N. IRELAND : Belfast City Tour – Day 6


Day 6: Travel Itinerary

Belfast City  (19th December 2018) 

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City view from my hotel room 🙂

  • Good morning from Belfast. This photo taken at 7.30am. I woke up pretty early cause I am a morning person (obviously!). Basically, I have no plans at all. So let’s stroll over Belfast!
  • But first….
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LAUNDRY DAY!!!!
  • Of course, One of the basic thing that i must do is cleaning all my clothes. I don’t really into buying new stuff so I wanted to wash all my clothes especially those undies. Most urban cities will have this DYO Laundry service as low as £3 per wash. Located quite near to my hotel (5 mins walking distance). It’s called Spin City. If you have no time and wanted to shop around, you can leave your laundry and the money to the staff and they will help you out (heard that they fold your clothes too). But I have all my time this morning so I leave it there for a while and have some breakfast at the nearest Costa.
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Breakfast .. breakfast
  • I spent my time while waiting for my laundry here for about 30 mins and googling of what to do next (For Free). That morning is quite early tho.. so I decided today I shall visit Narnia Park (at God knows where), and just walk around. Temperature hits pretty low and I can never leave my yellow jacket at all.
  • So my laundry is done (Also I put it inside a dryer and wait again for 30mins), I went back to my Hotel to get ready again. The hotel receptionist was like, ‘I can’t remember your name but I remember your Jacket pretty well’. She is the sweetest receptionist cause I was laughing the whole time here. My yellow Jacket is pretty much making a statement in Belfast.
  • On my way to the CW Lewis Square, I pick the road to see Belfast City Hall on a day light. The building is magnificent even in the morning. I love the blue dome and sulfurish wall colour.  It looks so ancient and historic. and SOOO Clean, remeber they are having a christmas market last night!
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Belfast City Hall
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‘Taxi cab took you’
  • I walk to The Albert Memorial Clock tower through Victoria Square shopping mall.
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Victoria Square Shopping Mall. I am too early for a shopping spreee.
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I have no idea what is this building but its so nice.
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I love the colours
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Albert Memorial Clock Tower
  • FUN FACT FROM GOOGLE: The Albert Memorial Clock is a clock tower situated at Queen’s Square in Belfast. It was completed in 1869 and is one of the best known landmarks of Belfast. It is sometimes described as Belfast’s answer to Pisa’s leaning tower, its tilt caused by the fact it is constructed on reclaimed land from the River Farset and weighs over 2,000 tonnes. Erected between 1865 and 1869 in Gothic style to commemorate Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, it was tall enough at 141ft (43m), to offer an excellent vantage point for at least one enterprising sightseer to get a birds-eye view of Titanic’s launch. As well as including a statue of Prince Albert also boasts a number of ornately carved crowned lions, angels, gargoyles and floral decorations. Its bell weighs 2 tonnes and can be heard from over 8 miles away.. During my visit, the clock play  nice Christmas music when its turns 11am. It’s so cool!!! I love city that pay attention to its detail and making it memorable for the visitors.
  • Next, near this area is the Salmon of Knowledge, another Belfast attraction. Its located in front of the Titanic arena. You know, they shoot GOT Here!!!!
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Salmon so cheap ! I could have you everyday!
  • Fast forward 1 hour later (It’s the time taken for me to walk from this point to CS Lewis Square), omg walking is so tiring!!!! I do not know why I do this. But along the way I grab some choc cake and milk cause it’s super far and located in the neighbourhood area. Google map said 30mins but its an hour guys!
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Opps, watch it guys
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ASLAN!!!!
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the white witch
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The famous person and his imagination

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  • So, well, there is nothing much happening at this area but the whole town is dedicated to CS Lewis. You can see it through all architecture surrounding this square. Its a pleasant feeling to be around here.
  • Anyways, I am thinking that I am way so lazy to walk. I op for bus and ask the local how to get into the bus. IT’S NOT A BUS GUYS, ITS A GLIDDER!!! check it here   . It was nice that you can buy the ticket at the machine at the stop! Plus, it cost me only £3.5 per day !! I haven’t took any picture awww too bad but here is the youtube for it! !!!
  • Anyways, back at the city around 3pm, I know right!!! time fliessssss
  • And the most awaited visit next is to Queen’s university of Belfast. OMG, I have tons of stories here. Back in 2006 WHERE I ALMOST ENROLLED HERE but let’s just not talk about the past. I am so happy that I could be here by myself and imagine life at this campus. I may have been a different person if I graduated from here. again, let’s just not talk about the past! The campus is AWESOME! lot’s of eateries behind the campus and of course it’s super beautiful and nice. But the entrance is undergoing a major construction works so.. anyways, here is a few snapshots here!
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Queen’s University of Belfast
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Hey  I’m almost an alumni here!
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War Memorial
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buildings!!!
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The entrances
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Botanic Garden!
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College Park.
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The admin building i think
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The university Square
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The Greenhouse
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I ended up bought the sweater!!! and Students working at the visitor Centre talk about Brexit and Politics (Not empty talks at all)  OMG I am so belong at this place!
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  • I also spent few hours at Ulster Museum where I could learn about Dinosaurs. Located really near the Botanic Garden. They have a special exhibition that day and I am soo excited. But I haven’t took many pictures because my battery nearly died and its cold so it’s not helping at all. IMG_7930~photo
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    THREE EYED RAVEN

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  • OK, ladies. I am super hungry! On my way back, I found this halal Chicken restaurant. I haven’t got any meat for a week and this is a total blast!!! The lace called Chickn lickn. 
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finally! CHICKENNNNN
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lol can i trust that??
  • Basically, there is not so much going on this day. I just walk and wondered around until late at night.
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BBC Building
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Tesco and pure Northern Irish Eggs.
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Xmas season all cakes and choc is like super cheap!
  • and my nights, all with some decent shopping spree. Which there is no need to ehemm discuss ehemm here!

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  • I am leaving for London tomorrow at 3pm and I AM SO SAD!! I could never express my sadness here at all. Ireland leave a total Major Impact into my childhood and I am super happy that I’ve got a chance to visit!. I will definitely come back again soon! but London awaits me! and new adventure begins.  As for now, shopping and bubble bathing!

N. IRELAND TRIP: #GOT Tour – Day 5


Day 5: Travel Itinerary

Game of Thrones Tour (18th December 2018) 

  • I booked the tour 3 days ago when I’m still in Dublin. There just a few reasons why I did but of course you can booked earlier. There are a lot of companies offered Game of Thrones tour. I pick McComb because I read plenty of good reviews in trip advisor. But honestly, that’s not what actually happened.
  • The tour cost £35 per person and covers quite major GOT Scene location.
  • As early as 8am, they picked us up at Europa Hotel. The tour guide has difficulties pronouncing my name anyway and its really funny watching him thinking on how to pronounce it :D. The bus was full, so I have no choice but to just sit anywhere that empty, which is at the back of the bus 😦
  • We depart around 830am and began travelling along the  Causeway Coastal Route through the beautiful coastal towns. A bit of rain really not helping as it caused much trouble to me. I have a feeling, that I’m gonna have fever soon.
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McComb tour bus
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Along the way, felt so gloomy and dark to the northern part
  • We do stop somewhere for a quick breakfast like super quick and I can only grab a milk and bread and return to the bus like super fast walk. Zzzzz. This is too rushing for me anyway.
  • We cross over the hilly countryside of Northern Ireland to arrive at The Dark Hedges. GOT fans will notice this immediately when Arya escape from Kings Landing after Joefry Beheaded her father. We were only give like 15mins here for photos and the Guide keep telling us that they leave if we are not returning on time. I find it kind of irritating not because of the limited time, but the way they have been saying it like “we actually can’t stop at the road, the police will summons blablabla”, honestly, if a place become a tourist major attraction, there must be some kind of lenient about it. Come on!
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The famous Dark Hedges
  • But anyhow, the trees look AMAHZING compared to what in the series. It is impossible to have your picture alone unless you go here by yourself.
  • On the bus, the passed you a menu for an advanced order. They seems very keen to make you order and you need to eat because they didn’t stop at anyplace with food anytime sooner.
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Menu given in the bus. at own cost.
  • The next destination is Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge, famous for the Greyjoy family scene. Please be mindful that there is an extra fee of £7.50  to cross the bridge. I thought it was included in the fees.
  • Upon arriving, we were given like 1.5Hours here and I tell you what, this is the most challenging tour as you will need to walking up and down the hill to get to the bridge. And to note, every step up and down fill with breathtaking view of North Channel Sea. It was slightly raining but still, it’s too mesmerizing and I felt like I’m in heaven.
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At the entrance of the bridge rope
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walking down to the bridge rope.
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not even nearly there yet.
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Nay, not really.. still a long way to go.
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CROSSED!
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I’VE MADE IT, TELL YOUR MUM!

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I CAN DIE IN HEAVEN
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YUP, GOING UPPPP
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Thankiu for your visit.
  • There was a bit of people and I get it why you need to dress and wear a proper shoes.  The hills are crazy tiring even for a fit person like me. You’d go to the bridge, wait in line and gives your ticket to the person in charge. Be extra carefull if you are holding camera because I think it will be impossible to cross when you are holding anything else than the bridge. At the other side, just enjoy the view.
  • Ballintoy Harbour was next on the list. Again, this place located just like in the other part of the area but, you have to walk down the hill to reach. The bus will only stop at the hill where you need to go down by yourself.
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The panoramatic view of Ballintoy Harbour.
  • After Ballintoy Harbour, we went for lunch at Fullertorn Arms where I ordered Seafood Chowder. It was very creamy and cheesy and here is where I made new friends with this Chinese Lady from London. She thought that I am Chinese too :D. We have a chat while eating and suddenly get together for the rest of the trip. 🙂
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An absolute delicious Seafood Chowder and NOT saying this because I am hungry.
  • Our next destination is of course The Giant Causeway. One of the UNESCO world heritage sites. I have no idea which GOT location to refer to but, this place is the highlight of the day. The sun start shining and the sunset colour make this place an absolute heaven’s like. Let’s take a look at the picture because whatever I said will not do any justice at all.
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get yourself a comfy shoes before anything
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right top corner of the picture is where the real location of the Giant Causeway. I’m walking just half of it.
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Yup, Not really Almost there..
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Ok, now that i’m here
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At the edge of the causeway.
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Breathtaking view.
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Nothing more to say.
  • But at the end of the day, is how you appreciate all the places.
  • I’ve got to tell you, if you have a choice, you can pick other tour agency because I don’ feel McComb vibes at all. I notice that The bus driver/Guide we laughing at the China Tourist like they understand nothing at all, like they don’t understand English. For me it’s kinda rude. You should never shows anything like that in front of the customers. Plus, he think he is funny, and I found that he is not funny at all. He is a bit irritating and cocky.
  • He sent us back to Europa hotel. Since I had a new friend here, we decided to stroll around Belfast together and explore the food at the Christmas Market. She told me she will leave the next morning and she stayed at The Merchant Hotel.
  • Later on we walk to the Belfast Market for some churros and cakes. The burger smells good but too bad I cannot have it. We hanging out until midnight and it was fun. I also took a chance to visit The Merchant, one of the most expensive hotels in Belfast.

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yummy churos in the cold night

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The Merchant Hotel cost £599 per night.

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  • A bit later, we depart and say goodbye to each other. I continue my shopping spree around Belfast until midnight. There is lot of stuff happening here, It wasn’t raining at all but my watch shows its nearly 1am and I had to get back to my hotel cause it’s super tiring.

N. IRELAND TRIP 2018: Dublin – Belfast – Day 4


Day 4: Travel Itinerary

Dublin – Belfast (17th December 2018)

 

  • Woke up early again because I ‘m not really good fighting jetlag. What I do know is, I am super full caused by yesterday’s dinner. I’m a bit tipsy too. Demit it was 6am in the morning.
  • My last day in Dublin, I do not know why, I was so sad all of sudden. I was supposed to check out at 11am, but I asked the reception to check out late at 12pm and if I could store my bag at the counter. The best thing about Hostels is, everything is possible. So storage is settled and I’m heading out for a walk again.
  • I decided to have a lovely breakfast at Queen of Tarts, the famous bakery in Dublin. Feeling a bit blue that morning, I ordered Avocado Toast and there is nothing to regret. Being extra fancy to my last Euros because at Belfast, there are using Pound. The food was delicioussss, and I am so wanted to take away the pastry but I have to keep reminding myself, I could not finish it. Demit.
  • After breakfast I walked to Dublinia and Christ Church Cathederal for a photos. Its one of the two oldest churches in Dublin, and this place has great significance for the Gaelic and Anglo countries as a whole. I am to early that day so I don’t think it’s even open yet. But the surrounding is very very beautiful. There was lot of marking at the floor surrounding the castle. I love detailing I think if you follow me though, you will know how I’m crazy about detailing.
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Look at the chair.. 
  • Few photos later, I continue my morning strolls heading to St Stephens Green. The park that located in the heart of Dublin. I’m heading there through the alley and the streets of Dublin between the shops, the bar and then Grafton Streets. Found myself another cup of Hot Chocolate when I arrived in front of the park’s entrance gate. It was 930am but already full with people.
  • It’s impossible not to love this place. Full of beautiful trees and wild birds. Great for walking or simply relaxing at any part of the park. Nature has a place to flourish in its small hideaways. I can imagine when springs come. The flowers will fill up all your emotion and colours in this park. I thanked God for that beautiful morning. Beware of the seagulls because they’ll ask your food. Or they’ll just take your food. They took my sandwich anyway.
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St Stephens Green Entrance
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The park map
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Lovely morning
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Seagulls
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Taking a break and coffee
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Swans.
  • My next destination is the National Museum of Ireland but unfortunately, It was open at 1pm on Monday. So I just heading towards Oscar Wilde house which now is a private university. There were statue of him, relaxing facing towards his house with thousands of quotes marks on the stone.
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I can only took your picture 😦
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Random building
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National Gallery
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Oscar Wilde House
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Mr Wilde himself hanging around
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uuu.. got your back.
  • Since I have so much time left, I took my time exploring the Luas (tram) system in Dublin, bookstores and having lunch by the window. I am so please looking at people here walking that early Monday morning. Perhaps going to work and making life, While eating my salad.
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Look Right! I’m always right
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Intersection
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The Spire Dublin
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Buy your  Luas Ticket here
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Luas Ticket machine
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Touch Your Ticket here
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General Post Office
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Flowers Everywhere
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Bookstores
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CHOPPED!
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Lunch by the window.
  • Well, still need to grabbed few souvenirs to take back home. In Dublin, you will see Carrolls Souvenir Giftshop almost everywhere.   I have tried my best to find Christmas Market for a cheaper option but I failed. Carrolls is a bit pricey but thousands of option. Napkin, Spoon, Tea, Household stuff, sweater you name it girl! I spent a fortune here, unfortunately :D!
  • At 2pm, I pick up my bag. Yes I was a bit off my schedule but they’re good with it.
  • So, From Dublin, I took a train to Belfast from Connolly Station. I bought the ticket 90 days earlier from Irish Rail , and it cost me €19.90 for a selected seat. You can buy the cheaper one or the VIP Seats. I am good with my seats.
  • Once you have the reservation number, you need to print your own ticket at the ticket machine. Mind you, that you can only do this ONCE. No repeating so enter your reservation number correctly and read thoroughly. The ticket is printed and now you just have to wait for the gate to open. My train is at 3.40pm and depart ON TIME.
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Walk up to Conolly Train Station
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Print your tickets before you enter.
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My ticket
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just because I’m THAT Special
  • It took 2.5hours to Belfast and you will be going through the countryside of Ireland. I saw Dundalk and Newry . The view from the window is magnificent and breathtaking. Half of the way is already a night time.
  • I arrived at Belfast Station at 5.30pm. Belfast train station is a bit smaller compared to Connolly Station and waste no time here. It’s already a night time and I have to walk to my hotel. Of course you can op for taxi but let’s talk about saving money here hahaha.
  • And definitely my worst decision ever to walk to my hotel. That night was super super super super cold.. I forgot that Belfast located at the Northern part of Ireland, of course it colder.Plus, I was lost because I took the wrong turns! OMG I was crying while walking because it’s too cold and my bag was too heavy and I’m carrying it all alone. I have never felt so alone but that night, really is something. I can’t believe that I can be so sad and sensitive!
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Hotel bed! super comfy. I just need a partner hahahahhahhaa
  • Finally I arrived Premier Inn like an hour later feeling very wet but the receptionist was the nicest lady ever and greeted me with a very warm welcome and all of sudden I felt good and calm. I booked online few month before through the website and my room is ready. There is nothing to complaint about Premier Inn. I’ve got a room facing Belfast city and I was really happy. I went down for some coffee and take my time to rest because the weather is too cold for me to handle. I can’t wait to share you The Games of Thrones Tour, which is on the next day!

 

IRELAND TRIP 2018: Moher Cliff – Day 3


Day 3: Travel Itinerary

Dublin City (16th December 2018)

  • The main reason I visit Ireland is for the Cliffs of Moher. I need to see this myself before anything (Thanks to Westlife and my dad).
  • If you are travelling solo, I reckon you to book a one day tour from Dublin because it’s much easy, cheap and convenience.  I choose Paddywagon tour as recommended by my friend. One of her main reason is, the bus is easy to find if you ever get lost HAHAHAHAH (thanks to the striking green colour :D).
  • But, do rent a car if you are travelling with bunch of friends cause trust me, it will be much worth it and the cost might probably just around the tour cost per person. I will tell you why later.
  • The tour cost me  €40 ( €41.16 after tax), which I booked  months before my departures. Just to note that, there are also certain peak season (esp in summer). December in the other hand is a challenging season for this tour because the weather is unpredictable. 
  • Upon booking, you will be asked to choose your pickup point. It can be either Paddy Palace (7.30am), O’Connell Street (7.50am) or Molly Malone Statue (8am). This depend on your hotel location. Like myself, Times Hostels are near to Molly Malone Statue. (Tips: The earlier you wait, the best seat you can get in the bus).
  • Make sure you prepare the best and comfortable shoes, and bring your own lunch.  This tour involved lotsa walking up and down the hill. Outfit? I would rather be fancy if its not winter (The wind is crazy). and although they will stop for some quick bites, I still recommend you too bring your own packed lunch just in case you might disagree with the price.
  • Free Wifi on the bus so, forget about everything and just upload your photo on the spot!
  • I woke up as early as 6am, just to be sure I wont miss the bus. Since I am not very sure how reliable the timing here (No joke if you’re at Japan btw). The cold weather kept my Subway sandwich good.
  • Took me only 6 mins walk to Molly Malone Statue. I saw few coffee shop is already opened as early as 7am. and yes, here there is few others tours meeting spot too. But don’t be afraid, you’ll know which is the Paddywagon.
Molly Malone Statue
Molly Malone Statue at Suffolk Street
  • I feel bad for Madam Molly cause everyone is touching her breast. I mean, she is just a statue at a public space, why being so pervert? You can see clearly that her breast have this extra shining compare to other part of the statue. Shows how low minded certain visitors are and how low women in the society.
  • Anyways, around 8.10am, the tour guide started to call us up with ‘Paddywagon Tour-Paddywagon Tour Moher Cliff Follow me’. He sounds so loud that it is impossible to escape. So the rest of the group followed the tour guide to this 1 location where the bus is. They will call your name before you can proceed into the bus.
  • Paddywagon bus is very cute. my lucky day, I’ve got to sit at the second row. Seat is spacious and wide and The bus are not full so I’ve got the whole 2 seating on my own.
  • The bus started its journey at 830 am towards the Western part of Ireland. The tour guide explaining our journey and how crucial to stick at the time. After some short a while, we took 20 minutes mid-morning  coffee stop in the midlands of Ireland. Oh how I which I knew the location.
Coffee Break
Warm your back side 😀
  • our first stop is Kinvara.  Its a colourful village and famous as an ancient fishing village. There are also surrounded with  beautiful landscape and fishing harbour. May as well see how beautiful  Dunguaire Castle location in the middle of the lake.

 

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Dunguaire Castle from the fishing harbour.
  • The journey continues along the The Wild Atlantic Coast where I enjoyed the coastal drive along the shores of Galway Bay. The view along this coast is just amazing and I couldn’t snap any photos as the bus is moving. You just have to witness it all by yourself.
  • The journey continues  through the Burren! According to the website, it is famous for its Limestone Rock, as far as the eye can see, and reaching down to the sea shore. The bus stop here and of course, we’ve got a chance to see the mini cliff. The Atlantic coast is pretty much amazing!
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See the sky, the rain is coming!
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Mini Cliffs they said.
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The change of colours of the sky!
  • 10 Minutes stop is not enough to enjoy the scenery. I was very much overwhelmed by the fact that I’m here. The place that I really wanted to go since I was 10! But we are heading to Doolin and tell you what, its about to rain and I pray really hard that it wont. We will take a stop in Doolin, and they took us to  to enjoy lunch at the restaurant (Own cost). There are plenty of selection too such as Mushroom Soup, Fish and Chips and many more. Price-wise is around 7-15. But I’ve got my subway, enough to keep me full. I ate my sandwich outside of the restaurant and took a stroll at the neighbourhood. Its Sunday so none of the shop is open here.
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Fitzpatrick Bar.
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The cross junction to Moher Cliff
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The view of Doolin
  • So right after lunch, we continue our journey to The Cliffs of Moher . The road to the hilly top is pretty much zig-zagging, small roads and very steep. I was sitting at the front and it doesn’t failed me to scream a little. There is one point that I was a bit scared that the bus will gonna flip over the cliff or something. and Thank God, I eat the motion sickness tablet wayyy before walking to Molly Statue. We arrive at the world famous Cliffs of Moher around 1.1 hours later.
  • We were given around 90 minutes to enjoy the cliffs. Its nearly 3pm and honestly, it rains. The rain+the wind. my shawl is everywhere and all over the place! Ok enough talking, let the picture do the justice.
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Feeling blue?
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The stone arch
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The statue at the entrance .. aaa the backlight!
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Its raining over the other side
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Looking down baby!
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Oh, hey it’s me.

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Brian O tower
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Looking over the Brian Tower
  • Now you can sing Westlife, My Love near the cliff. ❤
  • Look, I have a few tips for anyone who wanted to visit this cliff.
  1. It’s worth the visit no matter what other people may have said. Yes, I can be full with people and limited view for a photo but not everything need to be justified by a photo. as for my self, standing at the cliff has already make myself feeling overwhelmed with God’s creation.
  2. If you go with car, there are few fees to include. of course the entrance fee. I am not very sure how much and how but please google more.
  3. I would suggest you to make sure that you arrive at the cliff in the morning. Because the sun shines directly to the cliff and your photo will be absolutely amazing. I arrived in the evening, so the sun setting behind the cliff. so backlighting is a problem unless  you have amazing camera.
  4. When you at the middle towards the cliff, common question is where do I start? To the left (Cliff) or to the right (O’brien’s Tower).My advice, start on your left. because trust me, you will not regret every single step you’ve taken to see the cliff as near as possible. Mind you, be extremely careful because it was true that, lots of people die here because they are too near to the cliff. The wind is unpredictable bcz they can blow you up from your back, or at your front. and I am talking about  40km/h wind blows. This is not a joke.
  5. After you’ve done with the left side, straight ahead to O’brien’s tower. There is a fee to climb up the tower. I skipped this, because the view nearby is mesmerizing enough. Take your time to enjoy every birds singing around the area, sheeps and pony. Seriously, TAKE YOUR TIME. don’t rush because, I cannot describe how wonderful this place are.
  6. During my visit, it was raining for a little, then its stop. Moher does have a roller coaster feelings too. So make sure you wear something comfortable.
  • 90minutes here is more than enough But if you have more time, you can explore by walking along the cliff.. but I spent few minutes bought some souvenirs at the Visitors Centre. They sell coffee too just in case.

 

  • Our last pit stop after Moher is at the village of Bunratty, and taking photos of Bunratty Castle, famed for its medieval banquets. You can also get some snack or here and relax and enjoy the small city.
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The river is so clean!
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Way finding
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The castle
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The pit stop. amazing selection of food here.
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Irish tea or coffee? difficult choice.
  • We head our way back to Dublin around 5/6pm and arrived around 7pm. and I’m pretty sure we drive through Limerick but I’m sure I was lost in the bus.  I’ve got lost in time too. I couldn’t remember. What I remember is that the tour itself is very informative, fun and the tour guide is funny. The whole journey is easy and not difficult. Everyone is punctual and friendly. I have nothing against this trip. and kudos to Paddywagon Tour! I enjoy every moment with you.
  • Back in Dublin, I wanted to treat myself something good that night. I was googling the Best and Famous Restaurant in Dublin to treat myself for my birthday like, few months before. I found this restaurant in front of the St. Stephen’s Green called Peploe’s. I decided to spent a bit of fortune here. and I couldn’t even remember the name of my food but I am so sure it’s a Hallibut. Their menu is changing every month so..
  • Well, its the local restaurant. with few selection of amazing food and in my case, fish :D. This is the happiest day of my life. IMG_7429~photo
  • Since the weather is still good, great and I’m a bit full, let’s take a walk at Grafton Street, Dublin’s High End Shopping Street. The Christmas mood comes kickin me already. It was lovely at every scene, people playing music, Choir, Irish instrumental music at every corner. The feeling is extremely wonderful. I walked and stopped at every corner just to feel the vibes and thinking, how wonderful if I’ve got a chance to stay here. One day perhaps.
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Grafton Streets at Night and last week of Christmas Shopping

My dream has come true. Thank Allah for every opportunity given to me. It has been a very long road, hard road and difficult road to get what I want but it always come at the right time. Over the years, I begin to understand that, maybe it’s good that it doesn’t happened earlier bcz I may have been extremely cocky  or ungrateful. It felt so right this time. and here I am, 30th Birthday, Happy and being thankful.

“What is meant for me, always arrives right on time”

 

IRELAND TRIP 2018 : Dublin -Day 2


Day 2: Travel Itinerary

Dublin City (15th December 2018)

  • I woke up as early as 630am because I can’t sleep (Malaysia time 1030pm so. hahaha jet-lagged has kick in baby). So even in the early morning, I went for free breakfast at the hostel with my Australian Roomates. They got quite a good breakfast selection, Breads, jams, butter, scramble eggs, hot chocholate, coffee, and today morning special is Times Hostel DIY Crepe.
  • Today is Saturday so it is PARKRUN DAY! Parkrun here starts at 9.30am, and there are few location in Dublin. I choose to go to Fairview Park. and thinking of walking for an hour to the park. Although its still VERY early, and there no possibility of me went back to sleep again, I think of a donut and a latte, but in my case Orange Donut and Machiato for €4 .

 

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The Rolling Donut.
  • So then I began to walk to Fairview Park, and oh no, It’s started to rain. This is not good. It’s only 830am in the morning. It was really gloomy just like my feeling. So I arrived at the park around 9.15am and I saw few volunteers is already there, BUT, it seems like it’s about to have some kind of storm because the wind blows like crazy and I nearly fall down the ground. The cancel this morning parkrun due to a very bad weather. Oh how sad!!! I can only snapshot the view of the park.

Fairview Park, Dublin

 

  • My journey back to my hostel took me nearly 1.5 hours because of the bad weather. I can’t even walk straight at all. no shops is open so I can’t really sneak in anywhere, plus it was heavily raining. I was wet all the way.  So here just some picture along my way back journey.
  • The rain wont stop me! although its still heavily raining at 10.30am, I walk for some fun at Trinity College tour today.
  • OMG I am so in love with Trinity architectural building and everything inside this college is an instagram worthy. too bad it’s been raining because otherwise all my pictures will look definitely good!
  • One of the MAJOR attraction here is The Book of Kells and The Long Room, which is a great opportunity for everyone to see a book from the 9th century, and its beautifully adorned in fine calligraphy on calf’s vellum. The trip worth a thousand time especially for a book lover like me. While there, do visit the “long room”,  a library dating back to 1592. You may see the “Brian Boru harp” which is the national symbol of Ireland, and also the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
  • Entrance fee to Book of Kells is around €11. You can buy it online or on the spot (Cut Queue if you bought online). But I do not know why, I am pretty lucky that day, there was this one guy gave me his friend’s ticket for free. He told me that his friend missed his flight so, he definitely wont make it. Told him, I can’t take it for free, it sounds wrong (hint hint coffee date later), and the rest is history :P.
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Trinity College entrance.
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The famous courtyard. I’m walking the same path as Eddie Redmayne walked here years ago!

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This is where the Book of Kells exhibition building is.
  • Upon entering the exhibition area, you will walk through a place where the restoration of the old books was made and here, You are prohibited to take picture. It was really overwhelming to see such old books and monument and the smell of it, still, from thousands of years ago.
  • Just to note that he amount of books and information that’s stored within the walls of these building is immense and insane! Really an amazing experience. You can see the different layers of colour for the artwork and the detail on the actual book

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The Long Room view!
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Those are real!! REAL Book.
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OMG I’m gonna have this at my house!
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the harp that I’m talking about yaallll
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Very much HP kinda feeling!
  • Of course, at the end of this visit, Souvenir shop!!!! Well, waste no time that I gladly grabbed Trinity College sweater with €30. I should just buy the pewter cups tho.. but since this is just my 3rd day, I kinda concerned with my luggage space!

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  • After Kells, I took time to visit the college and attempted to make friends at the library. The rain stop and I asked the students on their recommendation to visit. Most of them are not believing that I’m turning 30, they though I’m a students there too! 😀

 

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    imagine spring!

     

  •  It’s nearly 1pm and well, I’m a bit hungry. But I’m not gonna waste any sunlight today. I walk to the City Hall and Dublin Castle for a picture. The castle is a great visit. I’m in Love with the courtyard. If you want to full visit you can pay the tickets but I skipped on this. But the review for the castle tour is fantastic. 
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The Courtyard from one point
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The view from the garden

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  • I crossed the road from the city hall to grab some late luncheon. Just to note that there are few Halal Subway in Dublin and one of them is along this Parliament Street. So I had one for myself and another half for my trip tomorrow!
  • Guess what? It’s already 3pm!

 

  • After Lunch, I quickly walked to few of Dublin’s must see attraction such as The Temple Street & Temple Bar food Market. Thought that I could grab some cheese here but again? how to bring those cheese over to London?? Cry for now.
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Temple Bar Food Market.
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Temple Street
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The famous bar and the Xmas Decoration.
  • Just to note, there are massive queue to get a decent picture here! The Bar is famous for its colour and because for touristy thingy, but according to the locals, this is not a decent Bar to get a drink. There are plenty more nearby this area with cheaper price or beer etc. I finally got to take photo without interruption here. This place is too crowded during the night but the Christmas light here is amazing!
  • Waste no time and continue walking to the historical Ha’penny Bridge – An old, beautiful bridge in the centre of Dublin. However, if you are to cross the river, I do prefer one of the bridges on the side, since these will obviously give a wonderful view of the Ha’penny bridge!
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  • It’s almost night time. So I decided to head back to my hostel and change my wet clothes. At least my socks. And I was thinking of doing laundry too,, but first! Hot Chocolate from Butlers Chocolate – Irish signature brand! I choose their signature hot choc and you’ve got extra truffle into your hot choc. This place is pretty busy most of the time but well, you don’t have to wait long for it! Oh sorry that i failed to remember the price, i think its around €3.50. It’s kinda pricey but frankly speaking, THE HOT CHOC IS TO DIE FOR. I even have few cup each day in Dublin! Plus, not just Hot Choc, there are plenty of coffee too! My advice, grab a cup and stroll around Stephens Park at the evening (If it’s not raining).

 

  • To sums up today, I learnt a great deal in Dublin. One of them if my own self reflection. Travelling alone can be some kind of boring but I enjoyed every moment here! It give me time to think and reflects my life. This is a very calm city, I took time breathing and feeling the air, feeling the people, being a total stranger and making new friends. Irish are so so so nice, They will help you instantly if you get lost or something.  I even score a date with this one Irishmen hahahahah. Also, I feel safe at all time, even walking at night. Although its Christmas season, there are plenty of tourist, Safe to say I might be the only Malaysian here. I didn’t even see/cross path with any Malaysian at all. The weather, is pretty cold at night. Everything is marvellous. I can’t wait to share my day tomorrow with all of you, my main reason of visiting Ireland.
  • oh anyway, I don’t think I even spent more than €50 today.

IRELAND TRIP 2018 : Dublin -Day 1


Financial Strategy for a long Holiday. 

Alright, continuing from my previous post, if you have exactly 9 month before your travelling journey begins (plus 2 weeks holiday plan to HK, Czech, Austria, Solvakia and Dubai), FINANCIAL STRATEGY is a must and crucial.

First of All, listing all the potential area/place/accommodation/food budget  with estimated price .

Just to cut things short, This is my full and complete itinerary  including the price:

Itinerary Ireland_Rasyiqah Travelogue

Since I  have like another 9 days in London, I plan to save up nearly 6K (RM500/month). Thus, discipline is the key. So before departures I have already have RM4,500 in my travel account (Which then converted to just enough Pound and Euro.

Day 1: Travel Itinerary

Kuala Lumpur- London (13th December 2018). 

  • I’m flying with Emirates from KLIA ->Dubai at 10.30am. Well, 7 hours flight to Dubai, 1 hour transit, then flying to London around 2.30pm (Dubai Time).  Do I need to say more for Emirates? Food is fantastic. It’s a Christmas season so they are following the theme, I mean look at my Chocolate desserts. Choosing solid protein is my mission. We were given Croissant and butter for hi tea later (Not In picture)… Flight attendance is awesome. a little bit turbulence is normal, so I am not complaining much.
  • Emirates landed at Terminal 3, Heathrow Airport. I arrived around 6.30pm (London Time), and it was freaking 2°. I am staying overnight at Premier Inn, Terminal 4. So, need a bit of exchanged of transportation mode. You can op for Heathrow Express or the Tube but I op for anything free transfers. The journey took nearly 30 minutes.
  • Checking in Premier Inn is easy as ABC. They had such a very good customer service, they will help you with all procedure and you can do self-checkin  at the Kiosk. just key in the booking number and walla, you’ve got your key.
  • The room was SPACIOUS (for me). There is bathtub, complimentary tea and coffee, comfortable bed. The only negativity about this room is that the pillow is too thin for my neck. There are Costa Coffee at the lobby of each Premier Inn hotel in UK AND its open for 24hrs . So I just grab my favourite Black Forest Hot Chocolate (How will I forgot the taste of it at 2016 Shanghai trip) and went back to my hotel room and rest.

London-Dublin (14th December 2018)

  • My flight to Dublin was at 1030am via British Airways.  So I woke up early at 6am (unable to sleep). Pretty nervous and excited at the same time. I am not rushing to the airport (Bcz i’m not checkin any bag) so I took my time to enjoy my breakfast. Well, I was wrong.
  • British Airways located at T5, and it took me nearly 1 hour from T4 to T5 even via Heathrow Express. And at the Immigration took nearly quite a long time  so guys, ALWAYS BE EARLY.. (It was that long and makes me Hungry again). Right now, all the liquid items NEED to be put into their own plastic which will be given before entering the departure hall.  Solo traveller usually will be getting extra security check.
T5 Gate to Dublin
Do you see THAT weather forecast?
  • There are plenty of stores inside Terminal 5. And one caught my attention is HARRY POTTER SHOP!
  • Well, nothing interesting about British Airways but its better than Air Asia (Like Duh!). I can say 80% of the passenger was Irish, Can tell from their accents tho. and everyone seems to be very much in Christmassy mood. I also noticed I might be the only Malaysian in the flight tho.
  • Arrived Dublin City Airport (Terminal 2) at 1pm (Dublin Time). The airport is smaller than our KLIA2. So, no need to stay long. I bought Airlink Express Bus Ticket from the airport to the Dublin City Centre which cost me €7 (one way). There are two different Express Link Bus: Bus 747 and Bus 757.  The bus will stop at the designated location so you need to know where exactly you are staying and the nearest stop. I am staying at Times Hostel College Street so my bus is No. 757. Bus waiting time = 15mins sharp.
Dublin City Airport
Dublin City Airport
  • I walked out the Airport and the wind blows like crazy. (Ireland winter time will always come together with storm and rains >.< ) I am fully prepared with my winter jacket but tell you what, the weather surprised meeeeee like hell yeah! .
  • Spent time talking to this one sweet golden couple from Scotland, Mr Smith and Mrs Alice, and they decided to do a weekend trip to celebrate their anniversary. So we chatted while waiting for the bus, and he didn’t expect that I am 30 years old. He also told me he has 4 children which now not a child anymore, so most of the time, they are only both of them. Mr Smith makes me miss my mom tho.
  • So the bus arrived and we are still talking inside the bus. The bus is spacious. I tried not to be or looking too much like a tourist so I don’t keep on snapping pictures. I want to enjoy every moment here.
  • Arrived at Dublin city after an hour and saying goodbye to the couple. They are very friendly. It is always nice to meet friendly people. My Bus stopped at Hawkin’s Street. and it slightly raining/snowing and it was soooooooo cold. the wind didn’t help much either. So I walk from the Bus stop to the Hostel ( within 4 minutes).
  • Times Hostel College Street – Located right in front of  Trinity College and probably the ONLY Hostel provides 6-girls only bunk bed room with private toilet (Because I searched for sooo many places, most of them provided 12-bed per room. I booked the room through Traveloka and get €29/night/bed. The bunk bed is quite low (If you are tall, below bed is a big problem for you) but the bed is super comfortable. The room and toilet is super clean which is a plus point. You need to bring your own lock and key , and they only provided luggage storage underneath your bed. Very narrow hallways up to my room and the automatic lighting system gives me heart attack everytime.
  • Although it was raining, it will never stops me from strolling around the city. My fist stop is going to Pennys (Dublin’s Primark), and bought a beanie. Its been raining and I’m all wet and my shawl is all over the place. New Beanie save me. then I continue walking along the way and experience things and still, cannot believe I am here in Dublin. Night came early as 4.30pm.

Strolling around O’Connell Streets, Arnotts Shopping Mall

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Trinity College entrance.
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Grafton Street. Dublin’s Shopping Street.
  • Of course I am hungry, I went to the groceries store and bought some Milk, chocolate and biscuits. There is Halal Subway too but I’m good for now. It’s really tiring and also very much raining. Hopefully it gets better tomorrow.

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But first, Here is a picture of a Donut!

IRELAND TRIP 2018


Just sharing with all of you of my recent trip to Dublin – Belfast and London. But first here are some FAQ that I received every time people ask about my trip.

Why Dublin?
Err, Why not?

I know very well that Ireland isn’t a favourite destination for Malaysian. Cause Malaysian ALWAYS think that London is cooler and much more instagram worthy. Kira kalau makcik tanya “I p London last week”, its a topic to be proud of, especially for these days ladies. But really, honestly speaking, there is not much to be proud of when you can travel to London. London is just London, everyone’s favourite city. I was there in 2015 for a week and well, that’s it.

I have been dreaming to go to Dublin since I was 10. Thanks to my daddy for introducing me the countryside’s pictures, the bloodshed historical events between the Republic and the Northern, the cottage houses and the scenery which is something I wish for. For the love of Ireland, I almost enrolled at Queen Belfast University (Northern Ireland) in 2009 but have to give this up due to some financial problems.

So, when people ask “Why Dublin”, I will be like “Why Not? It’s my dream destination”. And I am pretty sure I need to make this happen. And with Allah’s will, I manage to make this happened during my 30th Birthday. Alhamdulillah.

 

How much is the ticket?

To be frank, I didn’t even plan beforehead for this. I was never ready. I am like, really wanted to do something for my 30th Birthday. I wanted to do a solo trip (Even my mom  is unhappy about the decision) . So I was like snipping through Skyscanner of the flights ticket to London in December (read : Christmas Holiday), but price is killing me. I don’t think its gonna get down at all. Around February 2018, I started to keep checking the flight ticket.

At first my plan is to travel between 14/11/18-3/12/18 as the price drop to RM2.3k (Emirates Airways). My heart strongly feel like  “I need to wait a bit more” and so I waited until the return ticket to date (Arrived KL 15/12/18), unfortunately the price still hasn’t drop at all (It has increased to RM2.5k). So I think, well, bye bye 30th Birthday Bash, lets go celebrate somewhere else.

But suddenly at the end of March (I keep checking once in 2 weeks), I have no intention to buy or be hopeful, but just checking the price of return ticket around my birthday. poof! I should say it must be my Rezeki then, the price was RM2500++ during Christmas (13/12/2018 – 28/12/2018). Can you imagine. The next thing I know is clicking NEXT NEXT NEXT!

 

Eh Kata pergi Dublin tapi beli ticket London?

Ok ini kisahnya. Let put it this way.  I wasn’t thinking when I bought the ticket. I just CLICK NEXT. After few days then I realized, ” Eh, why I don’t buy direct to Dublin”. But its too late. (Direct Flight to Dublin is RM3100+ return).

So now, Kisah pencarian ticket ke Dublin From London. PLEASE NOTE : Republic of Ireland AND Northern Ireland are TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRY. IRELAND MAP

There few airlines flying from London (Various Airport) to Republic of Ireland such as Aer Lingus (Ireland Offcial Airlines, British Airways, Rayan Air and etc)

You need to plan what is the main reason of visiting Ireland. As for myself, my ultimate mission to Ireland is visiting Cliff of Moher. You know, the location where Westlife shooting MV “MY LOVE”. I was thinking that I should be flying to CORK.  At first, Dublin isn’t my first choice. because knowing the fact that Cork are way more intrigue and countryside’s feeling, something that I look for for this holiday trip. I could also go to Limerick city cause its near. Limerick is the city where Westlife MV “Fool Again”.  I was checking three different airlines.

PLEASE NOTE, you HAVE to read all the terms and condition before buying the ticket. Don’t get fooled by the promo price. As an example for Ryan Air, is the cheapest among all airlines. You can see promo £7 one way from London Gatwick Airport /London City Airport (not Heathrow) but you can only bring in ONE Bag Pack (like a school bag) into the flight. JUST ONE!. Aer Lingus allowing only 10kg cabin bag  and British Airways is around 23kg max for Cabin Bag. Of couse, over capacity bag means extra cost . 

Aer Lingus and British Airways are quite similar in terms of price breakdown. AerLingus is slightly higher around £5 extra. Flying to Cork is slightly cheaper than flying to Dublin because geographically, its nearer (London – Cork = 1hr Fly | London Dublin =1.5hr fly ).

It just after few weeks of dilemma weather to fly to Cork then I decided I SHOULD BE GOING TO DUBLIN. The flight ticket is slightly Higher.

  • London – Cork : £20 (one way from London city Airport)
  • London – Dublin : £39 (one way from Heathrow Airport) : £71 (if Returns)

So ticket done. I will be flying the next morning after arriving at Heathrow at 6.30pm. I know, you must be thinking, why next morning? Well, because I arrived in London pretty late evening and I don’t feel save travelling at late night. So better be at the daylight.

So ticketing is done. Now the fun part of what to do..

Being Rasyiqah , is never easy. Since I love to read, I spent nearly  two month reading about the place, thinking that I could make a decision but nay. The more I read, the more I’ve got confused. Plus, people rarely blog about travelling to Ireland. So it’s really difficult. I do ask around friends who live there and op for some ideas that besides Moher Cliff, I should head to Kerry as well, the famous star wars location. I thought spending 3 days in Dublin would be enough and sufficient (Including 1day trip to Moher) and thinking that I will be back on the 18th to London, then fly to Italy or somewhere else until this one guy gives some insight.

I told him about my trip and that I couldn’t think  cause I read too much. I also invited him as well to follow me around. he told me that if he follows, he will heading up north to Belfast. I was like, “Wait, I didn’t even think about Belfast”.

Games of Thrones, Narnia.. ❤

HOW ON EARTH I POSSIBLY MISS THIS?

After several week of reading about Belfast, I plan my journey to Belfast. I decided to stay for 4 days before flying back to London. Please note that Belfast located up north from Dublin city. Train is the best option here. So I bought a Single journey ticket online from Irish Rail for about three month before the departure date. No need to be hasty as the ticket will be open 3 months before your travel date. There are 8 timing slots for the journey starting from 7.30am and the last ticket is around 8pm. There are also 4 different price category depending on your selection of coach and ticket type. The Rail price starting from €17.99 and above.

 

Eh dari Belfast then fly to London?

Yes, exactly.

Unfortunately, I contacted BA and failed to change my ticket to London so I bought a new one (But I claimed refund later). it cost me  £61.83. Yeah I know crazy righttt. But anyway, this happened sometimes you just need to swallow all the possibility.

 

Wah Banyak duit awak Syiqah?

Since this will involved quite a fortune, I rearrange my financial every month till my departure. This is quite critical for me. because March – December is only 9 month away which is very-very-very-very-very soon. So ad-hoc planning is needed. So here, I am sharing with you all the details of my trip including my financial plan for the trip.

Please Stay Tune for the next post as I will share everything from the stretch of How i Manage my finance, activities, ticketing and so on. 🙂