Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 36 to 44 - Ireland

This past week in Ireland has been all about me. It was the ultimate me time! I did what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. It was quite different from my week alone in Paris, since I had already been here, so I did not feel the need to do and see everything. I simply did what I felt like doing when I woke up. I still saw many things, but I also took time for myself to simply think and reflect.

I went to Kinsale twice, once in the daytime and one in the evening. Kinsale is a lovely place and I am so happy to have seen both sides to it. The smell of the sea, the music in the streets, the people... Everything made me feel at home.

I also went to Dingle. That place too, was beautiful! I got to go on a boat and saw Fungy, the dolphin! I was so excited and fitted right in with the kids on the boat! The dolphin came out of the water quite a lot, but I don't think I was able to catch a photo of him. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my adapter at my previous hostel and both my camera and phone batteries died within a few minutes of each other once I was on the boat. The boat ride lasted about an hour. The captain even took us out of the harbor where the waves were the biggest I had ever seen! They were high and slow, so it felt like being on a roller coaster. I absolutely loved every minute of it!

The views from Cork to Dingle were simply breathtaking! Never in my life have I appreciated nature more than I do here. The greenery is simply magnificent! I love how everything is over grown and how everything has it's place and seems undisturbed. It's as if the irish did not settle where they wanted, but rather where nature let them settle.

Back in Cork, I spent time with friends, met some more and simply had a great time in great company. It felt great to lift my feet up and simply have a good time and laugh. My goodness, I don't remember ever laughing and smiling so much! It's all I've been doing for the past week.

I also spend a day on the road, doing a tour of western Ireland. I got to see castles, pass through Limerick, Kilarney, Doolin, and many more places. I also saw the Cliffs of Moher (although saw is a big word...it was raining and foggy the whole time. At least I got to take a few pictures before the fog overtook everything).

I cannot believe I am going home tomorrow. My time in Europe has been the best of my life. I have seen and experienced so much, but more importantly, I have learned to many things about myself. I have fallen in love with the european Martine. I do hope I get to keep her once I've returned home. However, one thing is for sure, I will be back and for good. I have always wanted to live in Europe, and now, after having seen it, after having tasted it, felt it, and heard it, I am determined, more than ever, that it is going to happen.

My heart and soul are here. I am meant to be here. And so I shall be here...


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 35 - Kinsale, Ireland

Today, I made my way to Kinsale. It's a little place about half an hour away from Cork city and it's one of my favorite place in Ireland! It's set by the water, so there is a little port full of little boats. There is a tiny beach at about a two minute walk from the road. The house are all bunched togerther on each side of the streets and come in all sorts of color. It is simply amazing there! I got to visit some ruins and forts. You'll be walking in a field and will suddently sumble upon an old fort. The air smell like the ocean and the views are incredible. Mountains, water, ciffs, fields, old ruins, friendly people...You'll find a little bit of everything in Kinsale!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 34 - Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The plane ride went quite smoothly, thankfully! I landed in Dublin at noon and then took the bus towards Cork...or so I thought. I hopped on a bus, but an hour and a half later, it returned to the airport. i had taken the wrong one! But it was alright as I got to enjoy the Dublin view for a while. Once I got on the right one (after checking with two different people), I sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the ride. It was so weird for me to be returning. I don't know if it's because I had already been to Ireland, but it felt like home. Even driving on the other side of the road felt natural this time!

I arrived in Cork at about 6 o'clock. I immediately ate something and got ready to go watch a boxing match for the olympics down in the pub. My first night back in Cork was quite the fun one and was spent in good company and laughter.

Day 33 - Paris, France

Well today is my last day in Paris. Tomorrow, I will be heading to my last destination before heading home. This morning, I was so excited to meet up with a friend from work who's on holiday in Belgium. We met under the Eiffel tower and then started off with a delicious breakfast. We then made our way around the city and saw the Musé des invalides, l'Arc de triomphe and les Champs Elysés. It was wonderful to see a familiar face. I am sad to be leaving tomorrow, but excited as I am returning to Ireland! As soon as my friend left, I returned to my hostel to do some last minute preparations and then went to sleep early.

Photos are to come