November 30, 2015 · 3:53 pm
6th August 2013
Looking back over my emails from this time I see this is the point I started looking around for a tour to join. I still hadn’t recovered well from my bouts of sickness that started in Paris and I think home-sickness was playing a large part in my feeling a bit lost.
The train journey from San Sebastián to Vigo passed through fields of what may have been wheat or barley and looked just like home at times, then I spotted the towers, so not Australia, lol. It’s fascinating to wonder why the train lines run where they do, sometimes almost on the beach, or running along a river and other times through small hills instead of around them. This trip was particularly interesting, farmland, mountains, a river with pretty garden plots, and a dam with its gates open.
Pretty in the country, Spain
from San Sebastian to Vigo
The gates are open……
Wonderful, but not home!
Just like home until you see the tower
Uninspiring urbanization happens everywhere apparently!
Perfect weather in Vigo Spain
I wandered aimlessly around Vigo for a day or so while trying to decide where to go and what to do next.All the same, it’s a pretty city and I was never lost for new and unusual things to keep me interested.I stayed near the waterfront quite close to the old part of the city, the cruise liner docks and even a shopping centre – the first one I’ve seen for weeks!
Jules Verne riding an octopus in Vigo Spain
Did you know that Jules Verne set a part of his book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the Bay of Vigo and he visited the city in 1878 on his yacht? Neither did I, but there’s a fantastic statue commemorating this on the waterfront!
The architecture is a mix, with huge ornate gothic looking buildings along side plain square block of offices and apartments. I saw several unusual building details too, they looked like closed in Juliette balconies or window seats. I just love all the little quirky things you see, like a derelict building with a few of its outside wooden blinds still hanging as if new, or an old building finding a new purpose in life and still retaining its original gorgeous and unique features.
Loving this building in Vigo
I sat and sketched in the gardens, watched a guy in the plaza entertaining kids with a bubble blowing contraption made from two sticks with a piece of rope tied to each end and a bucket of water and soap suds, and googled tours endlessly.
The waterfront at Vigo, Spain
Rain rain go away, Vigo, Spain
Part of the harbour on a rainy day at Vigo, Spain
Unusual finds in Vigo Spain
Such wonderful reflections in those windows, Vigo, Spain
Mmmm, thought that person was real for a minute, lol
What a lovely window seat. Vigo, Spain
The old and the new of Vigo
These little hidden squares are so European and utterly divine
There’s a story there!
Laneways through the old part of Vigo in Spain
Relaxing in the plaza, Vigo, Spain
Sad or contemplative?
Statue detail in Vigo Spain
Old signs and wooden blinds
September 2, 2013 · 7:08 am
I’ve got a very big apology to make to my faithful followers, I’m so sorry for not posting anything for so long.
As you’ve probably worked out by now, I’m massively behind in posting about my travels – and it get worse every day! I just don’t seem to be able to dash off something quickly.
One of the things I need to remember every day.
To make matters worse, at times I’ve found it very hard going since I left England for France at the end of June. Instead of being a big sook and running home, I decided to join a bus tour to try and combat the loneliness.
So, a couple of weeks ago I joined a 15 day bus tour around Spain, Portugal and Morocco. I’ve just returned from that tour, had a wonderful time, met lots of beautiful people and saw amazing things.
Now that I back on my own again I should be posting two or three times a week, and I’d love to hear how other travellers fight the loneliness attacks and also make the time to write regularly. All help appreciated!!
June 21, 2013 · 9:27 pm
Reading cage in Marsh’s Library, Dublin
I saw more the next morning before I left Dublin than I did the whole day before; being a lovey day I walked to Marsh’s Library just behind St Particks cathedral. All their books are older than European settlement of Australia – how mind-boggling is that? It’s very much smaller and less well-known than the Long Room but a really interesting place. They keep the door locked and you have to ring a bell to be allowed in where the old gent gives you a little introduction and warns you not to lean over the ropes and touch the books! It’s all very quaint. They too have cabinets down the middle of the room with selected items on display; at the moment they are all science related and contain books by Galileo and Darwin. Apparently everything is quite unchanged since it was built three hundred years ago, even the three reading cages where you were locked to read any of the small books – obviously human nature hasn’t changed that much!!
I had a lovely time there and spent quite a while talking to a couple of the staff about all sorts, including their Facebook page; they are considering an adopt a book program to try to raise more funds, check them out.
Breakfast of coffee and warm apple pie at a cosy café just nearby went down well. Then I called in to a funky little shop called the Jam Art Factory and the guy in there was in for a huge chat too. Seems almost everyone you talk to over here has a family member in Australia; his sister has been over there for almost a year now. Anyhow he told me about a little church to go have a look at not far away, but off the beaten track, St Werburghs Church. I wasn’t sure I had the correct place, it really didn’t look like a church, but later I found out the towers had been demolished because of the security risk due to its proximity to Dublin Castle. Talk about a find, it was a great place and there was a guy there who once I asked him one question kept me entertained for almost an hour. It has such an interesting history and has only been open for visitors last summer and a couple of weeks this year.
I still had time spare so-called in to the Chester Beatty Library; I only looked at the Art of the Book section – what an awesome collection, but all behind glass cabinets in darkened temperature controlled rooms, so it did feel a tad sterile after being at Marsh’s library a few hours earlier where everything is so old and just there, with that old book smell all around you.
Anyhow, by now I had to hot-foot it back to collect my gear and get to the ferry port. At the train station I was asking the ticket guy why they had two names for the ferry port, Dublin and Dun Loaghaire – he looked at me strangely and said there’s two ferry ports!!! Well, f’n hell, I was all set to go a few stops on the train to Dun Loaghaire when in fact I had to find a cab and take a ten quid taxi ride to Dublin Ferry Port!! Almost had a major stuff-up there, thank goodness for all those questions I ask everyone.
The cabbie was one of those talkative ones so we had a great chat on the way and by the time we arrived my heart was back where it belonged and beating regularly again – not a million miles an hour like it was when told there were two different ferry ports. Oh well, it’s back to England now and looking forward to a week in the Lakes District.
Interesting plaque in St Wehburgh’s Church
John Mulgrave, the African boy rescued from a slave ship and buried at St Wehburgh’s Church, Dublin
Rather old fire engine at Werburgh’s Church, Dublin
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
in Temple Bar, Dublin
Window of a clock shop in Dublin
Such elaborate parts to blocks of flats and interesting street names, Dublin
Frontage of the Olympia Theatre, Dublin
at the gardens of Dublin Castle
Stories on the walls of the Iveagh buildings in Dublin
Buildings in Dublin
Queen of Tarts, Dublin
Streetlights in Dublin
Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society, Dublin
The orange and the green, Dublin
June 17, 2013 · 7:40 am
14th May 2013
Titanic centre Belfast and original Harland &Wolff building
There were only two of us for the walking tour around the Titanic site this morning, a young Austrian, Julia and myself, an Australian, Julie – coincidence huh?. I wouldn’t be surprised if the guide was trying to get us to quit, she asked us about three times if we were sure we wanted to continue and be wet through by the time we finished an hour later. It was fairly miserable, cold, windy and wet, but she wasn’t getting rid of either of us that easily. This is when I actually got to see the drawing offices, they’ve been empty for more than 20 years now apparently. It’s quite sad to hear about the glory days of places like this and then see them lying idle and deserted. The tour was totally captivating, well worth the £9 fee – and it only drizzled a little!!
The Thanksgiving Statue, Belfast
I felt bad not having seen anything of Belfast so caught the hop on hop off bus and did a circuit before I left – and learnt more about the troubles in Northern Ireland in that hour than I’ve ever known before. Once again my lack of knowledge left me feeling rather ignorant – I had never known what the fighting and fuss was all about, or even who was fighting for what. I also learnt that the Peace Walls in Belfast have stood longer than the Berlin Wall, and judging by current events, they won’t be coming down any time in the near future either.
It was all very well choosing somewhere to stay based on the ease of navigating my way there, but I didn’t give a thought to finding my way back out again, so when I got in the car to head off and realized this fact, I just about lost the plot. You know the classic scene where someone is banging their head on the steering wheel and wailing about some major catastrophe? Well, I was just about there – but, instead I just drove off and hoped for the best – oh, I also kept my eyes peeled for signs too. You wouldn’t believe it, but, I soon found signs that actually read, “THE SOUTH” and “THE WEST” – wootwoot!!
Gorgeous facade, Belfast
Who’d have thought driving from Belfast to Rosslare would take so long, it doesn’t look far on the map but took me four or five hours – huge drive over here! I’m so pleased to be car-less when I go back to Dublin, it was bad enough trying to bypass it let alone drive through it. I did my normal trick when I got to the little village of Tagoat near Rosslare, had to ask where the B&B was; the old guy at the pub came outside with me and pointed back the way I had come and across the road, on the side of the hill was Coral Gables B&B – in plain sight if you were coming from the ferry, not so much from the way I’d come. Well, that’s my story, anyway, hahehehe. I was the only guest there that night so took myself out to the lounge and had a fine old time cutting up brochures and sticking bits and pieces in my journal – you couldn’t really call it scrapbooking but it’s the closest thing I’ve got at the moment.
Murals everywhere in Belfast
No mans land in Belfast
Peace walls in Belfast
Ireland at it’s mysterious best
One of my last drive-by shootings
Interesting bridge on the way south
The main roads are so wide, you can almost overtake without going in other lane
Smalled house in the city?
Memorial in Belfast
Queens University Belfast
One of the many political murals around Belfast
Part of the Peace Walls in Belfast, they have stood longer than the Berlin Wall
Thought these signs were for a photo op – turns out they’re speed camera signs, ooops!!