A Travellerspoint blog

Where Have I Been?

Well, the years fly by so fast. Hubbie and I went to Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia in 2011, and, more recently, spent three weeks driving around Italy. We have done a zip - line over the Zambezi at Victoria falls, gone - a- sunset cruising, ridden elephants and did a helicopter ride to the top of the Drakensberg. Incidentally, contrary to popular belief, we in South Africa do not have these beasts roaming in our towns. More on those adventures to come (backdated) soon. In the meantime, its planning time again! Holland, here I come! Since starting with my research, I have found out that Holland is much more than clogs, Delft, windmills and dykes (the built ones). Unfortunately, the list of must - see museums, places, attractions and activities have grown to about fifty. After weeding out all those that are too expensive, can be done in South Africa, not in my direction of driving, not enough time, I have been left with forty - four...

Posted by pietaza 03:19 Comments (0)

Computer Woes in Ireland.

No. NO.... NOOOOOOO!!!!!

rain 15 °C

I'm back home. After all the planning, excitement and practising how to go on the Web via WI - Fi. It sucked. Not the trip. What sucked was having to carry that computer up and down stairs for seventeen days. On the FIRST day, I skipped down to the WI- fi area, passworded, logged, restarted, restarted, restarted, and ... nothing. Nada. The 4 kg thing could not do anything. Fellow travellers did their best to try to help, including a nuclear physicist from Spain. Well, I did download my pics every night, and managed to store the first two days' photos where even my son cannot find it.... Next time, I'll take more memory cards, buy a sim - card and sms home. (See, the sucking wasn't that bad - I'm already planning the trip to USA in June 2011.

So, after sharing a pint with a nuclear physicist from Spain, business manager from China, Secretary from France and a teacher from can't remember where, I had the receptionist chappie show me how to work the Internet Cafe -thingy and posted the previous blog. So much for me getting into technology!

I shall therefore take another day to calm down and compose the thoughts, and start blogging in retrospect - I saw awesome stuff and places, got lost, even with Sophie helping. (More on that later.) Met fantastic people, drank the obligatory pints. Worth every cent - the trip as well as the pints!

Posted by pietaza 00:31 Archived in Ireland Tagged computer woes Comments (0)

Dublin, eggs and the Net

Sights of Dublin

sunny 18 °C

At last ! After three flights, the airport spits me out into bright sunlight. I heave my suitcase / backpack onto my shoulders for the first time, trying to look like a seasoned traveller. First I almost fall over backwards, and in the process trip over my hand lyggage so that I stagger around under the weight, looking the complete idiot. I get a few (thankfully) friendly smiles. A grey - haired lady tells me where to get off, and I again stagger five blocks to the hostel...
Anyway, The first venture out into the unknown saw me promptly taking the wrong direction, and I stumble upon a delightful park, called Blessington park. The herbacious flower bed at the entrance is at its best. Gorgeous colors, and not a weed in sight. The window boxes are to die for here - back in RSA, it is a huge strggle to get any hanging basket or box to survive, let alone thrive, because of the heat and low humidity. You really have to water twice a day, wthout fail.

Next, the Botanical gardens. Of course, took another wrong turn, and ended up at the Glasnevn cemetery. I loved it! You can trace your Irish ancestors through the genealogy department on site, and then search out your great -great- ancestors. The earliest grave that I could decipher had 1823 engraved on it - even before the great Famine.

Retracing my route, I then found the Botanic Gardens. Not as big as Botanic Gardens go, but impeccably maintained, and at its height of the season. The grass garden is my personal favourite. As you stand in the middle of the beds, and they sway in the breeze, you feel yourself calming down with the swishing and swaying of the tall grasses.
That was my first day. Tomorrow, the big HOP ON, HOP Off adventure begins.

Posted by pietaza 23:25 Archived in Ireland Tagged gardens and cemeteries. Comments (0)

Seven days to go...

To do lists and eggs.

sunny 11 °C

Seven days to go, and I'm silly with lists. A list of telephone numbers on case of emergencies for my daughter's teachers - the class teacher, the ballet teacher, the horseback riding teacher. Every day my eldest son gets a reminder on his cellphone to water the newly planted seedlings and seeds. Middle son gets reminded to feed the pets. My household helper gets reminded what to prepare for lunch. Hubby gets reminded to take out tonight's food to defrost. The garden helper has specific tasks for each day that he is here. Every day's is stuck to the inside of a cupboard door. Lists and lists. I still have to finish my daughter's four ballet concert outfits.... Boy, am I going to enjoy my trip! Anyway, as previously mentioned - the story of the eggs.

In 2002 my mom sponsored a trip for us both to the Chelsea Flower Show and a visit to some of the best gardens in England. At that stage the echange rate was sixteen rand (jup, you read correctly) to the pound, so every cent / penny had to be squeezed to its absolute limit. So we packed sachets of tuna, biscuits, biltong, mayo, even coffee, tea and sugar. The food was heavier than the clothes. We arrived in London, and made our way to our little (budget) hotel. In the luggage store, we unpacked our provisions for the day. Mom rummaged in her luggage, and out came a crumpled brown paper bag with - a dozen hard - boiled eggs! My jaw just dropped. However, the jaw soon came up when we were on our way on the Hop on, Hop off tour. We lunched on tuna, crackers and eggs in one of the walkways of Westminster Cathedral - one of the highlights of my life. Since then, on all my trips, the last preparation for the trip is - packing the eggs. It's the perfect food. Vacuum packed, the right serving size, and with a dollop of mayo, eaten on the steps of some wonderful ruin, fantastic memories. Now, back to the ballet costumes...

Posted by pietaza 23:21 Archived in South Africa Tagged food Comments (0)

Packing - and re - packing - again.

sunny 18 °C

Hubby is going stir crazy. All I can talk about is Ireland, ad infinitum. All the reservations have been confirmed. The packing list has been revised, checked and refined. The websites on solo travelling has been exhaustively researched . Apparently I am not the only married mom that leaves her husband and children to fend for themselves... The passage is all taped up with every member of the household's chores for each day. Remember to: feed the birds, fish, chickens, dog, cats, rabbits. Remember to take out tonights meal to defrost. Remember that sis has her ballet lesson this afternoon. Will they read the list? Of course not. Takeout every second night, two minute noodles the next, sandwiches and coffee in between. Eighteen days to go...!

Posted by pietaza 08:01 Archived in South Africa Tagged packing Comments (0)

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