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Jones the Steamed

Ireland

Got an interesting 2 week tour of the Emerald Isle starting next week, only ever been to Dublin and Belfast so I'm looking forward to getting lost down some lanes and sampling the craic in the country.

Got a text earlier enquiring whether I'd mind staying over for the weekend, work's paying so I'll negotiate some decent expenses to finance my extended stay.

Whoopee.
Pond Life

Good man. You are our official travel correspondent. I'll not bother renewing my passport and just do all my travelling through your posts.
geoff_bell

which parts you going to?
Jones the Steamed

I wont know until I've got the schedule through later this week, think I'm mostly in the republic, don't think I'll be anywhere near Belfast.
Late Doors

Belfast's fine. Done three tours on the bike, numerous Dublin and Galway weekends and a fantastic two week tour with MrsD a few year back. Absolutely love the place and you can not fail to have a good time there.

The people are wonderful, the food top drawer, the pubs ace and  the land beautiful . Don’t put your faith in the road signs though, they can be somewhat ambiguous but if you enjoy getting lost in the lanes then follow them religiously and you're in for a treat.

Whatever you do, get yourself the local paper if you are in a country town, absolutely guaranteed to have you chuckling like a good un over a pint of stout.

We were in Athlone once reading their local paper outside a pub literally in tears going through it.

There was this story of an undertaking company coming into town on Friday for a funeral on Monday and went on the lash all weekend. Any way on the Saturday the hearse was caught wobbling and swerving in the center of town and was stopped by the Garda. There followed and I quote, "an altercation between the intoxicated driver and the Garda whereupon the Garda was assaulted around the head with a shovel".

The driver was let off with a warning. On Sunday the same thing happened and once again a fight broke out between the police and undertaker in the town center and this time the undertaker was arrested.

Upon sentencing, the Magistrate, and I quote again gave his summing up. “To assault a member of the Garda once is bad enough but twice in two days and under the influence of drink whilst in charge of a hearse and with a shovel is unforgivable” and fined him 200 Euros.
bearing

I love Belfast, prefer it to Dublin, there is/was less tourists.
geoff_bell

belfast is a great city. don't gorget when south-of-the-border that everything is ten-prices and it's over five euro a pint
Jones the Steamed

Ferry was booked for 8.20 last Monday morning so booked in to a B&B in Caernarfon for Sunday night negating an early start with a hangover, called a mate ahead of my visit and set course along the A55 with a blinding hangover at 4 pm.

Been years since I last ventured to the depths of my homeland, what a stunning drive from Conwy to Caernarfon, the green spume of the Irish Sea to one side and breathtaking backdrop of Snowdonia ahead and to the left.  

If I was religious I'd thank the Lord I'm Welsh but I'm not so I'll thank me mam instead.




Didn't have time to stop en route, tried to follow my mates directions and ended up right in front of the castle hopelessly lost, the 1 way systems a nightmare.  Gwyn came and rescued me, back on the ale within 10 minutes supping in the crown and then The Black Boy, Caernarfons oldest pub.  Gwyn relishes informing visiting American work colleagues that the pub's older than their country as they gawp at the authentic oldness of the place.

Finished the night in a Welsh speaking local, one crazy character had run up and down Snowdon in 2 1/2 hours earlier, good craic, nose of beak, tray of curry and chips, throw up over my Clarks desert boots near a portcullis, bed.

Up early Monday morning giving myself an hour to get across Anglesey in time for the ferry.  Set off from the digs at 6.30, 15 minutes later I was doing my 4th circuit of the castle being thwarted at every turn by fucking 1 way signs.  Nobody about so I went down a no entry and finally escaped Caernarfon.

A circuit round the castle is approximately a mile.
Late Doors

 Ace
Particularly
Quote:
Gwyn relishes informing visiting American work colleagues that the pub's older than their country as they gawp at the authentic oldness of the place.

Good Work Gwyn
geoff_bell

Jones the Steamed wrote:
I was doing my 4th circuit of the castle being thwarted at every turn by fucking 1 way signs.  Nobody about so I went down a no entry and finally escaped Caernarfon.

you are so cunning we could stick a tail on you and call you a fox.

don't forget you can only talk to grammar school educatied people in ireland about rugby. and guinness tastes better in dublin.
Jones the Steamed

I got home yesterday, the route I took was N7 to Limerick, over some mountains to Thurles, a roller coaster ride across subsiding bog roads to Ballyconnel, Cookstown via Enniskillen, Drogheda then Dun Laighorie home.

Met up with a mate who married a Limerick girl , out of work brickie living in a mansion with their 3 kids.  He's been claiming social for 18 months, 650 Euro a week, he wasn't expecting me to arrive as early as I did so he had to prematurely finish off the painting job he was doing over the road to go for a jar with me.

Fair play to him but I couldn't help thinking what the fuck's going on when he seems to be wanting for nothing and I'm tear arsing all over Europe to get a wage.  I don't begrudge him anything though, I know he'd rather be grafting but there's nothing for him at the moment.

Forgot to mention.  Didn't realise there's no post codes in Eire which meant that the sat nav didn't even recognise that Limerick existed so when I set off for my digs in Askeaton I passed it as it wasn't actually in Askeaton but 4 miles before it on the N69.  Never mind, I had to pop in to a pub, got directions and pointed to the best chippy in Askeaton.

Don't know if this is regular fare in your neck of the woods Geoff but curry sauce seemed to be linked to everything on the board, most bizarrely chips, curry and stuffing was up on offer.  

A rather uneventful start to my journey, just a few observations.
Pond Life

Nice reportage Jones man. I knew about the post code thing. Very odd.
Jones the Steamed

Ballyconnell, 'Be'jesus where da fucks dat?'

It's about a mile from the border with the UK where I spent 5 nights before venturing over to the mph land rather than the continental km/h that Eire prefer.  When I eventually crossed the border the only indication that I was crossing was an unobscure sign reminding me that all signs were in MPH going one way and another equally unobtrusive sign reminding me it was KM/H heading back to Ballyconnell.

The road signs went from continental yellow and black squiggley to more abrupt red/black/white/ blue on the UK side, if I hadn't been looking for it I wouldn't have known I'd crossed a rather contentious border between 2 countries.  Maybe they have been there in the past but didn't last too long.

Did all my supping in a Republican bar called The Molly Maguires, got sent there by a barmaid in my digs for the best pint of the black stuff in the village not knowing or caring whether it had any historical leanings.  The memorials to the hunger strikers, Long Kesh, portraits of 1930's IRA members from Cork were in your face and fascinated me.

Spent the next 5 nights extracting as many stories relating to the paraphernalia that covered the pubs walls, not many by the way.  What I can't factor is how, as a generalisation the Irish are that friendly they wave at you as you pass them on a lonely lane but have been capable of extremely evil acts in the name of freedom.

Made me wonder what all the fuss was about when 20 Regal's £2 dearer in Eire and a pints about £1 more.

Oh, the km/h and mp/h might have been an issue too.

What I did notice when I shifted over to the north was a gradual prolification in Union flags, don't remember seeing any Tricolors in Eire but the Union flag and bantings across main roads gave me the feeling that the north is under siege and very much claiming its territorry.

Newry was strange, as was Drogheda.

Loved my trip and everybody I met north and south, shame they can't get on.

White pudding put 20mm on my belly on that trip. can't wait to go back.
geoff_bell

cookstown? to get to dublin, i'd have found my way onto the n2 or n3. cookstown is sixty miles (or more north) or ballyconnell.

glad you enjoyed the trip. did you get any of the traditional irish pottery, crystal or linen to bring home?
Jones the Steamed

geoff_bell wrote:
cookstown? to get to dublin, i'd have found my way onto the n2 or n3. cookstown is sixty miles (or more north) or ballyconnell.

glad you enjoyed the trip. did you get any of the traditional irish pottery, crystal or linen to bring home?


None of that, just a few inches added to my waistline.

Had a couple of days work at Lafarge in Cookstown, hence the circuitous route I took via Irish Cement in Drogheda.

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