After a couple of months spent home when I went back from my Up North and Down South trips, it was time to start over again. As usually - why should it be easy, when it can be tough - North for the winter! Here are the part 1, part 2 and part 3, now let's see where Windy islands tour part 4, will lead us... 😎😆
You can also fallow the trip in Polarsteps. Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.
27 January 2023 – Edinburgh, Scotland
With a ticket to Dublin in my pocket, all I had to do was to wait for the flight date, which I deliberately chose to be a week ahead, so I could have a few days in Edinburgh this time.
So, Lyle and Ilaria (his friend) saw me off at the station the way my whole stay with Lyle went – with laughter and good cheer!
Thank you! 🤗
I arrived in Edinburgh at Paul’s in the early afternoon and the best we could do before gets dark at 4:30pm was to walk to a nearby park. And to see a tree blooming in Scotland in January… 😁
28 January 2023 – Edinburgh, Scotland
The route for the next day was walking on food with some climbing involved and possibly a bus ride home after 13-15 kilometers walk.
It almost worked out that way…
Firstly, the climb was by no means easy. Especially once I caught a wild trail on the way down, super steep and dangerous (yet, I’m Capricorn after all), which was too risky in the last 10 meters though, with about an 80% chance of scrambling down the rocks.
The good thing about my horns is that they’re practical and know their limits, so with a huge sigh I headed back up to catch another route from the top.
It was after 2 pm when I got to the National Museum of Scotland and considering I only had 2+ hours of daylight, I had to hurry. And museums aren’t my main goal, although they are quite interesting most of the time.
I was finally able to get a photo of the Scottish monument in downtown Edinburgh. I couldn’t get a travel card for my collection though – the cheapest option was £11. Too expensive for a souvenir, thanks!
I did reconsider that and bought a travel card on the next day. £9 are actually inclined travel tickets and I am paying every time I get on a bus anyway… 🤷🏻♀️
31 January 2023 – Dublin, Ireland
Hello again, Dublin!
And I have had a seat by the window.
Just to let you know, in case you have somehow missed it out…
8 February 2023 – Dublin, Ireland
I had 20 days available in Dublin, so my first priority was to help Miska with the move out/in. Anyone who hasn’t changed accommodation with all the furniture etc. doesn’t know what a madness I am talking about.
Everything had to be done within a week to vacate the old accommodation. To top it off, besides the old one, the new house had to be also cleaned, repaired, painted, etc., as the previous tenants had left it an absolute shambles.
Meanwhile, packing, transporting and unpacking went on. We definitely weren’t bored at all, but we managed to do all in time.
Please remind me next time not to even think of complaining about the bureaucracy in my dear homeland. As cumbersome and frustrating as it is, I definitely prefer it to the impenetrable call centers here, often manned by semi-idiots (sorry for the definition, but when someone insists that you don’t have such a device in the house you live in while you stand next to the given device dictating the data from it, I have no better definition.)
After Miska spent more than 10 hours straight on the phone without getting half the work done, we both ended up with headaches and stretched nerves.
The next day it was now imperative that I get out.
Besides, the weather was great and I had the perfect opportunity to find the monument I saw from the bus the first time, but it slipped my mind on the tour later. Next it was time to visit the famous Trinity Collage, whose huge library I didn’t get to see, however, as 18 euros for admission was definitely beyond my budget.
12 February 2023 – Calary, Ireland
On one of the following days, when most things were already getting on track and the forecast was for sun and here and there a single cloud, the desire to escape in nature prevailed and we loaded ourselves in Miska’s car.
Lately I’ve been hearing regularly, “This is Ireland, weather forecasts don’t apply here.” I’m beginning to see the reason though. There were definitely clouds and sunshine, just in the opposite proportion.
Still – who cares! We had a great day immersed in the smell of pine and wet grass…
12 February 2023 – Glencullen, Ireland
What better way to end a windy day than with a good cup of Irish coffee! We were on our way and Miska decided to treat me by taking me to probably the most famous pub (after Temple Bar) in Dublin.
I don’t know the area and don’t know what Jonnie Fox’s fame is due to, but it was definitely bursting at the seams, we barely found a seat and it was just at the bar. On our way out though, we popped next door to listen to some Irish live music. Standing upright! There wasn’t a single seat available in the whole pub!
And it was a huge one! More like a museum than a pub. And busy like a hive. Amazing and indescribable atmosphere!
Well, the prices were museum prices too, but it was worth the pleasure!
15 February 2023 – Dublin, Ireland
An unexpected evening with pleasant surprises! 😃💝
For the second time (and last for now, as I’m leaving Dublin in two days), I got to stay overnight at Breda’s place, which was an absolute pleasure! She is a friend of Miska, with whom I am staying in Dublin. After I gave her an impromptu back massage once, she asked me to repeat it at least two more times, but now in a normal setting at her home.
An absolute delight! After the massage, we indulged in pleasant conversations with a cup of Irish coffee!
I think I enjoyed the massage evening more than Brida herself and was looking forward to the repeat! 😁
However, this time I was in for a surprise! 💝
A Harley Davidson night ride in Dublin thanks to Breda and her husband Evan, a surprise card and a cheese platter to go with my Irish coffee (which I wondered what was missing until I finally found out it was the coffee… 🤣)!
An amazing evening among amazing people and amazing day afterwards!
18 February 2023 – Galway, Ireland
One short stop in Galway.
I wish I had more time to explore the area, but my couchsurfing rule is 3 days. I can possibly extend it later if the host and I are a good match, but in this case I didn’t have that option as I had to be on an island on the 21st. Well, I mean on a smaller island… 😆
So I showed up at noon on Jerry’s doorstep, who I had already formed an opinion of as an interesting person. Certainly my intuition had not let me down this time either. I sincerely regret not being able to change my departure plans.
The very first night, Jerry took us (me and Lydia, his other, slightly longer-term guest) to a silent movie show! Old black and white silent films with a life accompaniment of a piano and a glass of wonderful red wine! An amazing, unexpectedly fun experience!
For the next two days I walked around and explored the city, recalling Jerry’s stories about the city’s history, which made the experience fulfilling and fun. In the evening we had a new experience in a cute and cozy tea room with a nice live performance by two young ladies from Australia.
Thank you, Jerry for all those lovely surprises!
On the last day, along with the walk, I also bought the ticket for the ferry and, again on Jerry’s advice, I arranged to be picked up just a kilometer from where I was staying and set off in the morning. I was concerned, as always, how will get to the city centre with Roberto in the morning. Now I needn’t doing so.
I sadly parted ways with Jerry and set out on my new adventure.
21 February 2023 – Inishmore, Ireland
Propping Roberto on the back of a bench and hugging his sister Carla for balance, I waited for the bus to take me to the ferry about 40 kilometres from Galway with some concerns. I was about to spend nearly an hour on a small ferry in not particularly pleasant weather. And I’m getting seasick at the slightest of those… 🤔
After settling my companions on the ferry, curious as usual, I asked to somehow get on the open deck upstairs. What if everyone is sitting inside and the winds chasing themselves up there? I want to participate at the race!
A member of the crew let me go upstairs, warning me that if the sea gets too rough, they’ll have to take me down. I said – I’ll go down myself, I’m шубе… Well, if they don’t understand our language, go explain what the hell is шубе! 🤦🏼♀️
Soooo, I sat outside, we had fun with the wind, which was not too aggressive and I forgot that I was going to get sick… 😁😜
Waiting for me at the port was my future hostess and boss. But hadn’t we both found each other! Well, her hat wasn’t as tight as mine (Bulgarian saying), she was normal in the most ways, but we were still of the same breed.
I’d stay with her for a little over a month, then I’d have to take care of another engagement for a couple of months and go back to her to get the season over with.
That last one had a question mark in my head. I had to see what kind of person the lady was first and if we would get along at all. We could be killing ourselves on day two and neither of us would want me to come back, who knows!
Well, that was until I got off the ferry. Then I already knew… 😉