All posts by leakygreens

Interested in #Travel, #Gardening_Organically, #Animals, #People, #Information_about_everything_almost. #Ted_Talks, #Permaculture

Out and about in County Clare – Ireland

Weather today – foggy 15°C Drizzle – It is Ireland 🤪

We went to Doolin today which is the village 3 miles down the road. One the road through Doolin there are lovely shops and a pub called …. where there is live music every night of the week.

Street view
Street view
Interior of the pub with walls covered in US $1 notes and patches from Fire and Police personnel from all over the world.

Further down the road is the ferry to the Aran Islands and a view from the carpark towards the cliffs at the start of the Cliffs of Moher.

After that we went into a couple of stores which sell Aran Jumpers from the Aran Islands and there were lots of choice but none for me. I would like one but haven’t found ‘the one’ yet.

The view from our cottage
Same view – looking at the Atlantic Ocean
The Cliffs

Next we drove to Ennistymon (Ennistimon) – depending on the sign you are looking at. The rain was constant but my resolve is strong to get images for my blog and my memories.

On the way to Ennistimon
Main Street in Ennistymon
Our lunch venue – Ennistymon

During our time in Ennistymon we bought some bananas from a stall in the Main Street. It was a smallish stall but it had a large range of fruit and veggies. But the thing that intrigued me about the place was the HUGE range of countries that the food came from.

Veggie Stall
My bananas are from Costa Rica – Panama
A lichen on a tree in the street.
Colourful house in the street
Dry walls in Ennistymon
More fabulous dry walls
If there is a tractor on the road and you can pass – pass.
Fog in the afternoon – that’s our view today!

Molly’s Yard, Belfast

Our evening out and views on the way.

Come this way…..
Converted stables
Courtyard
Cosy interior with fire
Table for 4
Rib-eye M-WD , Pepper sauce on the side
Rib-eye Medium with pepper sauce.
We didn’t .

www.mollysyard.co.uk

Located in the heart of Queen’s University Quarter, Molly’s Yard is a beautiful restaurant in Belfast.

If you are interested in the history and restoration of this lovely place there is a video on the web-site above.

We walked to the restaurant – about 10 mins from our hotel. We saw some very eclectic places and lots of ‘students’ from the Queen’s University.

Nice piece done in silver to catch the early evening sun.

Belfast

Sunny and coolish

Today started slowly – we had booked a taxi tour for 11am so we took it easy, and I blogged and we took time to do quiet things.

The taxi tour is about the political history of Ireland, Belfast, Britain.

 I never really understood what the conflict in Belfast was about. Finally we understand! Dermott outlined what happened and where it is today. Black Taxi Tour included Shankill Road and Falls Road to see the murals of the troubles that occurred here. We saw the infamous Peaceline, a wall built to keep Nationalists and Loyalists apart and in the process divided the communities. Also, the women who were involved in the troubles – separate from the men.

We went to the Eileen Hickey Irish Republican History Museum. https://eileenhickeymuseum.com

Some tension remains but most people just want to get on with their lives peacefully.

The themes of most of the murals is human rights. The catholics support the Palestinians and the Protestants support the Israelis. The women who were imprisoned during the troubles used large handkerchiefs with notes written on them like letters from their loved ones who visited them. There are numerous examples in the Women’s museum.

A replica of a prison cell from the prison in Armagh – with a genuine door and bed from the prison
The image on the left wall is a handkerchief signed by all the women in the prison. There is a folder full of examples with messages of hope and later political messages from the outside to the prisoners.
From the door to her cell.

A very enlightening and very thought provoking tour. Glad we did it.

Wild and Woolly in Ireland

Dublin to Belfast

We grabbed our car and headed north towards Howth 12 miles away – a fishing village. They take their fishing seriously in Howth (pronouced like growth)

It’s a lovely village on a hill down to the sea with charming stores and classic churches.

On the pier where the boats were moored, restaurants were unstacking their chairs at the numerous tables outside, in a very optimistic fashion. Twenty tables at one place on a day like this during the week?? Must be a lot of fish eaters around.

Next, we headed further north along the coast and saw some really stormy seas. There was a fisherman out about 750 metres from the shore. Must be either pretty keen or some fairly fantastic seafood to catch to endure the conditions today!

Wild weather
Fishing? Really??

We stopped for morning tea in a lovely town called Malahide – it was raining and windy and cold so it was obviously time to eat.

Once inside, a woman, about my age at the next table, commented on how horrible the weather was. I agreed and she picked up my accent and said – “Oh, you’re a visitor, I’m sorry..” meaning you don’t want to talk to me about it – it was funny, and we did continue to talk about the weather and Malahide and what a great place to live it was. She then said and its the 1st of October (the significance of the date to her didn’t mean anything to me, however I did say) – and it’s my birthday – at which point she said ohhh, smiled and put out her hand to shake mine. It was a lovely moment. People can be so nice.
We continued along the coast through Malahide and found some stupid young men (my assumption) fighting to right a windsurfer. Two in the water and one coming to help. Again – if you’re strong enough I guess the conditions could be fun, maybe.

The tide is out on a windy day
Love the worn paint on this fence.
My version of the Mary McAleese Boyne Valley Bridge – different day – great effect lol.
Mary McAleese Boyne Valley Bridgehttps://www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com/irelands-most-iconic-bridges/

We travelled the A1 for most of the journey north until we reached Newry. The significance of this city is that its just over the border into Northern Ireland and my great-great grandmother, as a 12 year old, Anne Simpson came from here as a free settler and travelled to Sydney, Australia by ship.

Newry marked in black circle.

Spent a little time in Newry looking around and found the town hall and a lovely bridge over the river Newry. Newry River passes through the city of Newry and empties into Carlingford Lough near Warrenpoint.

George Preston High Class Florist
Armagh Down Bridge over Newry river
Mudamurphy Bridge and Town Hall

We had lunch in Newry at a fun place with a huge menu of very interesting food. The place was Art Bar Funkel run by Aiden and Sinead @ 3 Monaghan St, Newry BT35 6BB. Recommended.

Food was hot, tasty and fast and the staff lovely and friendly.

Dublin, Ireland

We have a White Toyota Corolla Hybrid and its great. GPS included.

We have been here for about 36 hours and we have covered a fair bit of ground. We collected our hire car at the airport from the very efficient staff at #Sixt. They have a hire car compound 2 mins from the airport so after we did our paperwork we went downstairs and turned left and found the very large shuttlebus to take us to our car.

I have found our experiences of Ireland and the people here to be all positive – even the rain doesn’t matter when you are prepared for it.

Monument of Light – O’Connell Street, Dublin

The Dublin Spire is a stainless steel monument measuring 121.2 metres in height. Designed by Ian Ritchie and completed in 2003 and is the tallest sculpture in the world. Located where Nelson’s Pillar once stood which was destroyed in an IRA bombing in 1966. Info taken from Where Cards.

O’Connell Street

We walked a total of 5.5 kms yesterday and for the second half of the walk we were rained on. The rain gear held up well, but there was a little water in a sock or two by the end of the day.

The Luas – Tram we used to get to town and back. Fantastic, efficient. Wikipedia

We had lunch at the Wynn Hotel in Abbey Street after we left the tram. Then looked at some shops in Abbey St and O’Connell. Lots to buy.

We wandered all over the place first towards Temple Bar and were given the heads up about a tea place in the area called Queen of Tarts. We loved it.

We walked all over the place and managed not to get lost, and just enjoyed the buildings and sculptures and happened upon Molly Malone.

I have enjoyed the cobblestones as long as its not raining – slippery and the all the pubs with their brightly coloured hanging flowers. So lovely and fresh.

Then we turned left to go over the bridge towards Grafton St. Beautiful shops – all the labels. Then we went to St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre but not for long – was just on a mission to replace my phone case which was falling apart.

Tomorrow we are off to Belfast and places on the way.

Getting out of the country

Perth, Western Australia -Dublin, Ireland via Dubai

We flew Emirates Business, welcomed on board with champagne and enjoyed all the trappings of the Lounge in Perth and the beds onboard.

Still felt pretty tired on arrival but didn’t hit the ‘hay’ until around 2am Perth time. Trying to get insync with the local time.

So spent about 18 hours getting to Ireland via Dubai. It was nice to get off the plane and wander through the terminal. We didn’t need to transfer by shuttle or bus to another terminal, we stayed in Terminal A. Once we had landed and meandered into the building we happened upon a Shoeshine from Cameroon.

He has a degree in Accounting and is spending two years working in Dubai Airport before he returns to Cameroon to do Business. I find people fascinating and what motivates them to do what they do. He does a great job and I was happy to spend the 5 minutes with him, while he worked. My shoes have never looked so good!

So, we continued on, there was not enough time to go too far so we headed to the lounge and looked at the décor and had a hot chocolate.

Once on the next leg we were fed, as usual, and then a movie and then more sleep. I did sleep soundly, for a whole hour. Bottom line, great food, good rest and arrival without any issues.

We collected our car and headed for the Gibson Hotel – at The Point or near the North Wall. It’s a new hotel and right at the tram stop called The Point. The ‘Luas’ runs straight into the centre of town from our front door in about 12 mins. Very easy and very quick. There is a restaurant at the hotel and a convenience store 50 metres away, four eateries and its opposite the 3 Arena. More tomorrow.

Monsterella Pizza

Wembley, Perth Western Australia

SUBURBAN PIZZA PLACE IS A HIT WITH THE LOCALS

Love a review of a local winner!

We went to Monsterella Pizza tonight and had to book at 5:30pm. One of the reasons was that they open at 4:30 and its flat out from then on. We needed to be out by 7:00pm. No drama on that front, due to the fast service and yummy pizzas. We had two pizzas between three of us and it was enough. There is water, glasses, napkins and cutlery to be collected before you sit down.

Collect glasses, cutlery and plates and napkins before you sit down.

The atmosphere is almost beachy, with clean black tables and a cushioned bench along one wall, which helps with the acoustics. In spite of the polystyrene panels stuck to the ceiling which may or may not help. It’s noisy, in a good way, but you can still have conversations across your table without too much drama.

Self-serve water

The staff are efficient and the food is great. We had a Capri and a Milliano Pizza.

Wood Fired Pizza

The pizzas are woodfired. Menu was very pizza oriented but there were alternatives such as pasta, salad and entrees. There are wonderful sweets and its very busy. Bookings are essential.

Pizzas were around $22/$24, for a large dinner plate size. Corkage for wine $5 beer $1.

Capri – heavy on the garlic.
Milliano

There seemed to be a lot of staff in the kitchen, but it worked!

Specials

Adelaide – South Australia

Port Adelaide

Went to Adelaide for a few days R & R. Caught up with some family and friends and stayed at #QuestPortAdelaide. I spoke to a woman from Adelaide when I got back and told her where I had stayed and she looked at me enquiringly – why? Seems the area has a dodgy reputation, but we found it to be family friendly and full of small eateries and old buildings and pubs.

Institute of Arts and Sciences

There were some amazingly old – for Australian standards – buildings which have been looked after or restored. They are just fabulous. The whole area may have been less desirable, however it is becoming quite trendy and there are new apartments being built to prove it.

Fishermen’s Wharf – not so old part of the structure

Adelaide has a similar feeling to Perth in Western Australia, that old country town friendliness. The population in Adelaide is 1.3 million. This is the fifth largest city in Australia.

Perth has an estimated population of over 2.14 million people, 4th Largest city of Australia.

Shag (Cormorant) on a jetty

We had a beautiful breakfast on our first morning at #TheDrummerBoyCafe at 132 St Vincent Street Port Adelaide.

Interior of The Drummer Boy

We walked along St Vincent Street and found Port Mall. It looks like it hasn’t changed for a long time but the shops there are a sensible collection ranging from Newsagents, Cafes other eateries and Hairdressers.

We had a lovely time wandering around and shopping for nothing we needed. I bought an Organic Gardening book and some soft ‘lounge pants’ made of furry microfleece. There had been some very cold weather sweeping across Adelaide – an arctic blast – while we were there and we knew before we arrived, so brought appropriate clothing and beanie for my head.

There was rain and cold winds and a chill factor around 5 degrees celsius, but when the wind dropped, the sun shone. The temperature didn’t get above about 15C while we were there, but we didn’t care.

______________________________________

We had dinner at Crusoe’s at The Lakes Resort in West Lakes, with some very special friends from Adelaide. The food was lovely and service was terrific.

Crab Tortellini – Prawn Bisque
Beetroot Fritters
Chickpea Puree and Dressed Leaves
Dark Chocolate Brownie
with Honeycomb and Salted Caramel Ice cream on Chocolate crumble

All wonderful and very much enjoyed.

________________________________________

Saturday was a day free from any commitments so we had a sleep in and I went down to the wharf for some photos.

Came upon the vessel called the YELTA a steam tugboat. Very Cool.

http://sahistoryhub.com.au/things/steam-tug-yelta

Also the Port Adelaide Lighthouse.

http://sahistoryhub.com.au/things/port-adelaide-lighthouse
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/…/port-admiral-hotel
55 Commercial Rd, Port Adelaide SA 5015

This lovely pub is Adelaide’s oldest building. We had dinner here on our last night. THE most beautiful steak I have ever had in my LIFE!

It was a sirloin cooked medium on a wood fire with garlic and chilli green beans and crinkle cut chips and mushroom sauce. OMG to die for!

https://www.portadmiral.com.au/s/PORT-ADMIRAL_MENU-DESIGN-UPDATE_v2-PUB-26072019.pdf

The next morning we drove to Christie’s Beach to see some very low maintenance mates who had moved from Queensland. Doesn’t matter how often we see them, it is always the same, a warm and generous welcome.

We met them not far from their home in O’Sullivan’s Beach at a lovely cafe called Flava Food and Coffee Cafe at Christie’s Beach.

http://flavafood.com.au

Our apartment to Christie’s Beach

After our lovely catchup, which was way too short – note to self – plan for more time, next time.

We headed east through magnificent scenery including hills of green and farmland. Our ears were constantly popping as we rose and descended over the hills and valleys to see my nephew, his wife and their daughter, my grand niece. Also, way too short, but at least we got to see them. I really miss that little part of my family, so far away.

Its really only 2.5 hours away by plane but sometimes its just too far.

Then we drove back to the airport and handed back our very interesting, but adequate hire car, the little white Skoda and caught the Jetstar plane home.

A nice little break from our normal, but comfortable routine. Until next time.

Bunbury – Western Australia

On our way to our stop in the south west for a party, we stopped for lunch at The Rose Hotel. A lovely old building with Art Deco touches and wrought iron lace around the outside of the well maintained structure.

We had lovely, generous serves of food.

Vegetarian and vegan options were on a separate menu as opposed to the usual way of just one or two options on the bottom of the menu. Good to see.

The interior of the hotel is Art Deco and charming. The staff are quick and strong and wear really short black mini skirts. The food is delicious and very filling.

A great day was had.. Recommended.

Rottnest Island – Western Australia

Day 3

Up relatively early today. Went outside and took some black and white pictures of the wonderful cottages which epitomise the accommodation which has been on the island for decades.

They are not flash but have everything you need. It is a very relaxing and an easy place to stay.

Vincent Way looking South

Vincent Way looking North

Looking out towards Perth – early morning

Looking South towards Stark Jetty and main jetty beyond


Before I headed out to the salt lakes I went north to see the lovely lighthouse. It’s not particularly special, it just looks nice. It looks well built and solid. The white walls contrast beautifully against the blue, blue sky. It never gets old for me, this classic shot.

Bathurst Lighthouse

The view looking North

The view over Pinky’s Beach

Later in the morning, I ventured out, on the chariot, towards the salt lakes to photograph birds and habitats around there.

A salt lake with ‘Rottnest Snow ‘

I found a small group of Pied Oystercatchers,

There are Bridled Terns and Welcome Swallows, zooming around so fast, I can’t photograph them. Some Welcome Swallows roost in our eaves in our accomodation here on Rottnest Island.

I also saw a Rock Parrot near the settlement.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_parrot

There are also Ravens and Seagulls throughout the settled areas.

https://goo.gl/images/y4EJ4P

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gull

They are great scavengers and the seagulls, are ruthless. They ‘take no prisoners’.

A family of Mountain Ducks, and Fairy Terns.

Three Ruddy Turnstones visiting the Fairy Terns in the ‘Rottnest Snow’

For lunch we decided to go to Geordie’s. Cycled to the settlement and parked my bike in a rack near the general store. We caught the bus to the north side of the island to Geordie Bay. We ate lunch at Geordie Bay Cafe and Gallery. I shared fish and chips, and marinated Fremantle octopus.

Marinated Fremantle Octopus with crusty herb bread and lemon

Very yummy and the other dish was a sweet potato salad with grilled chicken – there were three eating!

‘Rottnest Snow’ – salt froth from the lakes after wind

Wildflowers

Weather beaten tree

Salt lake

Our cottage is the one sticking out next to the vacant lot.

Colours of the bush.