Well what a blast the last few days have been. Temple Bar was not what I expected at all but still fun all the time! The area is probably a bit bigger than Northbridge, and every single joint was fairly pumping. A lot of hens nights going on in every place we went - We went into 3-4 bars befor settling in drinking the local whisky Jamesons at a small bar in which I can only explain a couple of guys playing music much in the same way that Doug Anthony All Stars used to play. It was hilarious and actually had sore ribs from laughing so much.
The next day was a tad late start due to the night before and a little bit horrified how much we acrually spent out! By this time we had realised Ireland (or specifically Dublin) was quite a bit more expensive than England or Scotland were. From what we can tell the tax on alcohol plus the more expensive pub meals definately made a bigger dent in things. We decided to jump on the regular hop on/hop off buses that go around, and did tours of the Guinness Storehouse, and also the Jamesons Distillery. Both well woth visiting if you find some spare time here.
As we only scheduled 3 nights in Ireland, this was not enough to see much apart from Dublin, so what the idea was was to catch a train down to Cork to see some of the countryside and spend half a day having a look around Cork. Read later on about this decision and how I would do it differently :) Cork was very impressionable and this was the first time on our trip that we had truly felt we did not allow enough time for somewhere. Specially as again below we were up at 3am for the flight out. The hostel we stayed at here had a bar, and different things on and the night we were here was movie night - A stange feeling sitting at a bar watching a film! This finishing up about midnight then getting up @ 3am definiatley is the reason today here sitting in Amsterdam we had a orientation day findout out where we are and getting used of everything here before having a bit of a nap. All in all I liked what we saw of Ireland and if I ever get over here again then I would definately spend the entire time out in the country towns moreso than cities to truly experience it. It was the first country that we really didnt do a full day tour out of a city to see some of the country (I thought the train trip to Cork would experience it but unfort it didnt). Oh well cant get everything right!
So today was yea just getting used of Amsterdam and also for the majority of us was the first time we had been in a country that where the majority of signs/info are not in English, and not hearing english in most speech around the town. This combined with the pure openess of this city in regards to sex shops/coffee shops (places where you can smoke mull) and other such openiness. The city so far is magestic however - Canals after canals with crooked old buildings (Obviously foundations not done correctly and the fact its majority reclaimed land). For now I will say goodbye with getting ready for some dinner and maybe a look around the red light district tonight (Cant come to Amsterdam and not go for a look! hehe)
Also While I was writing this I thought I would reflect on A few things about travelling so far and some of the things I wouuld never do again -
1) NEVER book anywhere for 1 night only - If you want to stopover somewhere then I would never do 1 night again - You just end up doing nothing in that place as it takes half a day just to get your bearings, and after any sort of travel, you need some rest time too. Unfortunately, we have another one of these before the end of the trip, but not for a while.
2) Flights take MUCH more time out of your day than you think. I would have seriously for the 3 days we spent in Ireland not bothered because of the time used up on flights. Take for example our flight today from Cork to Amsterdam - Left Cork at 6:10am and arrived in at 8:55am (1 hr forward). To do this 1hr 45min flight however, we were up at 2:50am (you are requried to be at the airports 2 hrs before your flight), the time it takes to travel to and from the airports, then also time through immigration/picking up luggage. I think we got into the city centre of amsterdam around 10:30am - so around 7hrs of travel end to end. Compare this to train travel where you can arrive within 15mins of departure, no time to/from airports as most of the time the stations are in ideal/central locations, no immagration because of the EU borders, and finally no waiting for luggage as it is sitting near you in the carridge. Now with Ireland its a tad hard to do a train :) But someone might find this valuable if youj are thinking of doing your own europe tour as we did.