Thursday, September 30, 2010

House moving: Check!

So, yesterday I changed house. The landlord had the flat cleaned thinking I had already moved, so I felt quite bad since I had some garbage left in the kitchen and dishes not yet washed in the sink... :s

So I went back home after work, gathered my 2 suite cases, my small backpack, my big bag, my shopping bag and my hand bag and called for a taxi, when I gave my name the girl on the phone switched to French... ok.

The taxi driver was very nice, and I was surprised it cost me less than 20€ (good to know if I miss the last tram, especially if I'm with other people). I'm staying in a house owned by the company, 2 floors, 4 flatmates, 1 garden, quite close to work (20 - 25 min walking), the people seem nice.

==Greetings from Dublin==

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I might be Wonder Woman in the end...

... I think that's what might be thinking one of the Project Managers.
So today, I went back on Project1 after working on Project2 last week and Project3 on Monday and Tuesday.

This morning, my PM came to ask me my availabilities for over time since we got new stuffs on Project2, we decided that I'll be working 6 - 10 pm on Thursday & Friday and whole day on Saturday & Sunday. A few hours later, well the assignments for Project2 will be less than expected so I'll be working at home since no one else needs to do extra hours...

And 2 hours ago, I got a mail with instructions for Project3... hum there's a problem guys, I won't be able to make it... and I'm sure they can find other French testers willing to do over time (we got paid 50% more, not bad ^^ )

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Moving out by taxi...

Tonight I'm changing flat, and for the 1st time of my life I'm gonna use a taxi to do so! I had once done it with tram, but this time I have little time and too many things to bring by tram to work and walk to my new place.
But as I'm not paying any rent, I don't mind spending €50 for a taxi ride (well I might be exaggerating but the 2 flats are quite far one from the other).

That might be lots of fun ahead...

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How wonderful it is to do overtime in Autumn...

My company is great, one week 2 days off and the next week, I got to do overtime. Well, I don't HAVE TO, but it was strongly suggested by my team leader, since tomorrow I'm going back on my initial project and handling 3 projects at a time will be hard. Yes, 3, well I might finish one today as yesterday I staid at work until 8pm. But it can be creepy and gloomy as after 6pm the office is becoming empty and well outside, it's dark and you gotta exit through the car park, I'm in a Business Park so there's no one out there, some light, though. Strangely, yesterday night my 15-20 min walk to the tram seemed quite long...

And it ruined my yesterday night plans: cooking & packing (I'll soon change flat), so as I have 1h to get back home I wasn't feeling like cooking and had to stop by Burger King (life is sooo cruel ^^)

And all this week I will have to do more over time, but good news they are paying for my food if i stay after 8pm and extra hours are paid 50% more!

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Monday, September 27, 2010

My team leader is sadistic...

... he's having fun at having everyone taste a licorice candy, specialty from Scandivia. It's dark, thin, roud... and awfull to my opinion. I couldn't help but spitting it out... Argh!

And of course he's laughing at seeing the face of people who don't like it, it's strong, bitter and salty...

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nancy, France

Place Stanislas
Nancy, located in North East of France, is the city where I lived and studied during 6 years. 6 awesome years, full of parties and great memory, where I always enjoy going for one day or more to meet some of my closest friends.

It's a middle-sized city, very nice to live in, offering a lot. Culturally speaking you sure can not miss our local pride: "Place Stanislas", former Royal square, made by command of King Stanislas, King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine (the region). It's been renovated a few years ago and is only pedestrian now. In the middle, stands a statue of Stanislas, as a thank to fight against Germany to remain French. In 2 corners are 2 fountains one representing Venus and the other Jupiter.
Venus Fountain on Place Stanislas
On the square, also stands the City Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Opera. It is also surrounding by fences in steel, piece of art of Jean Lamour.
 One of the exit of the square is an Arch of Triumph, leading to Place de la Carrière at the end of which stands the Governor's Palace, now military premises. 
This square is often the theater of lots of even, in summer time, don't miss the light & sound show on the walls of the city hall, it's very nice and quite impressive.

Just next to the square is the biggest park of the city: "La Pépinière". You can find there nice lawns, a small zoo, big lawns for people to play, lie, and so on, kid play area, concert stage, sport field,... It's nice for a walk, there are also lots of events there all year round. Like the jazz festival every october.

Craffe Gate
In the same area you'll find what we call the Old City, with remains of Middle Age like Craffe Gate (remains of ancient remparts), St Epvre church (the city's biggest), the local museum (Musée Lorrain),  the citadel,...

But Nancy is also known for having a lively night life, as a students city, parties are going every night. There are tons of pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs.
Flower clock in La Pépinière
Don't miss the "Rue Gourmande", "rue" means "street" and "gourmand" means "fond of good food", it's not its official name which is "Rue des Maréchaux". This nickname is due to the fact there are almost only restaurants in this street. My top 5 restaurant in Nancy are (not only in the "Rue Gourmande"): Le Bouche à Oreille (cheese), "L'Epicerie" (local), La Boucherie (meat), "Le Bistrot de Gilles" (classical cuisine) and "L'arrosoir".

As for pubs & bar, I do like "The Garden" and "Hemingway" for their cocktails, want some beer? Go to Phoenix Bar, MacCarthy or Opéra Café.

Saint Epvre Chruch
As for clubs! Oh my! "Le Chat Noir" has been like my 2nd house for a couple of years, it's normally for people over 25, all kind of music. I recently discovered "L'endroit" which is very cool, 2 rooms one more 80's the other more latino, when I went around Easter only one room was open so it was a mix of all, unforgettable night with the guy from clock room doing a strip tease at the end. But I still had no opportunity to go back.

Some other interesting stuffs can be the all time indoor market, just next to it is an outdoor other kind of markets for bags, shoes, clothes and so on. The mall "Saint Sébastien" offers a wide range of shops, including Disney Store! ^^ Every April is the fun fair in the city centre.
Fun Fair
And the "Jardins D'eau" (Water Gardens) along the canal are very nice too, especially in summer time of course.

Well, going to Nancy should be a pleasant experience.

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Powerscout Waterfalls, Ireland

The Powerscout Waterfalls, located around 30 - 40 km away from Dublin are said to be the highest in Ireland.
I went there a few weeks ago, we took a bus from city center to Enniskery and from there we walked to the waterfalls. It was around 6 km walk, in the beautiful surroundings of Wiclow Mountains. Sometimes quite dangerous as the road was narrow and shared with cars, but wonderful landscapes.

When we arrived at the park of the Waterfalls we had to pay €5, then walk for another km. On our way, a car of Spanish tourists stopped and asked us if we wanted a lift... that was so nice from them. So we drove to the falls and: wow! It was breathtaking! But full of bugs, I wanted to sit and admire but it was impossible.


==Greetings from Dublin== 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Howth, Ireland

Howth is a little seaside village very close to Dublin. I already went there twice.

The 1st time, it was very sunny & windy. I took bus n°31 from Eden Quay and went up to the summit and walked down to the seaside. I discovered a nice little beach, I didn't go swimming, even if the weather was nice, I feared the sea to be quite cool. Then, I took a walk along the pier to the light house, it's so wonderful place.

The 2nd time I went there to hike along the cliffs, this time it was grey, windy a a little bit rainy, but it's still breathtaking place. This place is magical. That's something I love, you can go just a few kilometers away from the city center (with public transports too) and you're immersed in wonderful nature.

A faster way to go to Howth from Dublin is also to take DART (local train), 15min vs 1h with bus.

Photos of sunny Howth and Rainny Howth hike.

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sooooo busy...

You can't imagine how much I am sweating for my job right now, I'll have to sleep during the whole week end to recover, yes this morning the instructions from our team leader was: "Check facebook!"

Yes, that's a hard time! So on Monday afternoon I've been assigned to another project, and by Monday evening i had completed half of Tuesday's work... So on Tuesday I got quite bored... And yesterday, I worked like 1,5 hours... because another project needed a French for a small work.

And around noon, we eventually received the files we were waiting for! But the French files were corrupted! Yeah... so more facebook and checking everything I gotta check on internet (I'm not connected at home), but I quite don't feel at ease about getting paid for doing nothing... Don't misunderstand me, I'm not complaining, but I'm thinking I could be home studying for my competitive examinations next month and the company could save money... but we're not living in a perfect world. But I DO love my job! ^^

==Greetings from Dublin==

Oslo & Skien, Norway

Oslo Harbor
For New Year Eve 2009/10, I decided to go to Oslo, that was my very 1st time in Norway and I just loved it. And I do have to go by spring or summer time to see more, because strangely it's hard to stay outside more than 2 hours when it's -20°C.

I first stayed in Oslo, a very nice city, all covered with snow (just like the whole country actually). I landed in Torp airport, I remember the flight, I slept and woke up while we were approaching Norway, it was amazing to see the shaped coast sprinkled by white, and also the sun was setting and going East it was as the easter we were flying to, we were entering darkness of night. Really something amazing. Another amazing thing for me was to see we were landing on snow... and then I realized that everywhere was a layer of snow on the ground, so Norwegian do know how to drive on snow!

Some church in Oslo
Oslo is very nice city, the center is very pleasant to walk in, the castle is very nice with a big park around. In winter time, next to the Parliament, a fountain is turned into an ice-rink, I hadn't ice skated for a while and I was pretty happy I did not fall.
I also have visited the city hall which is where they give out the Peace Nobel Price. Very interesting and free to visit. Don't miss the harbor, especially by sunset time (around 3pm in December), just next to it is the Fortress.

Another famous landmark is the Opera, it's interesting modern building, but I'm not personally very fond of it, since i love better old buildings.

Oslo Castle
I can't say anything about night life since I didn't go bar crawling, no opportunity, too busy to help organize the New Year's Eve party and then celebrate it. The party was fun! We had a chocolate fountain! ^^ Yummi! And as we were on top of a hill, at midnight we went out to watch all the fireworks all over the city, marvellous!

On the train Oslo - Skien
Then, I took a train to Skien. Pronounce "Shien". I just looked for some cities around the airport, as I like not to stick to capitals/big cities when I'm traveling. The train ride was awesome, we went through beautiful snowy landscapes.

Skien is a very nice & charming city. On the 1st day, my hosts took me on a car ride around the city, again wonderful landscapes. At 1st we were supposed to go ice skating on a lake, but it was not cold enough, "only" -10°C. It was a nice ride, we went to a dam and rode on a very tiny bridge, quite impressive.

On the next day, I went to walk through the city, as it's small town it was made quite quickly, I went on top a hill, nice view from there. I also liked to walk by the river/lake, it was very pleasant. I also found a nice cafe where I could warm up with hot chocolate.
This trip to Norway was amazing, I enjoyed it a lot and wish to go back. 

Photos: Oslo, train Oslo - Skien , Skien .

==Greetings from Dublin==

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brno, Czech Republic

Brno, the second largest Czech city, is located in south of the country, quite close to Austrian & Slovak borders. It's also a city where I spent one wonderful year. I went there as an Erasmus student, but in the end did not go too often to university since I was working on-line every morning.

But it was not my 1st visit there, the 1st time was in summer 2003, I visited my Czech penpal who was living in a village nearby and we got to spend one full day in Brno and I just loved it, actually I just loved CZ so much that I decided to learn Czech and go and live there... and I did (well I had planned to stay longer than 1 year but life ain't always easy). In summer 2007, I was attending summer classes near Prague and spent one week end in Brno and loved it much... February 2008, went there again, still loved it and I moved in in Sept 08.

Stara Radnice
Brno is very nice city, Petrov, the cathedral, is shaping the city's skyline and had always pleased my view when I came back to Brno from a trip, either by train or bus. The Castle, up a hill, is also worth a visit and from there you got a pretty view on the whole city. You also got to see Stara Radnice, the old City Hall, where hangs Brno Dragon, actually a crocodile, which is one of the city symbols. There you can also find the Brno Wheel, it is said that a carriage maker from a village around 50km away from Brno made a bet he could make a wheel so big it could drive alone to Brno... and he won his bet, but people then thought he got Evil's help and he ended up alone & in misery... On the other side, on a wall, you can see a head picking out, the story tells this man was a betrayer to Brno city and was buried alive into this wall.
There is also Namesti Svobody, Liberty Square, the main square, it is shaped in triangle and there used to be a church standing there, but still remain the Plague Statue, those kinds of statue are common in Czech Republic and are tribute to the victims of the Big Plague which happened a few centuries ago.
There are also a few nice parks in the cities, like Luzanky, close to city center, very nice to walk in, play petanque, pic-nic,... Or Kravy Hora, to get there you need to take a tram but it's pretty big and in summer time the swimming pool opens its open air part, very nice.
Why not also visit a vegetable & fruit market? Then go to Zelny Trh, or Cabbage Market, in the city center and taste local products.

Moravsky Kras
While you are in Brno, you can visit some other places around, the nature there is so wonderful. You can find nice forests all around the city. You can also go to Moravsky Kras : the Moravian Karst, there you can visit wonderful caves and walk through nice forests. It's easier to go by car but you can still catch a train to Blansko and from there take a bus to the caves. Oh and I advice you to book your cave visits.

You can also go to Slavkov-u-Brna, that you might better know as Austerlitz, you can visit the castle, walk and relax in its park. And if you got a car go and see the battle fields, which is something I could never do.

And for sure you won't wanna miss the night life... Brno is pretty active there. Pubs are everywhere, if you like beer, ask for a pivo (Czech word for Beer, the essential to know ^^), if you like strong stuff ask for a slivovice, plump alcohol, delicious!  As for food, try Gulash with knedlicky, bramborak (kind of potatoe pancake) or Smazeny Syr (Breaded cheese).
Zelny Trh with Petrov in the background
A few pubs I enjoyed there: Aloha & Silingrak for cocktail bars, Formanka, and the best of it: Clubwash! Clubwash is a concept in itself it's a laundry bar, you can wash your clothes and have a beer, enjoying free wifi, attending a concert or all kind of events, do check it out. The 1st time you might find it creepy but after a few hours you'll just wanna go back!

And clubs? Hum, there are a few ones. Two Faces can be cool, it has a small swimming pool but generally very young for the age of customers. Livingstone is very nice, can be any kind of music, I had more than a great night there. Metro is the good choice if you enjoy rock music, and there are many more places of course!

Give it a try and you'll be sure to live a great experience!

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome in the wonderful world of video games testing...

... a world where schedules are always changing. Well, I was aware from the start it's an industry which moves very fast. When I arrived on the Monday I was supposed to start working, they sent me home telling me my project was delayed and I shall come back on Wednesday, then on Friday I was sent home early in the afternoon... That was for the 1st week.

Then, I changed project, it was supposed to be lasting until Sept 16th, and around 2 weeks ago we were told it'll be till Oct 6th with a gap from 11/09 to 21/09. At that time, I asked my Project Manager if there would be another project which would require me, he answered me that as it's in over 1 month it's like eternity for video games industry and he can't know yet.

Last week, another change: the round will last till the 13th instead of the 10th, then well no 1-week gap, another round will be set for the last 3 days of the week. But as I wasn't supposed working on my initial project this week, I was required for another project. So I had to move this morning, it would have been more logical to let me stay on Project 1 and find someone else on Project 2, but no they decided to find someone else for Project 1, Project which I'll be joining again next week, normally...

but that's fun and we don't get bored! ^^

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cologne, Germany

In May & June I spent one and a half months in the nice city of Cologne in Germany. In March, I had started intensive courses of German to recover my skills in this language, and we had an internship to do over there, I got a position in a hotel, as receptionist, and those one and a half months were fantastic!

First,  Cologne is a very nice city, there you can take different pleasant walks. The main landmark is the Cathedral, the "Dom", it shapes the skyline of the city and is a very nice work of architecture. You can't miss it, and that's actually the first thing you see when going out the Main Train Station, by its size it's quite impressive. You can climb up its tower and admire the view on the city.
You can also take a walk along the Rhine, the Rhein Park is very nice, when the sun is shinning, you'll find lots of people doing barbecue there, as in every park all over the city. Another nice park is Hiroshima Park by Aachener Wiener, a small artificial lake on which is floating a piece of art... And of course, in almost all parks you can find Biergarten (Beer Garden) where you can refresh with a Kölsch (local beer) for instance.
Don't miss the Zoo neither, it's really nice place, with animals coming from all over the globe, everything is made so they can feel at ease, with big spaces. I personally will never forget my visit there since I got completely burnt and turned red (don't forget your suncream when the sun's out, even in Germany ^^ ) I recommend a whole day to visit it all, and of course it's better to go at opening time (10:00 am) since there's less people and you can see more of the animals.
And just next to the Zoo, is Flora. The Botanical Gardens, also worth a visit. It took us a few hours to walk throughout the park, as expected you can find there different type of plants, don't miss the greenhouses, very interesting, it's sometimes looking like the jungle (well I presume since I've never been in a jungle), very hot and wet.

In Cologne, you can also find lots of churches and most of them are worth a visit. St. Mariä Himmelfahrt, for instance, is very impressive. I also liked the Pink Churchs, one opposite the Main Station, and one almost opposite the Chocolate Museum.

Talking about Museums, a few of them were of interest to me, I visited 3 of them.
The City Museum (Kölnishes Stadt Museum) is very interesting if you wanna learn more about the history of the city. What stroke me there most are pictures of the city just after World War II, you can see lots of blank areas because of the bombing...
Chocolate Museum
Then, I also went to the Roman-Germanic Museum (Römish-Germanishe Museum) which traces the history of the city and the whole area back from dinosaur time up to Middle-Age. It seems that around 2 millions year ago, this place was by a tropical sea, things has quite changed! ^^ Maybe in 2 millions year it will be a snow desert... who knows! A big part is also dedicated to Roman occupation, it's actually where it got its name from, as it was a Roman "Colonia". You can find downstairs a wonderful mosaic floor, very impressive.
The last one is the Chocolate Museum, owned by the Swiss brand Lindt. It traces the history of chocolate, explains the growing, the transformation, the production and so on... It's very interesting, and you got some sample too! One at the entrance, and later you can find a Chocolate fountain! There, you can get a waffle dipped in hot chocolate... And their shop is amazing, you can find anything made out of chocolate, from cocoa powder to chocolate beer, from strange-flavoured chocolate to chocolate pasta... 

Schnitzel @ Bei Oma Kleinmann
Another great thing about Cologne is the night life! It's very busy, we tried a lot of cocktail bars and restaurants out there! On Hohenzollernring for instance, you sure can find a place you'll like. Sausalitos is a kind of mexican cocktail bar, everyday from 5pm to 8pm you can get cocktails for half price, normal or jumbo size and the menu is impressive. They also have nice and cheap food, 13€ for a giant burger with a big bunch of fries or fajitas which will make you full for 14€, that's really worth the money.
But don't miss Bei Oma Kleinmann on Aachener Strasse and its big Schnitzel (pork or chicken or turkey filet, very thin and breaded) but there, they're not thin and one is enough for 2. It goes with different sauces, fries or baked potatoes or wedges and a side salad... for 12 to 15€!
If you go there by Spring/Summer time, if the sun is out don't miss Sky Beach! It's a beach on top a high building with a bar, it's so great, the view is wonderful, nice cocktails and beachlike atmosphere.

Cologne has plenty to offer, for all tastes, go there and you won't regret it! If you wanna see more photos you can browse through my online photo album, there's 6 folders about my stay in lovely Köln.

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Northern Ireland

About one month ago, I took a day trip to Northern Ireland, as main aim was to see the famous Giant's Causeway. As it was a short trip I could only get a small glimpse of it, but it was a wonderful sunny Sunday full of surprises and breathtaking landscapes.
I took an organized tour from Paddy Palace, we left Dublin around 7:00 am and drove through wonderful countryside while listening to our guide/driver singing, telling tales and jokes. We drove then through Belfast before heading to our first stop: Carrick-a-Rede.

Rope Bridge
When we got off the bus my first surprise was the heat, on the morning I was afraid to get cold but I actually spent the whole day in short sleeves and got some colour. Then all I expected about Ireland: Green and Blue! As the sun was shining and no clouds were hiding it, the sea was wonderful... I had a very pleasant walk between some green slopes and the edge of the cliff to get to a Rope Bridge. This bridge was first built by fishermen who wanted to go on an "Island" that I'd rather call a big rock. I was not 100% ensured while I crossed the tiny and shaky bridge, especially when you could hear the sea crashing on the rocks under your feet, rocks which were actually quite sharp. But it was worth it! The views were wonderful and breathtaking, the ground was soft and the grass looked like wool. I noticed a few paths which could be the start of a nice hike, but as we had little time I keep those in minds for next time I'll go.

Giant's Causeway
Then we headed to the Giant's Causeway. To see this famous landmark was a dream of mine since I was a teen, when my Welsh penpal sent me a postcard from there. I wasn't disappointed since it was marvelous. From the parking to the Causeway you have a road to walk down (there's a bus option for people who can't walk too long, or just lazy people), and this was another breathtaking walk, all this green, those scents from the sea, the sun making the sea so bright... WOW! And the Giants Causeway at the end! I find it astonishing what Nature is capable of, and no wonder why the people back in time invented so funny legend to explain it. You can find the legend by clicking on this link. It's really amazing to think that what could seem man-made is actually the result of a volcanic eruption. That's really something worth seeing. And again I noticed a few hiking paths that would be worth trying on my next visit.

After this we went to see the ruins of Dunlunce Castle and ended up in Derry, the place where took place the sadly famous Bloody Sunday, it was an interesting visit.
Then we headed back to Dublin and I came back home with wonderful memories in my mind...


==Greetings from Dublin== 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Metz, France

Saint Etienne Cathedral
Metz, situed in Northern Eastern France, is my hometown. It is located close to Germany & Luxemburg, around 60 km away from each border, which makes it very convenient since those 2 countries offer some items which are way cheaper than in France. Go to Luxemburg for gasoil, cigarettes, some alcohol; and Germany for clothes, shoes, cleaning products and some other items. Plus both countries are vey nice places, where you can have pleasant walks.

Saint-Pierre-Aux-Nonnains Church
So Metz is a middle-sized city, quite old since it  was founded around Roman time, it has been during years the target of wars between France and Germany which were both claiming the ownership of the city. With a rich history it makes it a very nice tourism spot for those interested in history and architecture. Our cathedral for instance is known for stain-windows made by the painter Chagall. The church Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains is the oldest one in France. The old remparts offer nice walk around the city.
But the new pride is the brand new Centre Pompidou, a museum of Modern Art, very interresting, here are somes photos of my visit to the museum.

"Roches" District
Though it is a wonderful city, it is not the most exciting place for night life, but not dead and you can have fun all night long. We do have nice bars like Bulles Bar, Bar Latino or Pop White. As for restaurant, you can find a wide range of nice, good and affordable restaurants, my top 5 would be: Canada'Venture (canadian cuisine), Le Bouche à Oreille (Cheese),  Du Côté de Chez Yves (all kind of food), La Boucherie (for meat lovers) and Si Señhor (iberian cuisine).

As for clubs, I like Madison Club, you gotta be at least 25 years old, it's around 15€ the entrance with a drink, located near the rail station. Also Les Loges, outside of the city but free entrance and cloack room.

To cut it short, go to Metz, it's really worth a visit! ^^


==Greetings from Dublin== 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Irish West Coast: Galway Bay

Cliffs of Moher
2 weeks ago I left busy Dublin to rest on the quiet Irish West Coast for a week end. It was a wonderful time in beautiful places.
On the Friday night, I caught the last train to Galway where I spent a short night at Sleepzone Hostel. The hostel was nice and cheap (18€ for 1 night), well located but my bed was just next to the bathroom so nice noises all along the night, then the individual lights were quite bright so hard to sleep while someone is using his/hers and well a white curtain doesn't stop sunlight on the morning (I think I should buy one of those masks for sleeping someday).

On the Saturday early in the morning I took a bus to Doolin, a seaside village in Galway bus. As I tend to be roadsick and forgot to buy medicines, the almost 2 hours were hard, especially that we were driving through wonderful countryside (yeah Irish countryside is just so marvelous) with narrow and curvy roads and a crazy driver (seems like all bus drivers drive like mad around here). Then I walked to the Pier with a nice Italian guy I met before getting on the bus. I arrived just in time to get my boat to Inis Oirr, a small and nice and quiet island, part of the Arran Islands.
It was wonderful and calm and empty, I stayed at the hostel which was very nice and cheap (18€) but no curtain nor blind nor closers on the window (I really have to buy one of those sleeping masks). Then I decided to go and walk around the island, I though that by sticking to the sea shore I shouldn't get lost, but at a point it became not praticable so I decided to turn away and not venture inlands as I sure did not wanna get lost as I was alone.

Inis Oirr Beach
The island was wonderful and it was so resourceful to be in such a quiet place, I'm a real city girl but I also enjoys to be immersed in nature. All this blue (for the ocean), green and gray (for the stones you can find all around the island) are such a delight for the eyes. And the beach of Inis Oirr: empty and clean, but I didn't go to swim, just walked in the cold North Atlantic Ocean.

After a peaceful night I headed back to Doolin by boat on a wild ocean which made me feel not very good and then took a bus to the legendary Cliffs of Moher: WOW! It was such a beautiful show, Nature is really something and can take your breath away (and whole Ireland is about breathtaking places), it was sunny and windy (so I came back home with sunburns and sore throat), I could have stayed hours just staring at this magical landscape but I had little time before catching my bus to Galway.

I had less than  3h in Galway so I went for a walk in the main streets, and as I was on Shop Street (yes that's the name of the street, and guess what it's full of shops), and I stopped by a shoe shop which was announcing big discounts and pairs starting @ 20€... and i found a wonderful pair for 20€! ^^ Galway seems to be also a nice place. I guess I'll just have to go back around there and explore more sometime.

It was a great week end, I really enjoyed it, and I advise you to pay a visit to this wonderful corner of Ireland.


==Greetings from Dublin== 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome in Dublin!

St Patrick Cathedral
I've arrived in Dublin late august and I just love the city. I actually am in love with the whole country...
It was my first time in Guiness Land, and the people here are so sweet, always ready to help, that's fantastic.
The city itself is very charming and great also for shopping and partying with hundreds, thousands of pubs, shops and so on...
I enjoy shopping at St Stephens Green Mall (with TK Maxx, Chery's with wonderful jewels,...) Grafton Street and O'Connell Street and around are nice too, but it's better on a Saturday morning around 10am since it's getting crowded around noon...

Temple Bar is also a must see, a street with only pubs & restaurant, don't hesitate to enter a traditional Irish pub, enjoying a nice drink and often live music.
If like me you're a cocktail lover, go to Odeon (Harcourt street), Dandelion (St Stephens Green) or Café en Seine ( Dawson street) where you can find nice cocktails starting @ 5€...

But of course I still have lots of places to discover.

But Dublin is not just about party, if you love Green you'll be happy with some nice parks like St Stephens Green or Phoenix Park. Also nice historical places such as saint Patricks Cathedral, Christ Church, Dublin Castle,....

If you're a nature lover, you'll find wonderful sceneries just a few kilometers away by bus or train (or car of course).

To cut it short, Dublin is a place worth a visit (and so is the whole country). Here and here are some photos.

==Greetings from Dublin== 

Who am I? What is this blog about?

I'm a French girl, currently living in Ireland, working as a localisation tester for video games. Yes, I got paid to play video games, they give me the recently translated French version of a game, I gotta play through and report any linguistic or cosmetic bug.
I enjoy to live abroad and traveling, I've already been living and Czech Republic and Germany, I'm a traveler and here I will talk about my life in Ireland (for the moment, maybe somewhere else later), my trips, my adventures around Europe (I hope soon also out of Europe), tips on travels, restaurants, bars and other nice stuffs in places I stay in or visit.
Talking about some thoughts, and about quite anything and everything...

==Greetings from Dublin==