Posts Tagged With: Travel

Bathrooms of Ireland


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.

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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!
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Waterford, Ireland


Waterford, Crystal

Waterford is the fifth largest city in Ireland and has been famous for Waterford Crystal for many years.  I recently learned while in Ireland that Waterford Crystal is no longer made in Waterford Ireland.    Waterford Crystal is now made in many countries in the world.  There are also workers that worked for Waterford in Ireland that have opened their own companies using the old Waterford techniques to make quality crystal. There are those that say the “new” Waterford is not the same as the “old” Waterford Crystal, I tend to think it is personal preference in how the piece makes you feel.   The town, of Waterford, was quaint with lots to offer in the way of shopping.
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Dunbrody Famine Ship


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

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Escape Route for Delayed Flight


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!

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As a seasoned traveler I, Jan, have exp_2DSCN2122erienced 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 blog!  Feel free to post comments and enjoy the travel in the minds eye!

First up IRELAND:

Wow, talk about Green!  I always heard how green Ireland is but the shades of green are spectacular and varied!  A recent visit to Ireland to Ireland included Kilkenny, Killarney and Kinsale.  Ireland is rather shaped like a plate in that it is flat in the center and mountains surround the edges.  Farming in the number one industry and the green pastures offer constant proof.  Approximately 10% of the population is employed in farming.  There is a current population of 4.6 million people, 8 million sheep and 6 million cattle.

     Ireland is made up of Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland in the south.  My recent visit was to The Republic of Ireland.  Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain and in The Republic of Ireland where I was it is a sovereign nation of The Republic of Ireland. The monetary system is the Euro.  One of the reasons that it was so easy to travel around Ireland is the vast majority of Ireland speaks English as their primary language.
    Folks always ask about the weather – There is a saying, “Don’t come to Ireland for the weather – it rains in all four seasons!”  I found several t-shirts that commented on the weather – most involved rain.  I found Ireland to be very pleasant mild and as expected occasional mist more than rain. After all, to be so green there must be some rain.  There was also some mist, rain and sunshine.  Historically it is 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.  The weather can change quickly turning from mist to rain followed by bright sunshine and back to rain all in a day.   The weather is due to the effects of the gulf stream on the island and as with most islands the weather changes quickly.  I was there in October and found it to be quite lovely and wore a sweater most evenings and some days.
     When traveling from the US stay awake the day you arrive and try to go to bed at 9 PM or later local time to help your body adjust.  Just plan some light sight-seeing that first day and enjoy some of the tea and scones during your breaks, a personal favorite of mine!
     More to come on specific towns visited and general travel tips for Ireland.
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