A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: chris_cat



semi-overcast 21 °C

The day began with a trip, via the Dart (Dublin's metro rail network), into the city centre, where we met up with Liz, Mary-Anne, Georgie & Annelies. From there we took a stroll down O'Connell Street, past iconic landmarks such as the Daniel O'Connell monument and the Dublin Spire, to Trinity College. After lunch we made our way to the National Gallery of Ireland (where we viewed Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ, the Irish artists' section, and many other pieces) then onto St. Stephen's Green for some afternoon tea.

Following dinner at Johno & Joannie's, we were taken for a drive to the southern part of the bay, where we watched the sun set.

Posted by chris_cat 16:03 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Goodbye Holland, Hello Ireland.

We'll be back.

overcast 20 °C
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Today we packed up our things and headed for Dublin, Ireland.

We arrived in Dublin around 5pm following a very short flight (about 1 hour and 20 minutes). We were greeted by Annelies and Guiliano after we had collected our bags and had our passports stamped. We parted way at that point as we were to stay with my relatives (Joannie and Johnno) in Ballsbridge, south east of the city centre.

As we made our way, trying to understand the thick Irish accents, we boarded a bus and hoped we were on the right one. After a while I realised they had free WIFI on the bus, which helped pass the time. Before we knew it we were there. We met up with Joannie and she drove us back to her place. We got the grand tour of the apartment, it's on the 4th floor with great views and is quite big. We had a lovely dinner prepared by Joannie, and crashed as we were very tired from our day of transport.

Posted by chris_cat 04:16 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

5 days in Holland

Day 5 - Amsterdam

sunny 28 °C
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Today, after a big Dutch breakfast, we got ready for our trip to Amsterdam with Jan and Katja. We left in 2 cars and set off on the highway to Amsterdam ArenA, home of the famous soccer team AJAX(not the cleaning product), where we would park our car and train it the rest of the way to Amsterdam.

After about an hour and a half of driving (and one wrong turn by Jan) we parked the cars and headed for the train station. We took some photos of the "I AMSTERDAM" letters as below.
After figuring out the Ticketing system, we boarded a train for the countries capital in a rather packed train (not as bad as Connex peak hour though) and it was about 5 or so stations till Amsterdam Central station. Unfortunately there was quite alot of construction going on at the station so we had to go out a side exit. Here is a Stock photo of central station as it should be. We were amazed at all the bikes parked near the station and people riding around.

We made our way to the Anne Frank Museum and stopped off for lunch at great cafe near one of the many canals. It was a really lovely day to sit outside with our meals.

When we got to the Anne Frank Museum, there was a line going all the way around the corner, moving slower that a stoned snail, but we jumped in line and soaked up some sun. After about 30 mins of waiting we were inside. It was a really well done exhibition.

We walked through the Dam where there were hundreds of people (and pigeons) and had a look in too many souvenir shops (so many clogs...).

At about 6pm we went for a walk through the Red Light District, which was a real eye opener. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take any photos there but I have a photographic memory!

After that we had some dinner on the run (Cat and I had like this weird sausage in pizza bread thing with chicken and other toppings on it, but it was still quite tasty), and made our way to the boat for the canal cruise. It went for about an hour and was a great ending to a long day of walking around. Here are some of the photos from it.

After the canal cruise we went back on the train to the stadium, where we found out it had closed and wasn't going to be open until 6:30am the next day, but we managed to find a way in. The next problem was that Jan, Mary-Anne and Liz couldn't find their car. But after a while of walking around for it they found it on another level (none of them realised they had come down some stairs?).

We walked in the door of Henny and Riky's Place at about midnight and went straight to bed... it was a long day.

Posted by chris_cat 11:32 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

5 Days in Holland

Day 4

sunny 28 °C
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Following a nice sleep-in we set off for a walk through the forest near Heeze after lunch with some of the extended family. With the balmy afternoon sun filtering through the trees, we walked past a castle and into town, where we stopped for icecream. On the way back to the forest we came across some beautiful horses with foals.
Back in Someren we had a scrumptious afternoon tea of custard and cherry pies, followed by Dutch take away from the local snack bar. This included such culinary delights as deep-fried cakes filled with fried noodles. Next we made our way to the street carnival, which had been taking place all weekend just out front of some of the houses where our extended family live. After a couple of hours we returned to our cousins' house for some beer and wine until it was time to crawl back into bed.


Posted by chris_cat 12:41 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

5 days in Holland

Day 3

sunny 28 °C
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Another day of beautiful weather! Mum, Mary-Anne, Georgie and I (Cat) set off to visit our cousin's beauty salon. After this we went back to the ice cream parlour (you can never have too much ice cream in the land of dairy!) Our cousin is friends with the couple who own the ice cream parlour so we were given a tour and shown how the ice cream was made, complete with taste testing. Their ice cream had previously won awards for being the best ice cream in Europe (and currently holds the title for the 2nd best ice cream in Holland). It certainly tasted as fantastic as it looks here in the photos.

In the afternoon we went to a traditional Dutch Gilde meeting where our cousin Henny was competing for the position of King. Each competitor had to shoot at the fake bird on top of the flag post, the winner being the person who knocked it down. Unfortunately (though fortunately in his wife's opinion) Henny did not win (the position, which lasts one year, comes with a full schedule of meetings, functions and many other responsibilities).


In the evening we had a BBQ with at least 50 Greijmans family members (my mum's family). It was great to see so much of our family again. I had met many of them when I was here 6 1/2 years ago, and some have come to Australia since, but my mother hadn't seen most of them in 30 years. It was a wonderful evening with perfect weather and scrumptious food.

Posted by chris_cat 03:45 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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