A Travellerspoint blog

Land O' Lucky Charms

rain

I'm soo tired right now, after flying in from Dublin this morning (flight left Dublin at 6:50 so you can guess how early we had to wake up to get there.) but again, I must say that i've been nicely surprised at the variety of things to do and seein Dublin. Honestly, i thought after the Guinness storehouse tour, it would be just another city..but nope..im wrong again.

  • We stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel by Shepherd's Green, about a 2 minute walk to Grafton Street and this hotel was definitely one of the best we've stayed at. Has a rich history (JFK stayed here) and very nice bar (No. 27) but we paid way too much for drinks there (£18 for Jameson's and a mojito..wtf?).

  • Lots of shopping to do in Dublin, stores everywhere but prices were actually a bit more than in London..seriously, makes London look like somewhat of a bargain!

  • Did the Guiness tour (of course) and didn't join the tour group but did our own tour and stuff. Nothing too extremely fascinating; one thing i learned was that the top-selling brew is Guiness Foreign Extra Stout (not sold in NA)...but I like Guiness Draught better actually. The Gravity Bar at the top of the storehouse was the liveliest..and you can guess why!

  • Temple bar was a cool area of bars, restaurants and such, hung out there for a bit and also at our hotel bar.

  • Did a tour of Kilmainham Gaol (pronounced 'jail') which was not too bad. Infamous jail for holding thousands of convicts in a place buitl for only a couple hundred (irish Potato Famine was the time with the most 'visitors' because they would actually be fed in prison!).

  • Sunday was very cold and rainy..good thing we experienced real irish weather! But it was also the official Christmas Tree lighting ceremony that day so we went afterwards to go take a picture like tourists.

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Posted by dnaman 12:25 Archived in Ireland Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Avenue Q + Thanksgiving in England?

so just a quick recap on the last couple weeks here:

  • Went to check out an adult-themed puppet show that is loosely based on the Sesame characters. Called Avenue Q, it dealt with controversial and offensive themes in a humourous, keep-an-open-mind type style and was actually quite hilarious....as long as you understood it was all for show.

  • Songs such as 'Internet is for Porn', 'Everyone's a little bit racist' and 'Schaudenfreude' (German word for happiness at the misery of others - "you know, like the Germans"..ouch.

  • Went to see it with Claire and Alan so it was definitely good to meet up with some friends in London

  • Also, we celebrated CDN/US Thanksgiving with Michelle's co-workers, a group that contained US, CDN and UK people. We cooked a 7kg turkey complete with stuffing, cranberry sauce and everyone pitched in and brought some food, desserts..and lots of drink...that was finished by the end of the night..lol. Good times!

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Posted by dnaman 12:45 Archived in England Tagged events Comments (0)

Eating at the 2nd best restaurant in the world

The Fat Duck, High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ

For our 'celebration' to ourselves for coming to england and living/working here for an 8-9 month period, we decided to go check out the #2 restaurant in the world, Fat Duck by world-famous chef, Heston Blumnthal. for a good overview of the place and such, check out the Wiki entry here.

  • It is set in a very inconspicuous location, with a regular pub right beside it. Nothing fancy about the exterior of the place, its pretty much like a regular house sandwiched between 2 buildings with only a couple plaques outside to identify it's location. The inside, is very modest as well, looks like a regular country home with exposed beams and a dining area of less than 20 tables or so.

  • The food itself was very rich in flavour and of course, taste, and it was an attack on your senses at the same time. We chose the tasting menu, complete with 17 courses!! (including 6-7 appetizers and a few palate cleansers)

  • Food example #1: Orange and beetroot jelly squares - the orange square tasted like beetroot and the purple square tasted like orange..cool!!

  • Food example #2: "Sound of the Sea" - the course first started off by them bringing a conch shell with headphones attached to them. We put them on and listened to the sea while they came out with a dish that recreated the sea itself! i.e. the sand was made of crystallized tapioca, the surf was some bubbly thing, there were mussels, oysters..even cooler!!

  • Food example #3: Salmon wrapped in liquorice gel

  • Food example #4: Hot and Cold iced tea - when you drank it, the top was hot but the bottom was cold! And it all looked the same..wow!

  • Food example #5: The first palate cleanser was a nitrogen-frozen mousse (done right at the table) sprinkled with green tea and they sprayed a lime fragrance above you while you ate it..lol..jokes!

  • They ended off with 'breakfast'! Lol! The last few courses were breakfast-themed, like parsley cereal, nitrogen-freezed egg with bacon, etc.. a very elaborate production and presentation!

  • There were too many to list but all in all, it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a chance for us to take advantage of our close proximity (less than 1 hour) to the #2nd Best Restaurant in the World..and one with 3 Michelin stars

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Posted by dnaman 09:51 Archived in England Tagged events Comments (1)

Birthday and Thanksgiving in Prague!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WIFE, MICHELLE! woohoo! What a way to celebrate her bday, Canadian Thanksgiving in Prague! awesome!

  • It was also our fly-day back to London so we only had the morning and early afternoon to do stuff. Walked to Wenceslas Square and the street leading up to it was nice! Not sure what the horse statue meant at the top of the street but I know its significant.

  • Our handy Frommers Prague day-by-day guide was extremely useful to us and even until the end, we used it to find an off-the-path Czech bar and had goulash and pilsner one more time..mmm goulash..mmm

  • Just before we left, we decided to go on a whim and do some paddle-boating on Vlata river and this was a good move. We got to chill and paddle in and around Charles Bridge with amazing views of that and the Prague Castle and a bunch of onlookers on the other bridges and lining the streets....very relaxing and unique way to spend a bday!

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Posted by dnaman 14:25 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged events Comments (0)

Pretty in Prague

-17 °C

WOW is all i have to start with for our trip to Prague. Very beautiful city and next to Barcelona, it could be my next fave city in Europe.

  • Prague is known for it's beer (i.e. Pilsner Urquell), gothic architecture (Prague castle), very meaty food (goulash, pork knuckle, horseradish, mustard) and women (its actually one of the most popular destinations for UK stag parties!)

  • Stayed just outside the Old Town and it was the best location in my opinion. The Old Town has the Old Square where we sat and ate and drank and people-watched while in the surroundings of the twin tower Tyn Church and the Astronomical Clock (clock that actually doesn't tell time but goes with the changing of the seasons and such..)

  • Checked out a few lounges/bars in the area (DL1, M1 and Bugsy's) and all were pretty good; at Bugsy's we had a new shot called Vodka Fig which had a fig in it! Sooo good and so mellow, ya the people that we met and introduced us to the drink bought us a round before we left (70CZK = approx 2GBP!)

  • Prague Castle is the largest castle in Europe (i think) and the best part about it was the gothic church, St George. It's also the home of past Czech kings and former Czech presidents. We bought the full day pass with the audio guide and got gipped...the grounds were already open to the public and we only saw less than 50% of the 'extras' you could with the full day pass...ah well, nice day and walk to the castle nonetheless (through Mala Strana, the lesser town and past St Nicholas church)

  • Shot a crossbow in an area of the castle!! Didnt hit the bullseye but i fired a crossbow!!

  • Checked out the John Lennon peace memorial wall in Mala Strana..um yeah. Cool grafitti that was the site of where anti-gov protesters would 'voice' their opinons...

  • Of course, we had to walk along/around the Charles bridge, considered by many to be the most beautiful bridge in the world. It also was important in establishing Prague as a main trade route between east and west. The bridge was very nice with 30+ statues or so by the sides of the bridge...nice views and stuff but too many people and vendors ruining the 'romantic' image for me.

  • Also checked out an opera at the Prague State Opera. Funny thing is we went to watch 'Midsummer's Night Dream' but halfway through Michelle realized we were watching 'Swan Lake' hahahaha! We found out AFTER the show that a cast member got 'disease' and they had to perforrm SL instead.

  • All in all, I would definitely go to Prague again and check out the surrounding parks and just hang out in the center of the city, Old Town or even in the lesser town, Mala Strana. Just feels like a very cool, laid-back vibe not the buy hustle and bustle of London or NYC.

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Posted by dnaman 13:16 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

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