Ireland, Ireland, Ireland!!! Where do I begin? There are no words to describe how amazing this place is..
I got up early and went to Luxembourg with my host Dad to catch a bus to Frankfurt Hahn airport.. which isn't even IN Frankfurt, for those of you playing along at home. I had to wait 5 hours or so for my flight so I drank some beers and got a bit merry before I took off. While I was having a beer at my gate, an Irish couple asked if they could sit down as it was packed and I was at a 4 seater. No worries I said, we got to chatting. They were going back to Ireland to visit family for early Christmas. I didn't sit with them on the plane, but when I got off at Kerry airport I ran into her again. She said 'How are you getting to Killarney?' And I told her I had to wait 2 hours for the next bus. 'Stuff that,' she said. 'We hired a car and we're going that way, we'll give you a lift.' I couldn't believe my luck! It took about 10 or 15 minutes to get to Killarney, and we were just chatting about our plans for the weekend etc. They let me out at the main street and we said our goodbyes, hopefully I'll see you on the return flight etc etc. I then had to ask about 4 different people how to get to my hostel, Paddy's Palace. By this stage it was about 5:30 in the afternoon. It wasn't too far. Walked up to level 1, where the reception and shared kitchen was. The hostel manager Louise was in there, along with ONE other American guy. I'm gonna be honest here (Louie - if you're reading this, I love you so much after this weekend!) but I was a little disappointed. In my mind the hostel would be full of travelers and I would have no problem meeting people. But this place was dead as a door knob! Plus I had a headache from all my pre flight beers. So I decided to be a sad sap in my room for a while and wish that I'd just gone to Dublin instead. The rooms were decent! 9 Euro a night for a 4 share but I had it all to myself, with my own bathroom. Then I heard voices, so I made my way back down to the kitchen and this is when I met Rebecca. Now, Rebecca is from Germany and was actually on my flight to Kerry! She spoke very good English and said she was going to walk to the Supermarket, I didn't need to go but I thought why the hell not I'll go for a walk anyway. Rebecca, can you talk or what! She didn't shut up the whole way. I heard all about her plans for Ireland, what she does in Germany, how old she is and her plans for the weekend. Then she told me halfway how much she loves to talk, but I had that part figured out.. I was so happy to hear all about her and her plans, and so happy I had made a new friend. We got back to the hostel and Louise informed me that in my absence an Aussie guy came to ask about information. She said she told him I was there and he should come back for a drink later on. By this stage in the kitchen there were 2 more inmates. Norah and Thibaut (Tee-bow). I introduced myself but these ones were super shy! At least so I thought... In walks Paul! Paul is from Scotland, and is one of the funniest mother f***er's I've ever met! We hit it off straight away. He wasn't actually staying there though, he was kind of just a floater. He told me to go across the road and get some beer cos it was 5 for 10 euro. So get beer I did, we got on the lash and talked a lot of s***. Enter Steve...Steve is the Aussie bloke who was to come back up for a beer. I was so happy to see an Aussie, and what an Aussie! Absolute legend this one, hope we can still keep in touch while he's here. So now I have an Aussie, a Scot, an American and beer. I'm pretty happy at this stage. Then Thibaut said he was going to bed. Then we were all like oh, how rude we didn't offer him a drink! Norah and Thibaut were so quiet, almost part of the furniture. So Louise followed Thibaut to get him to come back for a drink and I gave Norah a beer. Thibaut - you were still a little quiet at this stage, you had me worried! At some stage in the night we decided to go and see the Gap of Dunloe the next day. So Thibaut said he would take myself, Rebecca and Norah in his car. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur... We hit the town around 11:30ish, went to Murphy's pub for a pint and then some other place with a great live band who were doing covers of Adele, Beyonce, The Killers and all sorts. Absolutely loved it here. Got on the lash big time! Stumbled home at around 4ish, I think there was some Burger King involved but I'm not sure...
Woke up at 8ish without a hangover! Go me. Wandered down to the kitchen for some breakfast, which was also included in my 9 euro cover charge. Winning! At about 10ish we left in the car for the Gap of Dunloe, about 15kms away. We got stopped by an Irish guy who insisted we take his horse and carriage around the Gap for 50 euro - thanks anyway but we'll just walk! So off we went...
The Gap of Dunloe is AMAZING! So much beautiful scenery, it took about 4 hours to walk to the end because of all the photo opportunities. Beautiful bridges, lakes, mountains (mountain goats and all!) The best part though, was being with these 3 amazing people and getting to know them along the way. Even better that we all had someone to take pictures for us. The worst part? Definitely not packing any food or water, now THAT was a rookie error. Thibaut and Norah came out of their shell here - I took the liberty of teaching Thibaut some colourful Aussie slang, which I won't repeat on here as there are some things a mother just doesn't need to read. So proud of you though Thibaut.
We got back to the hostel around 4ish, beer O'clock I say. I went into a souvenir shop and bought some little nick nacks, including a deck of cards for the King of Beers I was inevitably going to teach them all to play. When we got back there were new friends! Xavier - he introduced himself as 'yar-vee-er' and I'm like...WHAT!? He said it a few more times and eventually ended up spelling it. And I'm like OHHH, Zayveeah! Like the big fat Aussie bogan I am.
I went up to my room and found I had a new friend, Morgan! This one was from America. Beautiful girl, so funny and I think she's an Aussie trapped in a Yank's body! Haha. I informed her how much I fookin' love Killarney and what there is to see and do.
We had some dinner and started a round of King's. It took a bit of getting used to for them but as it turns out they play similar games in Germany and France as well. I shared my beer with the girls cos they were on a budget, and beer isn't gonna drink itself. So naturally we got blind drunk and hit the pubs once again. Definitely not as drunk as I was on Friday, but still merry none the less. Had a pretty early night, 1ish! Haha. Cos I was knackered from all the walking and lack of sleep.
Today was the day for the Ring of Kerry tour. This I got for free because if you pay for 2 nights accommodation you get the 3rd for free. Worth 25 euro. Bargain! We went on the Paddy Wagon bus, and of my new friends I was with Steve and Morgan. The bus driver was hilarious, had me laughing all day. I was particularly tired this day, but I pulled through.
The Ring of Kerry was beautiful. It circles the coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Some spectacular photos of cliffs, lakes, waterfalls and general scenery. Ireland is a very scenic place, it makes you appreciate the beauty of nature a lot. Absolutely beautiful.
We got back to the hostel at 5ish, enter Phil and Steve...Irish guys! Their car had broken down, the poor things. We had a good chat, gotta love the Irish sense of humour. Hilarious blokes. I told them we'd be having a few drinks tonight and they'd be welcome to join. I went in for a Nanna Nap so I could last the night. Woke up for a shower and went and got some Pizza for dinner.
Thibaut was meant to be leaving that morning, but he stayed another night! I was SO SO happy :) And even happier that they were up for another round of King's. Xavier I REALLY wish you had facebook. You cracked me up everytime you got the Snake Eye's card! And by this stage Patrick had joined us. He was from Germany as well! So many Germans and frenchies in Ireland. Speaking of Frenchies, there was another new one at the table but his name escapes me. He was very cool though. I was definitely outnumbered. So more king's ensued, This was a crazy round, some of the best 'make a rule's' and 'categories' I've ever heard. By this stage we were all plastered and made our way out again.
We went to the Grand where there was this really awesome Irish cover band on. They even played some Acca Dacca and Christmas Carols. Oh they were so good. Had a good dance and a good laugh. By this stage it was myself, Morgan, Thibaut, Xavier, Rebecca, Norah and Phil. Met a few random drunks in there as well though, needless to say. Phil and I kicked on after the band left and went to the nightclub upstairs, which was ALMOST better than Fogs (R.I.P. Fogs!!). What a night, this was a highlight, having too many drinks with who are essentially international strangers. Now I know a stranger really is just a friend you haven't met yet!
Departure day! :-( sad times. Saying my goodbyes to all my new friends and Louise, who was a lovely host by the way. Woke up at 9ish and went to post my post cards (all 13 of them - you can thank me later Australia). Walked to the bus stop at 11:30 ish to get back to the airport. Here I ran into Phil and Steve again, and they had me in stitches with a) their accents and b) their stories. Champion blokes. Had to wait around 2 hours this time, went to town on the airport souvenir shop and had some lunch. I met an Irish guy walking to the plane, he was awesome and I was looking forward to getting to know him over the course of the flight. Turns out he was on the wrong flight! Hahaha poor guy. So I ended up sitting behind the couple from my inbound flight again. I needed to get back to Luxembourg to catch a bus to Merzig and then walk half an hour home, which would have taken me a good 5 hours of travelling and waiting around. Because they were going to Luxembourg anyway I politely asked for a lift and they said no problem! I couldn't believe my luck when they said they would drive me all the way home from the airport. I have never been so grateful in my entire life or said thank you so many times! And they refused to take petrol money as well. Don and Mary - your kindness was the icing on top of my Irish cake.. I was so worried about getting home in one piece and you made my life 100 times easier! THANK YOU!
I can't describe in words how AMAZING my weekend was. And I can't encourage you enough to get off your arse and see as much of the world as possible. But only you can make that decision. Now a few words for my new friends, who I hope will be lifelong ones at that..
Rebecca (Germany) - You are without a doubt the sweetest girl I've ever met! I will never forget your smile or the sparkle in your eyes. I can't wait for you to get back to Germany so we can party once again
Norah (Germany) - I like your style! You were a lot of fun once you got going. Hope we can catch up one day!
Steve (Aussie) - f***ing legendary! The world needs more people like you, where it's quicker and easier to ask you where you haven't been rather than where you have been. Love your passion for life and travel - 'Work to live, don't live to work'
Paul (Scottish) - You have no idea how happy I am that I met a Scot. I could listen to you talk all day. Thanks for showing us where the craic is!
Louise (Pommy) - Lovely hostess, really helpful and loves a chat! Obviously cos she's a pom. I promised you I would be back and I meant it! Killarney hasn't seen the end of me
Morgan (America) - Love your accent, your tattoos and the fact you were up for a chat! I know we didn't get to spend much time together :-( but I hope we can see each other again one day!
Phil (Irish) - You're what I look for in a friend...hilarious, Irish and loves to get on the lash! Thanks for joining in King of Beer's and taking so many incriminating drunken photos of/with me.
Steve (Irish) - I will never forget your story of your friend who pisses on everything when he's drunk. You made my day!
Xavier (French) - You are hilarious! I love that you were up for anything and am so so glad you joined in with our games. Keep working on that Aussie accent and enjoy Ireland!
Thibaut - You are a f***in' legend! I'm so glad you stayed all 3 nights. Thanks for putting up with me talking too fast. I hope you use all the new words I taught you :-)
Patrick - Last but not least..loved your rules and categories! And thank you for telling me that you can't drink Erdinger out of a Glas. I will keep that in mind and when you're back in Germany let me know please!!!
Okay I think that's everyone... but before I sign off I just have to share the most wonderful compliment Louise gave me this morning. She told me that she was talking to the Frenchies and the Germans and they said I 'made their weekend.' WOW! I'm not sure who exactly said that, but I feel so happy when I hear this. I'm glad I could share some great experiences with you and I hope you all keep in touch.
Ireland, I'll be back! Still so much to see and do, and I didn't touch a potato or a drop of Guiness so obviously I can't NOT go back!
I AM SO IN LOVE WITH LIFE RIGHT NOW!!!!
Thanks for an amaaaaaaazzzzzing weekend Ireland.
xoxo gossip Kate