A sisterly reunion on Crete: part 2

So in my last post I spoke of the gamble of going to any of Crete’s ‘hype beaches’ where you battle crowds and insane traffic to get a tiny slice of so-called heaven. Well there is one hype beach I would recommend as it was one of the most unique swimming experiences of my life and that is Stefanou beach.

Stefanou Beach

The drive there is really pretty; you zoom past tiny white washed villages, dry barren landscape and goats. Lots of goats.

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Goats? Church? Water in the distance? Yep, you’re in Greece

You wind your way down terrifying switch-backs, park the car, then begin the descent down a rocky cliff:

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The Harry Potter scar of beaches

It’s only when you get to beach level that you fully appreciate the force of the waves, bouncing off the gorge walls then crashing ferociously at the shoreline.

It took me a few goes to fully get into the water (I’m usually a total fish!) because you kind of have to get past the crashing waves and into the deep, churning water to avoid getting violently dumped.

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Those people are in the safe zone. This photo is deceptive; that wave is as tall as me (TALL)

When you’re in the deep water you have zero control over where you go, it’s like being in a human soup with an invisible giant stirring the pot. You want to avoid the left side, where the epic waves crash, and the right side where people are smack-landing into the water having jumped from a rock.

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So basically not the most relaxing swimming scenario! But super fun. I was amazed at how many people just ran blindly into the waves, only to be spectacularly dumped and then wiped out by a second wave (see a 10 second video I took here!).

There is only a tiny smidge of beach to sit on at Stefanou, so by mid afternoon it’s basically impossible to work your way through the patchwork of towels and umbrellas to the water. Time to leave!

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Amazing how the later sunlight changes the colour of the water

By that point we were outrageously hungry, so stopped on the way home for gyros and tzatziki. Slight overkill.

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Worth it. And only 2.30 euros

That evening we explored Chania at golden hour.

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We strolled along the old port, politely rebuffing every pushy restaurant spruiker along the waterfront.

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There is an incredible labyrinth of tiny streets lined with beautiful old crooked buildings and creeping bougainvillia.

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I stared longingly at the shops filled with beautiful leather sandals and hand-crafted jewellery. Damn budget.

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We went to another pretty lacklustre touristy restaurant and while the service we received wasn’t too bad, we watched in dismay as people around us walked out having waited half an hour without even seeing a menu.

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The following day Sarah and I drove out to Phalasarna (aka Falasarna) beach on Crete’s west coast.

Phalasarna Beach

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In terms of size, soft sand and beautifully blue, deep water it was probably the perfect beach. But it was blowing an absolute gale! Still, I loved it.

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The snorkelling was pretty decent too.

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More evidence for my extensive research on why no one looks good in a snorkel

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Once we got sick of being whipped with sand we drove back up the hill to a cafe overlooking the olive groves that populate the land behind Falasarna beach.

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Nice view!

True to form, we ordered a selection of appetisers and were delighted to discover two new dishes; dakos and grilled feta.

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Dakos is the red dish on the left. Grilled feta not pictured

Dakos is the Greek answer to bruschetta only far more delicious! It consists of rusk bread topped with tomatoes or a tomato jus, feta, olives and herbs. Grilled feta is as obvious and delicious as it sounds.

We caught the sunset in Chania that night.

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We ate at Chrisostomos in Chania that night. It was absolutely outstanding and probably the only meal I didn’t photograph! I think I was probably just so relieved to be there (it was really hard to find, the Google maps address was wrong and Sarah got shoddy directions off five separate people!) that I couldn’t be bothered to take photos. But still, it was easily the best meal we had on Crete. They give you free loukoumades (Greek donuts) for dessert; enough said!

Samaria Gorge

On our last day with my sister we hiked the 16.7km Samaria Gorge. It’s meant to be the longest gorge in Europe. I had mixed feelings about the hike; knowing that it was mostly downhill and what my crappy knees are like.

The drive there through the hills was really pretty.

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We set off at about 8:30am and were certainly not alone. Once we got past many of the stragglers in inappropriate footwear it was beautiful. Reminded me a lot of Yosemite National Park in California.

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My dad reckons he did the hike in 2.5 hours 35 years ago, so my sister and I decided we’d better try to beat that. Hence running intervals began.

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Proof of the running

Running downhill over boulders and rocks is really fun until you trip over, which I did. I got up laughing but pretty soon my right shin was swollen and bruised. So we walked the rest of the way. Even now (a week later!) I’m still swollen and bruised. Idiot!

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We got to Agia Roumeli (the end of the gorge) at 1pm and it was only then that we learnt there is only one return boat, which connects you to a bus back to the trail head, at 5:30pm. I was pretty upset at first, as it was my last day with Sarah and I wanted to show her this awesome beach on the north coast we had found before she arrived. But we had absolutely no options so placated ourselves with beer, gyros and ice cream:

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So good.

The water at Agia Roumeli is absolutely breathtaking. Probably the clearest we’d seen all week.

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Don’t you want to just jump in?

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It was such an amazing swim after a long hike.

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We had a snooze after our swim and soon enough it was time to get on the boat.

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After the boat we got on a bus for an hour, then it was another two hours back to Heraklion. With dinner thrown in we got back at after midnight and then had to wake the next morning at 5am to take Sarah to the airport. Thankfully Andrew did a run to the supermarket to buy water and five packets of vac-packed olives for Sarah to take home to Africa. Champ!

Due to our fatigue it was a fairly unemotional farewell at the airport. It wasn’t until later, in a crappy dorm room in Santorini that I felt the sadness of such an excellent week being over. I highly recommend Crete as any holiday or reunion-with-a-close-sibling destination.

Thanks Sarah and Andrew for one of the best weeks of this trip! x

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A sisterly reunion on Crete: part 1

For the majority of our respective 20s my sister and I have been ships in the night, stopping only for brief catch ups between our lives in Melbourne, Canberra, Vienna, Samoa, Kalgoorlie, London and Rwanda. As babies we grew up in Northcote when it was better known for its Greek population than for hipsters, having our cheeks regularly pinched by the Yia Yia at the corner store and snacking from a young age on dolmades, tzatziki and olives. So it makes a lot of sense that our first face to face meeting in almost two years should take place in Greece.

Sarah flew in from Kigali, Rwanda, via Istanbul (missing the attempted military coup by a few short hours) and we met her at Heraklion airport on Crete. We spent our first night speaking a million miles a minute in between stuffing ourselves with olives, laughing and attempting to call our parents to let them know Sarah wasn’t stuck in Turkey.

Plakias

The next day we piled into our tiny hire car and drove to Plakias, on the south side of the island. We stopped briefly in Rethymno and then I sent us in the wrong direction but we eventually made it to Kassiani Studios, a delightful, family run hotel surrounded by olive groves.

After checking out the local beaches it was wine time by the pool.

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I feel like this is suddenly one of those blogs that doesn’t show faces?!

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There we are!

That evening we drove uphill to Taverna Mariou for spectacular views and delicious food.

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Views; check

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We opted for a meal of shared appetisers but two dishes actually came out as mains.

Fried zucchini balls

Fried zucchini balls

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Eggplant dip

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Grilled mushrooms

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Meatballs and some kind of macaroni/moussaka hybrid

The trick I’ve learnt with Greek food is that if you’re unsure of the restaurant’s quality, just order appetisers. They’re always great! This doesn’t apply at Taverna Mariou because the food is excellent, but this is generally a good rule to follow.

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Preveli Beach

Preveli Beach was our first foray into Crete’s ‘hype beaches’. The big deal with Preveli is that it has palm trees (not common) as well a a channel running into the ocean. Frankly, the real thing looks nothing like the photos, the channel is stagnant and smelly and because of the hype, this beach gets very busy, very fast.

The walk down there is nice though:

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There are a number of ‘hype beaches’ in Crete (Balos, Elafonissi I’m looking at you) that draw massive crowds and often just end up being packed and disappointing. I found it far more satisfying to find our own swimming spots. I should add a disclaimer here that as Australians, we are far too spoilt when it comes to quiet, beautiful beaches.

That night we had a perfect balcony dinner.

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Kalami

The following day on our drive to Chania we pulled off the highway to grab coffees, happened to look down and saw this:

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‘Yeah, we’re going to have to drive down there and jump off that pier’ went our collective inner monologues (I think). So we did.

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And it was worth it. The water was gloriously deep and calm.

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See what I mean about discovering your own beaches?! So. Good.

Not Balos Beach

That afternoon we stupidly attempted to get to Balos ‘major hype’ beach. It’s a 7km drive on a rocky road followed by a 2km hike.

The views from the road are actually awesome, plenty of blue water and plenty of goats

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And a church!

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But when you get to the end of the road, chaos ensues. Despite paying entry to the area (it’s a national park) there are no attendants directing cars and we ended up in one mother of a traffic jam. Cars just kept piling into the parking lot with nowhere to go or park until we were gridlocked and so just sat there eating dolmades and spilling feta juice everywhere.

We decided to call it a day and left without even catching a glimpse of Balos. However, on our way out of the national park area Sarah spotted this tiny slice of heaven just before the gate:

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Jackpot.

We had this little, Not Balos beach to ourselves for a full hour before another car rolled up. It was glorious.

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It was so still and clear.

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We celebrated our beach win with ice creams on the way home.

Chania

That evening we checked into Niriis Hotel which is actually 3km west of Chania in the Agii Apostoli area. It has two sandy coves nearby which are great for swimming and hanging out.

For dinner we went into Chania where a hunger induced decision led to a lacklustre dinner. At least the place looked cute.

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I’m probably still not over my sister randomly ordering a ‘mixed grill for 3’.

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The next day Andrew started his scuba diving course leaving Sarah and I to discover more beaches and eat more delicious things…

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A very London sunset

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Upon our return to London after the Scottish wedding we pushed our way out of the stuffy tube station, dragging our battered bags behind us. After a brief disagreement with the ticket barriers we made our way into the fresh air and saw the beginning of a spectacular sunset. Covered in a sheen of that particularly sticky kind of sweat that only comes from dragging suitcases around stations the fading light brought a smile to my tired face.

Not content to miss out on the colours Andrew left me and the bags on the front door step and tore off, camera in hand, towards the Thames. He snapped these wonderful shots with some very English landmarks lurking beneath the breathtaking sky.

A lesson in why you should always run towards a sunset, no matter how sweaty or tired.

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Incredible Edinburgh and a Scottish wedding

For our entire trip, the spiel about our travel plans always ended a bit like this “… and then we go to Scotland for our friends’ wedding”. So you can imagine the excitement and the anticipation leading up to the moment when we actually arrived in Edinburgh a week before the Big Day.

Firstly, seeing our friends from Kalgoorlie was completely surreal and amazing. I got to meet the daughter of one of my closest friends who was born shortly after we left Australia. We got to sit down and drink pints like it was the good old days only with a much, much more impressive setting (sorry Kal!). And most importantly, we were all there to celebrate the love of two of our close friends who had been waiting for same sex marriage to be legalised in Australia, but understandably, got sick of the wait.

So there we all were, in this ancient place ahead of this monumental day. I tried to soak up as much of the city as possible, but I was slightly distracted. Still, Edinburgh is just jaw-dropping, oozing with history and movie-set vistas around every corner.

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Edinburgh Castle

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A small slice of the Kal Crew, including two new members!

We spent most of our week walking around the Royal mile, but we also went to the Scottish Museum (the views from the top are amazing), went inside the Castle and did a walking tour. Oh and went to a lot of pubs.

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The view from the Museum roof

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The Grass Market area

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A ladies high tea ahead of the wedding

 

The weather was just plain awful for most of our stay, but occasionally the clouds parted (if only for an hour) and it was magical.

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One of the Castle’s cannons

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The view from Arthur’s Seat, Andrew hiked up there while I slept in

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After Edinburgh it was off to Falkirk for the wedding.

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We hired a kilt for Andrew the day before and although I’m biased, I think he looks rather dashing. My outfit came together two days before the wedding with a top from Zara, a skirt from Oasis and a bag and pair of shoes I had tucked away in my suitcase.

As the self appointed videographer and enthusiastic unofficial photographer for the day I snapped a million photos and many hours of footage #digitalhoarder

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It was a beautiful, fun ceremony and seeing two people you know deserve to be married finally get to do so is pretty emotional!

After entrees we headed outside for an impromptu photo shoot, which included a few bums-under-kilts shots I will spare you the trauma of witnessing.

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Oh and a quick word about the food; it was incredible! Below is my haggis entree. I’m a huge haggis fan as long as I don’t think about how it’s made. My main course came with three kinds of potato! I almost needed a little lie down afterwards.

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We danced the night away to a DJ who grew amusingly tired of my constant tips and song requests. Such an excellent day and Andrew and I both felt so honoured to be part of it.

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12 things we did in London (some for free!)

So here I am again, about to apologise for my lapse in posting. I suppose I should spare you all a hollow ‘sorry’ and just cut to the chase, shouldn’t I?

For the last month we’ve been staying with extraordinarily generous friends and family strewn across the UK. We flew from Dublin to London, and then we traipsed to Watford, to Norwich and up to Scotland. But I’m getting ahead of myself, in London we first stayed with good friends in Shepherd’s Bush and then with my aunt south of the Thames.

Here are 12 things we did (I should mention I’ve been lucky enough to have done most of London’s most touristy hot spots on previous visits);

1 Boogied at the Soul Kitchen in Shoreditch  

Let it be known that I abhor the word ‘boogie’, but that is the most accurate way to describe what we did there as part of my friend’s Hens Night. Excellent venue, would recommend!

2 Strolled around Notting Hill (free!)

A veritable feast for one’s Instagram feed.

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3 Dined at Egg Break in Notting Hill

I often struggle to find independent cafes of Melbourne’s calibre in London, which seems crazy! Egg Break certainly fits the bill.

4 Strolled past Kensington Palace and through Hyde Park (free!)

Watch out for the feisty fowl in the pound.

5 Walked along the Regent’s Canal to Camden Town (free!)

It feels like you’ve stepped outside London here.

6 Shared a brownie ice cream sandwich at Chin Chin Labs 

They use liquid nitrogen to freeze each ice cream as it’s ordered. Delicious!

7 Admired the Elizabeth Tower and the Houses of Parliament (free!)

More commonly known as ‘Big Ben’, which actually refers to the bell inside the clock tower.

8 Took a ‘members only’ peek inside the new Tate Modern Switch House (free-ish!)

Thanks to the membership of a kind relative, Andrew and I got to have a look inside the new Switch House building before it opened to the public.

Parts of the Tate Modern are free.

This exhibition is not free

9 Explored the V&A (free-ish!)

I love the clothes exhibits

It’s a big call, but I think the Victoria and Albert Museum (the world’s largest for decorative arts and design) is my favourite in London. General entry is free, some exhibitions (such as the Brief History of Underwear!) have an entry fee.

10 Walked through Belgravia (free!)

Walking is pretty much the only free thing in Belgravia; known for its beautiful architecture and exorbitant property prices. One of my favourite areas to look at though.

11 Voted in the Federal Election at Australia House (free? lol)

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Carrying out our democratic duties. Fun fact: the Australian High Commission Building (above) was the location for the Gringotts Bank in the Harry Potter movies.

12 Saw a Pitch Perfect-esque performance at the Udderbelly Festival  

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Gobsmacked are an a cappella singing group (featuring a phenomenal beat boxer) who do a fun performance with all your favourite songs. You can still buy tickets to see them here.

13 BONUS: Got out of London and into the countryside! 

Where I enjoyed visiting my Grandmother, this Ploughman’s Lunch and taking a stroll through poppy lined fields.

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So red.

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After London we travelled to Watford, had a lovely time catching up with Andrew’s relatives, then drove up to Norwich.

More soon!

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9 things that surprised me about Ireland

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The Cliffs of Moher

Gaelic language is quite widespread

The Irish language is on all the road, tourist and information signs, on menus and the train and tram stops were announced in Gaelic and then in English. I suppose I had wrongly assumed Gaelic would be more dominant in one part of the country (like French speaking Canada) or just rarely spoken but I was heartened to see its presence all over the country. I hate to hear of languages dying out. While we were on Inishmore, part of the Aran Islands, we saw a few school groups on field trips and the teachers all spoke to the kids in Gaelic while they flitted in and out of English and Irish with enviable ease.

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Road signs in two languages

Good weather changes lives

During our time in Ireland we experienced a seemingly unprecedented spell of sunny days in a row, maybe a week or so. For this sun seeking Aussie, good weather is often taken for granted so I found it utterly charming that everyone seemed in the best mood as a direct result from all the sunshine. Everyone in shops and many strangers on the street would be beaming and ask “Isn’t this grand weather that we’re having?”. The national mood was just so light and bright. Unfortunately I became accustomed to the good Irish weather and was personally affronted when it began to rain again but everyone in Ireland just seemed grateful it had been dry and sunny for so long. It was a reminder to appreciate sunny days.

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Late evening sunshine on a walk around Emo Court

It isn’t properly dark until 10:30-11pm

Even though we arrived in Spring I was not expecting it to be light until so late in the evening. It was quite an adjustment to go from 6-6:30pm sunsets in north east America to it not being full dark until 11pm. As a result I found myself going to bed really late and not getting to sleep until about 2 or 3am.

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Sunset in Leenane, Connemara

I sometimes had trouble understanding the accents

I really wasn’t expecting this in Ireland, Scotland yes, but not Ireland! I’ve known many Irish people around the world, especially living in Kalgoorlie, and never had trouble with the accent. But there were a few times when someone said something to me or to Andrew and I that resulted in a look of ‘did you get any of that?!’ on my face. This was especially bad if the person speaking also mumbled a bit, because I don’t have the best hearing. Awkward!

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Donkeys on Inishmore

People often lengthen sentences

I’ve tried to look this up to prove I’m not just imagining things, but I can’t seem to find any solid evidence! Australians tend to shorten and abbreviate everything (“I need to go to the servo this arvo“) so I noticed that sometimes people in Ireland would add little things to the ends of their sentences like “that beer is brewed in Cork so it is” which didn’t seem to add anything to what they were saying except to make it longer?! I wondered if this had some connection to Gaelic being quite a long and wordy language? Other linguistic charms I noticed were saying “your man” instead of “the man” to refer to someone that had no connection to anyone “your man in the shop told me strawberries will be in next week”. I also like the use of “grand” instead of “good”, seems more regal!

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There are no power outlets in the bathrooms!

Apparently it’s illegal to have power outlets in bathrooms. A random observation that had no consequence except on the appearance of my hair. I’m guessing Irish people all have mirrors in their bedrooms so they can do their hair in there?

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Finding a dorm bed in a Dublin hostel is hard work (and expensive)

I really wasn’t expecting it to be so hard to find available dorm beds when it wasn’t even the height of summer. Eventually we found a place to stay for a couple of nights for a whopping 37 euros each ($AUD56!) a night. As a comparison we are paying about 14 euros a night in Santorini, one of the most expensive Greek Islands. Apparently because of the housing shortages in Ireland (building pretty much stopped during the recession) locals have been forced to live in hostels, which means finding a spare bed is difficult and expensive.

Young women seem to wear a lot of make up 

I’ve kind of observed this in England as well and it’s certainly not a criticism! I’m in awe of how well young Irish women apply makeup; full perfect brows, perfectly contoured faces, huge statement eye makeup and bold lips. I even saw a young girl on the beach sporting this look! It was quite a contrast going from America to Ireland, as there certainly seemed to be a much more natural look going on in the States. I don’t really have the patience or skill for this kind of makeup, but I appreciate it on other people.

I’ve never seen green like Irish green 

I know it’s called the ‘Emerald Isle’ but I really never understand just how green a place could be until we got to Ireland. I was constantly in awe of the green rolling hills and lush landscape. All that rain is certainly worth it.

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Hanging out on the Emerald Isle

Greetings from Ireland! This place is as lush, green and drenched in Guinness and glorious music as you could ever imagine. We landed just over 3 weeks ago and after breezing through immigration (seriously, the immigration officer told has to have celebratory drinks that evening) we met up with Andrew’s sister Carly and drove to County Laois.

Since then we’ve been having an excellent time walking around the Irish countryside, taking day trips to beautiful places, trying Guinness and Bulmers in every pub, relaxing, trying to catch up on sleep and doing lots of yoga (handily, Carly is an instructor).

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Emo Court, our regular local walking spot

I can’t get over the amazing ruins dotted randomly around the countryside, you’ll be driving along a highway and suddenly there is a towering spire of stones half covered in ivy that was once part of something tremendously old.

And no one bats an eyelid! Let alone guards the entrance and charges admission to see it. The Rock of Dunamase is from the 9th Century. Ninth.

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The Rock of Dunamase

The early Christian settlement there was pillaged by Vikings in 842. It’s weird writing a date without a ‘1’ in front. It might not have been super successful as a fort but the view was pretty decent.

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Can’t get over how green it is

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Andrew and Carly

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We took a pretty hike through the Slieve Bloom mountains. It poured with rain for most of it but the sun came out at the end. I can’t believe how quickly the weather changes here, and people complain about Melbourne!

Rain or not it was very picturesque:

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Stopped for lunch

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We took a bus to Dublin for a few days and caught up with our friend Will.

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Dublin in a moment of sunshine

The majority of our activities involved exploring Dublin’s thriving pub scene.

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Particularly around Temple Bar.

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Yeah…

There is live music pretty much anywhere you go but it seems all the bands have the same set list. We must have heard Hey Jude, Take Me Home Country Roads, Galway Girl and Dirty Old Town at least 10 times. Still, it was fun to see those songs on traditional instruments.

On our second night we caught up with our friend Darren, whom we met in Austin, Texas, last year. We drank red wine and devoured a cheese board before he took us to his local pub. Apparently the only Irish people who go out in Temple Bar are there to pick up tourists!

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Tony, Darren, me, Will, Carly & Andrew

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An excellent start to our European leg! More Emerald Isle to come.

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The creepy house on top of The Met

We finished up our time in North America with a few excellent days in NYC. It was so much fun to do things we didn’t get around to last time, plus a few things I’ve never done there.

On our first day we went straight to Chinatown and stuffed ourselves full of dumplings. To the brim. Oh it was so glorious, I’d been craving dumplings for months and unsurprisingly they are tough to find in South and Central America. We had xiao long bao, bbq pork buns, pan fried pork and steamed veggies. I’m salivating just typing this now.

After our gluttonous trip to Chinatown we headed uptown to The Met and made a beeline for the roof, no easy feat in a place that would more appropriately be called ‘The Maze’. Up on the roof we were greeted with this:

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British artist Cornelia Parker’s rooftop installation is inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1925 painting House by the Railroad, which also inspired the spooky house in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho. It’s pretty spot on! Creeeeeepy.

The view up there is pretty spectacular.

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The house is made from wood salvaged from an abandoned barn in upstate New York, apparently when it rains the wood smells faintly of manure.

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It looks so quirky, out of place and contrasts amazingly with the skyscraper skyline.

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While we were up there we spotted British actor Michael Palin of Monty Python fame, just hanging out having his photo taken.

 

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Afterwards we wandered back downstairs and had a look at the Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology exhibition.

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Chanel

Pretty.

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Also Chanel

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Dior? I have no idea!

On our final day we met my New Yorker friend Adrienne for lunch at the 2nd Ave Deli, did a spot of shopping, wandered through the Chelsea Market to escape the rain and then saw an evening of improv comedy at the Upstanding Citizens Brigade (an excellent recommendation from reader and fellow blogger Gabrielle). We topped off the night with knockout ice cream sandwiches from Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co.

And so ended our year in the Americas. Was sad to leave but excited for the next adventure: Europe!

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3 delicious things we ate in Montreal

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Bonjour!

It’s a completely bizarre concept to an Australian that you can drive a couple of hundred kilometres and suddenly be unable to speak the local language. Firstly, because driving a couple of hundred kilometres usually gets you nowhere in Australia and secondly, almost no one speaks anything other than English.

So while I was aware that driving into Montreal would mean switching to French, I was not at all prepared for not being able to read the roadsigns or understand where we could park and how long for. We ended up driving an unnecessary loop around the city. It was kind of fun! Like being in Europe.

Anyway. Montreal is a known foodie haven and armed with a list of tips from my cousin who lives in India (we have a complicated family!) Andrew and I set out to taste it all.

We started where most good nights out end: with poutine.

Montreal Poutine

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Poutine is the irresistible combination of french fries, cheese curds and gravy. It’s thought to have originated in rural Quebec in the 1950s and these days is the favoured midnight snack for jolly college students and other intoxicated up-late revellers.

We ducked into Montreal Poutine in the heart of the tourist district partly to escape the blustery cold, but also to tick ‘eat Poutine in French Canada’ off our list.

Tick.

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Fairmount Bagel

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We were told many times by many people to try the Montreal bagels and in the end we decided on Fairmount Bagel, figuring they must be good seeing as they’ve been around since 1919. A Montreal bagel is very different to the the New York kind, it’s rolled by hand and baked in a wood-fired oven. The result is a smaller, denser, thinner, sweeter bagel with a bigger hole.

We had the sesame bagel with cream cheese and it was really tasty! Not sure I’d opt for it over a NY bagel but absolutely worth trying.

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Schwartz’s Deli

If you love Jewish food (which I do) as well as meat (which I do) you will find a scrumptious meeting of the two at Schwartz’s Deli. We went on a Sunday night and happily joined the line out front, tummies rumbling. Less than 10 minutes later (after a waiter come out, sized us up and decided we would slide into the cramped seats better than our ahem, larger compadres at the front the line) we were seated!

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Their signature smoked meat sandwich is to die for. Really. It’s similar to pastrami but not quite the same. And the pickles? Probably the best I’ve ever had. This place is an absolute must as far as I’m concerned.

Lots of the reviews on Yelp complain about the service but our waiter was lovely. No complaints at all.

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Aaaand now I’m hungry! Have you been to Montreal?

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Two new videos of our trip

I’ve had some time lately to collate the (endless) hours of GoPro footage we’ve collected along our travels and have come up with two snazzy videos to share.

The first one is of our USA-Canada road trip which you can watch on facebook by clicking here.

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This is what it looks like on Facebook, unfortunately you can’t click on it here

The second one I uploaded to YouTube; it’s of our amazing time in Mexico, Belize & Cuba and probably the highlight of our time away so far. Lots of snorkelling in crystal clear blue water.

I love making videos to music but I wonder sometimes if in a few years I’ll wish I did a vlog style ‘chatting to the camera about what we’re doing and where we are’ video. Thoughts?

Meanwhile all this video footage is really taking a toll on my computer storage space, I’ve become a digital hoarder! I need to find a good solution before my computer explodes.

Have a great weekend, what are you up to? x

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