Guinness, Bier, Beer baths and Champagne...
11.08.2008 - 31.10.2008 10 °C
A long time has passed since we last updated this blog, sorry. A picture tells a thousand words so I've added heaps of photos (also too lazy to write?)!
We have been living in Ireland since mid August, trying to earn a few euros, and have been enjoying not living out of a back pack for a while!
We have also been lucky enough to do a couple of "small trips" around Europe - we travelled to Munich for Oktoberfest at the end of September, then went to the Czech republic where we stayed in a brewery spa (and had beer baths), then explored Prague. From there we reunited ourselves with all our friends in London and watched the AFL Grand Final in an Aussie "walkabout" pub at 430am! We also explored Oxford and visited Christchurch College where the famous Harry Potter dining room was inspired.
At the Lockenbergs - Michael Tina and Lasse. Dressed for Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest - in the Hacker Pschorr Tent with Alix and Felix
Being a beer wench
Outside with nicks mates
Hutchy having his beer bath in Chodovar
Prague square at sunset
nick in praha town square
The Harry Potter dining hall at Christchurch College in Oxford.
We also spent a few days in Paris recently, doing all the sights. Loved the Musee D'Orsay, and were fortunate enough to have glorious weather to explore. We stayed in the Latin Quarter which was a perfect location for amazing food at reasonable prices, and great base to explore from. We also travelled out to Epernay in the champagne region and toured Moet Chandon which was a highlight - 17 miles of cellars, stood next nearly 100000 bottles of Don Perignon, and ended up having the "full tasting" after making friends with the tour host!
Outside the Louvre
Paris at night
Fountain outside Musee Pompidou
After a couple of weeks in Dublin with Bec and Dave, I (Fi) came to Kilkenny Ireland in mid August to visit Tony who was doing some physio work here, and fell in love with the place. Fortunately I found work pretty quickly at an awesome wine and tapas bar called the Grapevine. I moved in where Tone was staying, just a 15 min walk from the centre of town. Through work at the wine bar I've made some great friends and had some wonderful times - many involving drinking yummy wine from all over the world, and eating lots of tuscan ham and cheese!!! (And the occasional peroshki thanks my my lovely polish friends!) I'm really sad to leave as I have enjoyed my time so much here, I love the people I work with, and its even better since Nick and Bec both moved to KK. It has also got me thinking - maybe I will open my own wine bar one day....
My lovely work colleagues - Lizzy, Anna, T, and Sabastian (Irish, Polish, Aussie, New Zealander and another Polish!)
wine tasting at the Grapevine (my work)
I also recently started a second job (the recession is hitting everyone hard over here), and have been working in Monsoon/accessorize for the past few weeks too. AWESOME discount, and a great excuse for a new wardrobe and some jewellery - no doubt I needed some new clothes!!!
KK is an old medieval town with a castle and gorgeous castle grounds great for walking around, and old cathedrals and other buildings. It also has a surprisingly high amount of pubs and bars - our favourites being - the grapevine of course! and matt the millers on monday, langtons on tuesday, left bank any day! and an honourable mention to lanigans for playing a live version of skippy dedicated to us!
town hall with the Hurling teams colours draped over it
castle grounds on a nice day
main street kilkenny
Jumping the castle
We have become well accustomed to drinking guiness - it really does taste a million times better over here in ireland, had many an irish stew and plenty of potatoes (sometimes done three ways in one dish!). We are used to the rain, but I will NEVER get used to the cold - and its starting to get REALLY cold now in late october.
We are hoping to see a little more of the country over the next couple of weeks before we leave. Although, we have had a few wonderful day trips and so far have been to Kells Priory, the rock of Cashel (no blue cheese to be found anywhere in town however!), kissed the Blarney stone near Cork, seen the cliffs of Moher in the west, and Dublin.
My turn now, thanks fi, not a bad job....
When we arrived in Ireland i headed down to county kerry to Killarney to find work there. As it is a popular tourist spot i thought it would be a good place to find bar work. turns out that ireland is suffering badly from the current economic situation and they are having a poor tourist season and there is high unemployment everywhere. After much frustration i went on the ring of Kerry tour, which was quite impressive. Diverse landscapes from national parks to sheer cliffs and mountain passes to beautiful beaches.
From Killarney i decided to go to a larger city with more employment oportunities. Cork, as ireland's second largest city seemed like the best place to go. Cork was not as picturesque as other places in Ireland as it is quite a big port town and was pretty industrial. I found work within a few days with a catering mob but quit with out starting as the hostel i was staying at offered me a job. the pay was lousy (8.70 an hour) and they charged me 15 euro a night to stay there (even though i was working for them!!), but it was good craic, run by a bunch of NZ'ers they were always having a party and something on all the time.
I did a day trip to the Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney stone. All the locals say they have pissed on it or done something unsavoury to it, and laugh at all the stupid tourist kissing a stupid rock. Anyway i went out there with some friends and we had a good picnic and a few pints.
The Blarney Castle
Upon returning from Oktoberfest, i moved up to Kilkenny. Fi had pretty much arranged a Job for me at a traditional Irish bar. Its very different to the hostel in cork, all my work collegues are irish and understanding their thick kilkenny accent is a constant challenge. I have regulars called Paddy, Mick (trouble), Jim, Jack, Brian, Mick, Jack, Brian and Paddy. (no joke) and they all have things they like being done the same way every time.
Kilkenny is much more beautiful than Cork, the people are much friendlier and it has a real small country town feel to it. I feel much more relaxed here and could really be happy living here for an extended time, except for the freaking weather. everyone will comment on it. It is so cold and it is a good day if it doesnt rain all day.
Kilkenny City main street.
Kilkenny, center of town. note the brewery in the background.