Saturday, September 30, 2006

The ambience of Dublin;

I had an unbelievably good time in Ireland this past week. The country is as green as it is always depicted, which is a direct result of the fact that is does indeed rain (at least a sun shower) every day. The rain never lasted more then ten minutes each time which did not hinder my walking around the city very much. The rain showers also allowed me to view a full bright rainbow on three different days during our seven-day trip.

The hotel we stayed at was a small B&B, just a ten-minute walk from Trinity college (the KDE location). The hotel was a typical European hotel, which means the rooms are small and the hallways tight. We ended up having to change rooms three times because the Ryder Cup was also in Dublin this week, and the hotel did not have the same room available for our entire stay. Two of the rooms we stayed in had only a shower and sink. The actual bathroom was down the hall on the landings. This is also very common in European B&B’s and other small hotels.

The people in Dublin were extremely friendly and polite. In fact, they went out of their way to help me if I was having trouble locating a street. One gentleman even walked six blocks with me to make sure I found what I was looking for. After being so used to listening to Norwegian accents, I found myself having a hard time understanding the Irish one. By the end of the week I was doing fine hearing the words, but every now and then I still could not understand what I was being asked.

One great thing about all the attractions and tours I attended, was the history lessons. While on my tours of churches or other monuments, the guides would give the customary history of the property and what it meant to the people of its time. They would then go further and explain how future history would be affected as a result of this particular site both in Ireland, and the rest of the world. As a result I know more about how the world impacted Ireland, and how it impacted the world, then I ever learned from other sources.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Good to be home;
We just got back from Akademy in Dublin. I will blog all about the trip in the next few days, but for right now we are in need of a shower, hot food, and our own bed.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dublin

It is time again for the KDE conference called Akademy. This year it is Dublin Ireland, and we will be there for seven days. Of course I made an itinerary of everything I am going to do there while the boys are in meetings. I even got a train ticket and will travel for three hours to Blarney Castle to kiss the blarney stone. I will blog all about the trip when we get back.
Kayaking

Girish and Tahara invited us to go kayaking with them last Saturday. We met them at the last stop on the bus route, and headed for the harbor. None of us had ever kayaked before, so we were all a bit hesitant. The renter of the kayaks seemed a bit concerned at our lack of “out door” abilities, and joked about having a rescue boat follow us. After a bit of effort, we were all settled in out boats and headed out in to the harbor.

We followed the coat line where we had a great view of nesting birds, and the cliffs. The weather was perfect, and the clear skies gave us a great view of the Fords. Sometimes powerboats would go by, creating large wakes. Our boats road the waves, much to our delight at the up and down motions.

After about 45 minutes we headed back to the pier. Poor Tahara (who is not as strong as the rest of us) lagged behind so much that when the rest of us docked, the renter thought we had lost one. Kayaking was not as hard as I thought it would be, and we are already planning on going back next season. We went out to lunch at a restaurant near our apartment and had fun conversation about how the different cultures view marriage. It was nice to talk to another couple about married life, when we are so accustomed to going out with the single guys.
Toys “R” Us

While looking up Toys R Us locations on line, we discovered that there was one “near” us. We decided to go for a long walk and find it. During the walk we found the circus that has been in town for a few months. By looking over the fence, we saw the elephants, and some dogs that had just come out of the ring.

We followed the bike path along the high way for about two hours, until we reached the border of Oslo. We were about to give up out search and head home when we saw a mall. We decided to investigate in a last effort to find the store. As we reached the back of the mall, we finally found the Toys R Us sign.

We found Transformers and Care Bears, but did not purchase anything. The store was as big as the one in the states, and even had the same smell. Although we are still not that good at speaking Norwegian, we recognized the whiney voices of children stating “But I want it!” I think that is one of the few phrases that has a universal understanding.
After thoroughly exploring the store we turned around and walked the two hours home. Ben and I agreed that we never thought we would spend four hours on a Saturday walking back and forth to a toy store.