Sailing Across The Irish Sea

If I get the chance to return to North Wales again in the future, I’m definitely spending more time in Snowdonia National Park.

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I had planned to spend a day just hiking through the Welsh countryside, but on both days that I was in Conwy it was either raining, snowing, or both. Nigel advised me against hiking in Snowdonia, considering 4 hikers have actually died this year due to the mountain’s unpredictable weather.

For the record, this is what Snowdonia looks like on a good day.

Instead of hiking, my host drove me through the scenic routes of Snowdonia, passing by many quaint Welsh villages to take me to the ferry terminal.

Along the way, we stopped by to see more castles.

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More sheep.

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More thousand-year-old ruins.DSC_7632 

 

And picked up a leaflet featuring Gandalf the Wizard with a suspicious-looking boner.

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Look at how happy he is stroking his boner! That perve.

About an hour later, we arrived at the port town where my ferry to Dublin (£28 or RM147 one way) departs.

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The town has a very amusing name – Holyhead.

This must be the place where Holy Molly, Holy Cow and Holy Shit come from.

Too bad I didn’t have time to wander around.  But according to what I read, Holyhead is also where the first Church of Jedi Knights in UK is established.

No shit.

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The Force is strong in Holyhead. So much so that almost half a million people in the UK officially list their religion as “Jedi”, surpassing even Buddhism.

I believe they have an important day coming up on the 4th May.

May the Fourth be with you.

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After two days having the luxury of a local bring me around, I am finally on my own. So I bid Nigel (and the sheep) in Wales goodbye, hopped on the ferry and set forth for Dublin.

The “ferry” I boarded is not a ferry. Ferry to me are like the ones crossing Georgetown and Butterworth.

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The ferry I boarded in Holyhead is so huge, I thought it should be called a cruise ship. Like the Titanic.

I had to suppress my urge of holding a stranger from behind while Celine Dion sings “My Heart Will Go On” in the background.

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The 100km journey across the Irish Sea took two hours to cover.

Apart from some rough waves, it was a pretty comfortable ride. There were casino machines and a movie theatre on board to help pass time, but I chose to get some shut eye.

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When I finally arrived in Dublin, it was dark, cold and wet.

Truth to be told, when I got off the bus in the city centre, I was quite disappointed.

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On the surface, Dublin looked almost exactly like any other Western cities I had been to. Dublin looks like Melbourne, which looks like Auckland, which looks like London, which looks like Sydney, which looks like… well, you get the idea. The centre of Dublin city is pretty much just rows and rows of old-school Victoria style buildings along the river punctuated by a skyscraper or two every now and then.

There wasn’t anything different or interesting. In fact, I thought Dublin was boring.

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However, that was just the cosmetics, the superficial outer shell of the city. As I scratched a bit deeper, my impression of the Emerald Isle changed dramatically.

Indeed, the true flavour of Ireland lies not in its buildings or architecture.

It lies in its people.

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I was given the perfect orientation to what Irish people are like when I walked into Hard Rock Cafe looking for my first pint of Guinness.

Beer was going at €4 (RM 19), which is extremely cheap by Dublin’s standards. As a result, the bar inside Hard Rock Cafe was madly bustling with people. I was standing as close I possibly could to the bar for 20 minutes, and still they hadn’t taken my order. Frustration began to grow.

It certainly didn’t help that I was the only Asian guy there, and everyone else was at least 2 feet taller than me.

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Suddenly, a young local bloke came up from behind me and just started talking to me. A strong smell of alcohol escaped from his breath alongside his thick Irish accent (which made him sound like Ronan Keating).

Irishman: GEEZUZ! Is there a fucking queue here?!
Kenny: Yeah! I’ve been here 20 minutes and still haven’t got served.
Irishman: TWENTY MINUTES?! GEEZUZ! *raised his head to look at the queue* Ahhh forget it! Listen, I’ve smuggled a bottle in here. Why don’t you join me and my mates for drinks over there?
Kenny: *shrugs* Sure, why not?

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And just like that, I found myself drinking with the locals after just three hours in this country.

We were cracking jokes and having a laugh till the bar closes. Even I surprised myself with how fast I managed to settle in. Who needs a travel partner when you can just come in here and befriend the locals?

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This must be what they called ‘craic’ – a distinctively Irish word meaning fun times, good laughs and great company over a couple of drinks.

Irish people are among the friendliest, funniest and sociable bunch I have ever met. They are so approachable that you could just walk into a bar, talk to strangers and have drinks with them.

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We don’t have a lot of that in Malaysia. When was the last time a total stranger invited you for drinks? The only time they would do that is if they wanna get into your pants. Or sell you insurance.

I think we oughta learn to be more Irish.

 

 

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Let’s start with the fashion.

AD: Watch this. 200 overgrown adults having a pillow fight in the middle of a KL shopping mall.

It is the most ridiculously amusing thing I have ever seen!

68 Replies to “Sailing Across The Irish Sea”

  1. oh my gosh kenny, i ended my exchange at Dublin some months back and went back to Singapore. Your post on Ireland and its friendly people totally made me nostalgic. The countryside view was totally mesmerising by the way!

  2. Damn it, i wanted to comment on your previous entry but it gone error 😛 Why ahh???
    Anyway, that is cool, make me more wanted to go to europe, provided i have the money.
    Bringing along my Nikon D60 with 28mm and 35mm lens would be enough to record my journey… (^^)
    By the way, the last picture remind me something from wrestling thing…

  3. Recession had hit hard in Ireland and 2 national banks were bailed out. You can imagine how bad in Dublin….
    Many ‘ Jump plane ‘ people in dublin, earning $ and send home..you could meet some of them in china Town

  4. Wow! wasn’t that extremely generous of that nice irish bloke? elsewhere, you have to worry whether that “free beer” has some “extra substance” smuggled in it too. darn.
    holy moly! jedis indeed! hahaha! and i think that irish look is really growing on you. XD

  5. Makes me remember my time there. Was just a short visit. The Irish can be quite quick tempered. We should be more Malaysian but open minded to the ways of others.

  6. I took the same ferry over to dublin this time last year and i thought it was a ciplak ferry but blardee hell… IT WAS LUXURIOUS! Did your ferry have a cinema?

  7. Somehow, I know Irish talk in certain rhythm like singing. I couldn’t imagine if I got drunk and listen to a Irish talking. Would it be like Ronan Keating sings!?

  8. And so I’ve heard Irishman were really friendly! It was true then 😛
    Being friendly in Malaysia is scary though haha, people will think of other intentions

  9. i’m in dublin!! welcome..yes the weather sucks big time. but u will be fine in temple bar!!yes the ppl are really friendly when they are drunk.

  10. Thanks for the info.. I didn’t know Irish people were that sociable and fiendly… And i am quite surprise how different it is comparing Malaysia and Western countries .. They are like sooo Friendly 😀

  11. did u pay for the beer u drank? or they’re really that friendly that they didnt ask for any return. haha.

  12. ah, no wonder Holyhead sounded familiar, there was a quidditch team with the name of Holyhead Harpies… although… they were from Wales…
    In Wikipedia, We trust 😛

  13. yeah,not doubt at all, Irish ppl are really friendly. i could not get use to their friendless when i first came to Ireland for studies. had the cautious attitude in me as I am KL- ian.hahaha!

  14. I had just sent you an email stating that if you would be visiting Northern Ireland, I would be very glad to become your tour guide. Please let me know if you have the time to reply me. Thanks a lot.
    Love your picture as always.

  15. Kenny,
    Trust no one… Especially, when you’re in the land where leprechauns roam freely.
    Darn, those leprechauns have been stealing my dough all this while and hiding it in a pot.

  16. What a getaway… I wonder how much you’d spent… from Japan, to UK, and Ireland… any budgeting plan you can share?

  17. man I will always remember Holyhead. Once I hopped on the wrong train from England. Instead of heading down to mid Wales I almost ended up in Holyhead!

  18. hey! nice pictures u took there…i missed ireland..haven went back since 4yrs ago..btw y din’t u go to Wexford..its a nice place there also!

  19. hi kenny, do u mind to recommend where should I stay if i were to go Dublin? Had searched through the hostels but not sure which is better. Thanks a lot. I’ll be going there on the 27th May 🙂 Cheers

  20. I’ll tell you guys why.
    People in Malaysia are practically stressed out from all the going ons of the country.
    Example number 1:
    Obama became president people weren’t confident. Now their economy rises again.
    Malaysia, Election over and yet everyday u can see kindergarten style fights making headlines.
    Example number 2:
    If you make a living there let’s say 1,000 GBP
    beer – 2 pounds, petrol – 100 pence/1 pounds, grocery for 2 per week above average meals (chicken, lamb, beef, pork, capsicums, herbs) itenary – 50 pounds
    If you make a living here RM 1,000
    beer – RM 10, petrol RM 1.80, Grocery for 2 equivalent meal preparation itenary – RM 100 at least.
    “you can’t compare” is probably what you’re thinking now but our country adapted the same system uk and us is using yet the items are overly taxed or priced and the minimum wage line is low.
    that and driving in this country is hell. + loads of other stuffs.
    i don’t see how a bunch of unhappy citizens can be friendly.
    all in all I have to say I love Scotland. Even the posh neds in Edinburgh are friendly

  21. Hi Kenny,
    My Fiance is an Irish. Definitely a beer boy there he is! Definitely he is not a country mouse 🙂 Good picture there. I have been to that bar as well 🙂

  22. Hi the info on this blog is just incredible it keeps us coming back time and time again ,personally i met my wife using this site so i couldnt like it any more i have done my best to promote this site as i feel that others need to read this thang ,thankyou for all your time spent in making this brilliant resource ! ok,cheers Bill

  23. I agree. I went Dublin last year on a School trip. Near Globetrotters hostel there was this dude who was his wife who started talking to me about what is happening at a place next to the hostel.:) Irish people are very sociable and friendly people, thus they are very lovable. We asians tend to be more conservative and not so vocal, keeping to ourselves most of the time.

  24. Just to correct who say that . I agree. I went Dublin last year on a School trip. Near Globetrotters hostel there was this dude who was his wife who started talking to me about what is happening at a place next to the hostel.:) Irish people are very sociable and friendly people, thus they are very lovable. We asians tend to be more conservative and not so vocal, keeping to ourselves most of the time.

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