel

I’m now sitting in our Hostel in Dublin. Joel is snoring in long, loud explosive type snores. I’ve just finished shaving with my 7.4 cent razors, and turns out, I butchered myself with them… Nah, just a few nicks, but turns out shaving with shampoo as gel doesn’t work as good when you’ve got cheap razors to boot. And boom.. another explosive snore… it’s almost like he is gasping for breath, and it’s all going through one narrow part of his throat.

So I stopped writing while I was on the train… and for good reason.. those shouts for “give us a song” did not go unheard. After a while, one of the older Irish dudes in a suit (must’ve been an old army group or something) stood in the aisle, and began to sing, just behind us, facing towards us, and the table along side us (the guy at the table across the aisle was the vocal one, calling for songs much of the trip.. They were all drinking heavily.) Anyway, he began singing, and when he got to the chorus, the 4-some at the table beside us would sing along.. The vocal guy would try to sing, and when he got the words wrong or couldn’t think of them, he’s get all excited and slam his hand into the table.

I saw some 20/20 special many years ago on how to defeat snoring.. and one of the solutions was to wear a bra backwards, and place tennis balls in the cups so you couldn’t sleep on your back. that seems like a good idea.

So the guy finished singing, and we clapped for him, and soon he started up again.. meanwhile throughout the entire trip those field-hockey kids were running up and down the aisle, I think to go to the food car and back.. so the guy would be singing, and someone would shout out (in a fine drunk Irish shout) “Dublin train comin!”, and the guy would move to the side. A number of songs were sung.. then they convinced another guy to sing, and he sang, then the 1st guy sang.. the vocal guy at the table across tried to start a song or two, but would only get so far before bursting into laughter. Eventually they sang a song Joel and I recognized: I think it’s called White Rover.. but it’s the song Jonathan’s band, Craic Wisely, sings with the Clap, clap clap clap…. Clap clap…. clap.

So we all sang along.. and by then we were very near the station.. they sang a song or two more, and believe me, many of them were very funny. One was about a Spanish bullfighter that stole some dude’s girl, so he went to kick the bullfighter’s ass. The first song was about a train that kept breaking down or falling off the tracks. It was very good. When we finally reached the station, the vocal guy stood up and came over to our side and shook our hands, and said we sang well. we thanked him for the compliment and the singing, and wished him well. throughout the entire time, other guys in the train would be shouting out things like telling the vocal guy to stop singing, etc.. all in that drunk jokey kinda way. One guy shouted it out just as the vocal guy was finishing up a song, and right afterwords the train announcer voice (it sounded robotic) apologized (I though for the delay in arriving) but everyone started laughing so hard as soon as the apology started cause they all thought/said it was for the dude’s singing… It was really funny.. then the vocal guy wanted to know where that announcer dude was so he could “kick his bleeding arse”. Easily one of if not the finest moment on this trip.. that ride, in that car, with those drunk Irish singers..

After we arrived in station, we said goodbye to Thomas, and headed out to find a place to stay. Dublin Hostel We ended up checking nearly 10 hotels/hostels, until we found an especially sketchy one that Robb haggled down to 60 Euros a night (so 20 a piece) I guess that’s pretty good. We;re fairly certain the Russian dude at the counter will be slitting our throats in our sleep tonight.. but either way, we’ve got the room booked for tomorrow as well. After we finally got the room (2 small bed and a double bed… I got into the room last, and the double was all mine.. Score.) Afterwords we walked around the city.

6/8 Dublin Hostel II

Dublin at NightSo we were walking around the city, but it was getting pretty dark pretty fast.. so after walking for a while, i said we should prolly get food and head back soon… so we began the search for food.. We didn’t have much success, and ended up at some fastfoodish small Fish and chips place. I ordered two hot dogs, and the Irish accented Chinese dude behind the counter said “haddock?” and i said “Two Hot Dogs”… He said “Haddock”. I thought “whatever” and got two haddock. I was hungry, and it tasted okay, but was really really really hot, and I burned the top of my mouth quite a bit. After food, we walked back, past a few Pubs, but none that looked either open or not packed full, so we headed back to the room, where I could finally shave and take a shower, and Joel and Robb fell asleep.. Then I started writing..

I think the plan for tomorrow has changed to being a Dublin day… though we’re not so sure the Guinness factory is really what we once thought (i.e. it’s not a brewery, but just some museum place or something.) I’m not sure.. I also don’t care that much… I’m interested in seeing the Cliffs near Galway, the castle in wales, Stonehenge, Bath, Westminster Abbey [the inside this time] and the changing of the guard. Anything beyond that is just frosting.

3 thoughts on “UK and Ireland, Day 6.

  1. hey ron. awesome entries- a little lengthy but a fun read. by the way, ive stolen several of the cooler pictures for use as background images. i think the Richard I statue with Parliament behind is amazing.

  2. Dino -> “Business as Usual” would fit quite well, I think.

    Adam -> Hey hey! Well, I’m honored you’d use my pictures.. I’m assuming you’ve picked most of the ones with my giant beautiful face covering most of what I was trying to capture.

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