35 before 35: Item exchange

I have decided to exchange the “Vist Ukraine” item on my 35 before 35 list. While I do still want to go there, I’m thinking it may not be the best idea right now! And since I don’t know if/when the situation will improve, I’m removing it from the list as a precaution.

I wanted to replace the item with one that is at least vaguely similar, so as of now the first item on my 35 before 35 list will be “Visit Belfast and see whether I recognise anything”. For those who don’t know, I lived in a place caled Holywood close to Belfast for two years as a child (dad/step-dad were posted there with the army) and we used to visit Belfast for things like shopping. We left when I was 7, so it would be interesting to see whether I recognise anything. (I’m ptetty sure I would recognise things on my actual estate, but as it’s an army barracks I wouldn’t actually be allowed in! So Belfast is the best I can do).

To see all the items on my 35 before 35 list (including what I’ve already completed), click here.

I’m going to Ireland!

So, now that I’ve finished boring you with ten million posts about Berlin, let me tell you about my next trip…

At the pub quiz two weeks ago, my team came second. Usually, the prize for second place is a pitcher filled with whichever draught drink you desire, but this time was different. The prize was a voucher for a “Lonely Planet” travel guide of your choice. Somebody had the brilliant idea that we could claim our Lonely Planet and then use it for a quiz team holiday. So we left the quiz on Tuesday agreeing that everyone would think about where they would like to go.

Irish flag
Irish flag (Photo credit: RedKoala1)

Two days later, after a couple of discussions with Jan, I had a brain wave. We’d one the pub quiz in an Irish pub, so why not go to… Ireland! I’ve been wanting to go there for a while anyway, to see something more than just Dublin, and it seemed appropriate. Jan thought some people might have already been, but I decided to suggest it to the group anyway. It turned out that nobody had been to Ireland (other than Jan and I, and we’ve only done Dublin… plus I lived in Northern Ireland for 2 years) and everybody thought it was a brilliant idea. I, my friends, am a genius! (Well, not really… I just had the voice of Simba from the Lion King in my head when I typed that…)

We will be going in June, if we ever manage to get everyone to agree on flights! And it’s looking like our main destinations will be Dublin, Kilkenny, Galway and possibly Belfast (Dublin is a must… we have to fly there). Those are just bases for sleeping and storing luggage… there will also be daytrips of course. So now I need your help. Would should we definitely, 100% do in Ireland? Any suggestions for good (and cheap!) places to eat/drink/sleep in any of the four places metioned? Anything that doesn’t appear in any tourist guide but is worth visiting? Our quizmaster is from Kilkenny, so we’re hoping he’ll be able to help with that, but I’m sure some of my readers must have been to Ireland (Tina.. I know you have!)

Here, have a photo I took the last time I was in Dublin… in 2007:

Dublin Cathedral

And now it’s over to you. The comments box is open. GO!!