To left – is the double button.
Everyone has to use the bathroom at some point in their travels. It is always a bit of an adventure in foreign countries. Every time I leave the US I find something to marvel about in the bathroom. Ireland did not let me down!
I have found that when I enter a bathroom in a foreign country there are two things I have to take note of. First where is the necessary paper – sometimes it is behind you, under the sink, hidden in a cubby, or just hanging on the wall.
Second is to figure out where the flushing mechanism is. This means you have to look high and low. (To left – note the paper behind you and the high tank flush.) Sometimes, it is a pedal on the floor, or a button on top of the tank, levers on the front or sides of the tank, pull chains from the ceiling if the tank is high or any manner of other hidden combinations. I have been in some countries that do not flush as continuous flow of water over a trough type contraption. The Irish do provide the necessary paper in the bathroom. I have been in places in Europe where you had to pay for the paper or carry your own. The Irish have two buttons on top of many of their toilets. One button gives you a small flush and the other delivers a full flush to meet your individual needs and conserve water.
In Ireland you do need to carry your own facecloth, washcloth, as very few hotels provided them. During my stay in four hotels, all of which were four and five star hotels, only one had facecloths. I usually buy some cheap white facecloths that I can leave behind when traveling.
As a nurse I am always concerned about hand washing, it is scientifically proven to be the best method to prevention of infection. In Ireland I was impressed with the cleanliness of the bathrooms, availability of soap and individual paper towels to perform proper hand washing. Occasionally, there would be one of those electric hand dryers similar to what we have here, but
the majority of places had individual paper towels. I did see one or two of those old rolls of real towels where you pull out some fresh towel and then it retracts back into the machine. I have not seen them in use in the US for years.
All in all, Ireland gets an A for adventure in the uniqueness of some of their bathroom. To get an A one must be clean first and have something I have not seen before, the double button was the new thing for me!
Dunbrody Famine Ship
If you are a history buff the Dunbrody tour is a must! The reconstructed Dunbrody Famine Ship is open to tours and is quite fascinating. The ship is in the water and gives you the feel of how the passengers lived with the cramped conditions. The highlight of the tour is when Mrs. Annie White, a steerage passenger, and Mrs. Mary O’Brien, first class passenger, join your group to share their stories of passage to America. These actresses did a wonderful historical interpretation performance of life aboard the Dunbrody. Even on a rainy day, this is Ireland afterall, it was a wonderful tour!
Dunbrody Famine Ship is a three masted ship originally built in Quebec in 1845 for the Graves family by Thomas Hamilton Oliver, an Irish emigrant from the County Derry.
The Graves family, of New Ross, were merchants and they commissioned eight
such ships to carry cargo from America and Canada to Ireland. The ship was fitted out with bunks and facilities for passengers desperate to escape Ireland during the Potato Famine. Usually the Dunbrody carried 176 people but in the height of the Famine in 1847 the passengers climbed to 318 in number. The tour guide gives an explanation of the times, the ship and the Potato Famine. For more information about the Dunbrody tours
As a seasoned traveler I, Jan, have experienced many types of travel. I know when I first started with various forms of travel it was often difficult to find recommendations and suggestions. So I decided to share some tips of the traveler here on my first blog! Feel free to post comments and enjoy the travel in the minds eye!
Tip One – Sometimes you have to act fast. This photo was taken of me on a trip back from Ireland. Our flight arrived back in to Newark, NJ to find a major snow storm and many flights cancelled. Our flight into Washington Regan Airport was delayed and then cancelled. I had flow through Newark before and remembered the train. Living outside of DC I knew we could get to Union Station in DC and take the Metro Subway back to Washington Regan Airport . There were about 30 of us in the group. I checked departures for trains on my phone and offered the option but said we have to go right now. Of the thirty only four others agreed to try the rest said they would wait. The five of us arrived back in DC for $67 each about four hours later. I totally enjoyed the ride on Amtrak reading my book and relaxing.
Due to the air traffic back ups from the storms some of our friends were in NJ for two nights! That was two nights of hotels, food, cab and other expenses, one friend said it cost her $500, to make the flight when it was finally rescheduled. Another friend stayed in the airport for twenty-four hours! Meanwhile the five of us were back home! So remember think options and act fast!