A Travellerspoint blog

Ease on Down, Ease on Down the Road

don't you carry nothing that might be a load

I will now finally give you a recount of my Italian voyage! It's definitely been a long time coming, and hopefully it will be worth it. Hopefully I remember what happened;) Here goes . . .

I left Dublin on Sunday the 14th of October and flew Ryan Air from Dublin to Pisa. Didn't know what to expect of Ryan Air as they are a "budget" airline, but the ticket was way cheaper than anything else I found so I went with it. I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously you have to pay for most everything, no free beverage service or anything, but that's to be expected. You can't book a particular seat, but you can pay a little extra for priority seating, which I did. Thusly people with priority get to board before everyone else and both ways I got a pretty good seat. While the seats themselves aren't incredible or anything they don't seem much less comfortable or smaller than most of the ones you find in economy class in the U.S. So overall, definitely a good bargain.

My flight landed around half eleven and I was picked up a little after midnight by my Uncles Drew and Mike, my cousin Brittany, and my mom. We were back to the villa near Segromignio, Italy (a little outside of Lucca) around a quarter after one. After chatting with Brittany, who I was rooming with, for a bit I finally hit the hay about half two in order to wake up at half seven. I think I'm really getting to old for this sort of thing:)

In the morning we were off to Cinque Terre, which means "five towns" and is basically the Italian Riveria. From some local advice it was decided we would drive there in our two mini-buses. Along the way we were stopped by an accident on the motorway for more than an hour! When we arrived in the first town of Riomaggiore after descending a narrow and very steep road to find that there was no parking for our mini-buses - fun, fun. So, we headed back up the road to the nearest city to find parking and then take the train into the Cinque Terre. However arriving in La Spezia around half one (we've now been on the road for four and half hours) we come to find that there is no parking to be found - even more fun. So, we decided to scrape the Cinque Terre for the day and do Pisa instead. First though we had to find somewhere to stop for lunch and ended up doing this in Carrera. The restaurant here was nice with calazones as big as your head, but more importantly this is where Carrera marble comes from and we saw some huge examples of this on the side of the road - craziness!

Now, with full tummies (mine full of some yummy chestnut pasta) we headed off to Pisa. Now I expected this to be extremely cheesey and not all that exciting, but I was nicely surprised. Pisa, like many old Italian towns has an "inner" walled city which contains the Piazza del Duomo aka Cathedral Square. This includes the Duomo aka Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Camposanto aka Cemetery, and the Campanile aka Bell Tower aka the Leaning Tower. We didn't get there with a lot of time, so I decided just to tour the Cathedral and take a walk around town. The Cathedral was gorgeous, including this amazing fresco in the dome above the altar.

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The town was also nice, an odd combination of touristy and quaint. There was a pretty sunset this evening and while cheesey Leaning Tower photos were also taken, I'll leave you a more classic one. More to come . . .

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Posted by Wonkerer 04:52 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Movin' on up

Nothing Can Stop Me

So, I know I soon promised a blog on Italy, but my brain is really not in the right place for that at the moment. Things are kinda jumbled and aren't coming out in a clear and orderly manner. Thus, my relating info of Italy to you would probably do little to no good. More than likely you would just be confused. So, here are a few thoughts for the day. . .


  1. 1 - While uploading pics of Italy I was cut off because I am still a "Budding Member." This made me sad. You can help with this dilemna by signing up for TP. Referrals give me points towards "Full Member" status and that is good. Having an account also allows you to make comments and that is also a happy thing for me. So, all you need to do is click this following link or the one somewhere on the sidebar and go through the fairly painless process of signing up.


http://www.travellerspoint.com/signup.cfm?refid=98841


  1. 2 - I previously forgot to mention that the other night at the ceili I was told that I have a happy accent. I'm not really sure what this means, but we'll go with it. Might as well, right?


  1. 3 - I've been missing my fellow Wonkerers a good bit lately. I miss everyone else too, but there's just something about this odd journey the 12 of us took together that is sticking in my brain lately. All of our crazy group activities, watching Roe dancing, watching Jonny dancing, singing the Oompa Loompa song . . . Here's a photo of the aforementioned wackiness:

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By the way MattA, you were supposed to post the pics from the final dinner on your blog (which you never did:( so would you mind sending it my way? As well as missing the Wonkerers I've also been missing my truck. It's odd to have an attachment to something such as a 26' white Ryder truck, that at many times was a pain in the rear, but none the less I do. Everyone here thinks that the minivan here is so big, and on these roads it can feel that way, but seriously guys:) So I'll leave you with a photo of me and my truck on the ferry crossing to Galveston Island.

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Posted by Wonkerer 13:03 Archived in Ireland Comments (2)

Where Did You Go?

I'm sure this is the question in all of your heads right now. To be honest the answer is many, many places. For those who might'nt have a clue, the 14th-17th I was with the Maggi clan (my mom's side of the family) in Italy! Since I've been back at Glencree things have been a complete whirlwind. I'd been trying to find a time to upload pictures and with that not happening until two days ago, I felt very sad about writing because truly what is a trip to Italy without pics.

So, now I really need to give you all the lowdown on Italy, however there are a few things in the forefront of my mind that I feel a need to share. The first is actually from Italy, though not related to the actual trip. In this instance, many of you may not understand, but for those of you who will I need to say no more than that the photo features my cousin Brittany (who coincidentally didn't see the show:))

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Moving on, this Friday night we were invited by Garry (one of the board members) to go to a ceili (kay-lee) in Monktown, which is basically a "suburb" of Dublin. Only three of us ended up going, but it was great fun, if a little odd. There was a lady calling the dances (like in square dancing) who was a complete old school marm. Almost everyone there was a foreigner, including a large contigent of Russian teens. When people were doing the wrong thing she would scream things into the mic and then go around manhandling them into the correct place. She even told a couple of people I met later in the night to sit down. (Unfortunately I was in the bar during this section of the night.) I pride the fact that I personally was never yelled at, manhandled, or told to sit down, but I'm not that says much as most of my dances were with a creepy old guy. Said creepy old guy took to hitting on me and trying to pry personal info out of me for most of the night. In the end he even gave me his number (I wouldn't give him mine) and made sure to let me know that he had a Mercedes. However creepy, the man did give me a lot to laugh about with a group of people I met who are all part of a dance theatre group around here. They were all quite nice, and it was great to talk to people that I don't see every day (tour anyone?). As mentioned before, I also spent a good bit of time in the adjacent bar, where there was a session going on. Great music, though I'm sad to say that I still haven't heard anyone playing the uillean pipes this time around. Did also have a good chat with Garry and his friend Collin while listening to this great music, but was unfortunately drinking a fairly flat Smithwick's. I do love me some Smithwick's, but flat it's pretty gross. (On a side note, one of the girls who had gone to this before distinctly remembered said creepy old guy - seems like he gets around.)

Then last night, most of the vols/interns headed up to Johnnie Fox's, which is a pretty big tourist destination here, as it claims to be Ireland's highest pub. It's also huge and has a good "restaurant" - the restaurant and pub areas pretty much blending into each other. It was a little too crowded, but the mussels and deserts were great, as was my pint of Smithwick's. As my table of 3 was separate from the bigger part of the group we also got in a nice bit of girl talk.

More to come on Italy and in between!

Posted by Wonkerer 09:04 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Seriously! Seriously? Seriously.

So folks, it's been a bit since I've updated you on the comings and goings at Glencree. To be truthful, I don't have much to say today, except a few interesting anecdotes (and I'll throw in a pic or two for fun.)

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Right now the washing machine is broken at the centre (they only have one, which is a little crazy for the amount of laundry we do) and has been for more than a week now. Apparently the part is coming from far away. Anyhoo, I had to bring a bit of laundry into Bray to do at the laundrette. So, I go to wash it and come to find out that it costs 5 euro for a wash only - that would be about $7! Seriously!

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Last week we also had our driving lessons and we even got to have them in a manual - yippee. Driving wasn't too bad. Getting used to the left-hand side was fairly painless. Having to sit in a different seat really helps. However, the instructor really wasn't so useful as far as the whole teaching thing. Nice enough guy, but I probably would have been totally lost if Zach hadn't taken me driving before I left home. Anyhow, we're driving on the country roads until we come to and go through a town. At places in Ireland there are bike lanes, though they do tend to appear and disappear without reason. This particular lane was quite interesting as what was left of the lane (and it was clearly marked, which is not common over here) was only enough room for maybe 2/3 of a car. So my question is, what am I supposed to do with the other 1/3 of my car?

Posted by Wonkerer 06:39 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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