A Travellerspoint blog

Starting point Dublin

Ireland 2008


View Ireland on spec (2008) on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14317135489239.jpgOld Jameson’s DistilleryWe landed at Dublin [Dublin-travel-guide-936355] airport in the afternoon. At Hertz a car was ready waiting for us with the steering wheel on the wrong side (my opinion!) If I had to drive it I'm not so sure I wouldn't have hit some mirrors of parked cars. The hotel was easy to find, the hotel parking was more difficult. The entrance was tucked away in an alley. After getting our stuff up to our room we hit the hotel bar. It's only a 1,5 hour flight but we didn't feel like doing much so we also had our dinner in the hotel, and after dinner it's back to the bar. The Guinness and Smithwicks taste too good!

Next morning we started at the tourist information office to get a map of Dublin, the hotel only had a small useless one. I printed out some B&B addresses on the global route we thought we were going to follow but at the tourist information office we bought a guide with all addresses of B&Bs in Ireland, this will be our sacred book this vacation.large_1297706_14317135519270.jpgFoundations of Old Jameson’s Distillery

I wanted to visit the Guinness storehouse but the guy at the hotel front desk said it would probably be a disappointment, a tour with headphones and one pint for €15,-. He suggested the Old Jameson's Distillery and so we went there instead. Good choise! In the entrance hall you walk on a glass floor so you can see the old foundations of the original distillery. Waiting for the next guided tour to start we have a taste of the Irish coffee, mjam! The distillery is no longer in use but the tour shows some parts of the proces in working order and there are some nice miniatures to show the proces. And of course there is a tasting of the whiskey. With some people they do a small test if they can taste the difference between Irish, Scottish and American whiskey.

After the distillery we started walking, first to the Wellington monument and then Christ church cathedral which is partly a museum on the old Dublin, real nice. Then we went to Dublin castle. we were too late for a tour but we took a quick look around. We had dinner at O'sheas and then back to the hotel to make our plans for the next couple of days.

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:47 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin sightseeing guinness old_jamesons Comments (0)

D27 Borger

Megalithic Netherlands

large_1297706_14157846513176.jpgAfter visiting various megalithic monuments in different countries I decided it was time to visit some near home. Technically it meant I had to go to another country as I live in Belgium now, but as a Dutch girl I was a bit ashamed to say I did visit Newgrange and some Dolmen in Ireland but never been to Drenthe to visit one of the 52 Hunebeds there. So I picked a date, printed a map with the Hunnebeds in the Netherlands (there are 54 all together) and went for a drive.

I will start to telling a bit about them: Hunebeds (Hunebedden in Dutch) are megalithic monuments made of several big stones stacked together, in most other countries they are known as dolmen. Scientists think they are grave sites but there are some who think otherwise since there are so little human remains found at the sites.large_1297706_14157846552912.jpgI'm clearly not aloneIt’s usually a number of big rocks put upright with one or more rocks on top. Since there are no mountains in the area it has long been a mystery where the rocks came from, now it’s known they were moved from Norway and Sweden by shifting ice during the last ice-age. The local prehistoric people collected them to build the Hunebeds. It’s estimated they were built between 3400 and 3200 bC. In the middle ages they were of no significance, they were simply called ‘stack of rock’ and many Hunebeds were destroyed by people using the rocks for their own buildings. Protection of the monuments dates surprisingly from 1734, and around 1870 government and province councils bought all the remaining Hunebeds except for one which still remains in private possession.

I picked the one I wanted to see, the biggest at Borger no D27.large_1297706_14157846594998.jpg Though the Netherlands is not that big and I’m living only just across the border in Belgium it’s still a long drive, but taking the tourist route and stopping for coffee it’s not all that bad.

At the Borger site there also is a visitors center with lots of information about Hunebeds and the area of Borger. And it has a example home of theprehistoric people which built the Hunebeds

Sadly the Hunebeds are not immune to vandalism, this one has some graffiti on it and looks like it has been used by local youth as a meeting point before going out (empty beer cans and cigarette buts )

I drove past some other sights but the one in Borger was the only one I really visited, in general it is only a pile of rocks, but I'm glad i went to see them

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:41 Archived in Netherlands Tagged dolmen the_netherlands borger megalithic hunebed Comments (0)

Sant Carles de la Ràpita & Delta de l’Ebre

Spain via Germany (!)

large_1297706_14408463399216.jpgAnother long drive to get to Sant Carles de la Ràpita, a bit south of Barcelona [Barcelona-travel-guide-334255] and a bit North of Valencia. TB has this town on the list as San Carlos but all my info says Sant Carles (have to report that error) We have a smooth drive untill Barcelona, here we nearly get washed away by a cloud-burst, but fortunately the weather clears up as we go further south. Our camping is called Alfaques (Alfacs) and it's located directly on the coastline. We put our tent on the second row from the sea, this spot is a bit bigger than the ones on the first row and a bit better protected from the wind. There is no sandy beach but pebbles and concrete at the camping but the sandy beaches are close. Next few days we spend exploring the Delta de l’Ebre and the town Sant Carles de la Ràpita itself. The town is small but it has some nice restaurants and its own Jesus statue like the one in Rio. Delta de l'Ebre is all about nature and sports like kite surfing. I didn't try it myself but it looks really spectacular. Besides the beaches and rice fields a large part of the Delta is a Nature reserve with lots of birds, even some I didn't expect to find in Spain like the flamingos. It's really a beautifull area.

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:40 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona camping ebre_delta Comments (0)

Driving south

Spain via Germany (!)

large_1297706_14408447335715.jpgDriving all the way south to Spain from Belgium may not be the easiest way to travel but as we are going camping it's the best option. Plane wasn't ever an option and train might have been if we had been a little more basic campers. But we are not, we're the type of campers who take half their home on their trip. We like to call it luxury camping, still sleeping in a tent and doing dishes at the central washing area but with satellite tv and coffee maker.

But back to the drive. It's about 1600 km from home to Sant Carles de la Ràpita so we started with a small detour to see Loreley, 275 km the wrong way if you want to end up in Spain but I really wanted to see that rock up close so we did. I'll write a separate blog about that so we start again in France.

At Metz we take the A31 south, past Nancy, Dijon and Lyon and at Montelimar we leave the highway to go look for a camping site. We find Camping Du Lion in Bourg-Saint-Andéol or actually it's the second camping we find, at the first one there wasn't anyone at the reception so after waiting nearly a half hour we went on to the next. Du Lion is a really nice site, pity there are this many mosquitoes, guess that's the prise for a nice spot on the river side. We put up our little tent and make us a bit of a dinner, after that we don't stay up too long we are tired of the long ride and the mosquitoes make us flee into our tent, might as well go to sleep then.

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:36 Archived in Spain Tagged rhine siren loreley Comments (0)

Sightseeing Lima

Peru trip 2005

large_1297706_14316174868361.jpgWe flew from Puerto Maldonado [Puerto-Maldonado-travel-guide-905058] with half an hour stopover at Cusco [Cusco-travel-guide-1308635] to Lima. We're back at the hotel where our trip started, hotel Los Girasoles. Our guide Raquel leaves tomorrow morning, in the afternoon the Swiss girl and the boys and us have a whole day of sightseeing Lima before flying home. We said our goodbyes that evening because tomorrow everyone goes their own way.

We took it easy next morning, breakfast, sending some e-mail at the hotel and then off to the city centre, or so we planned. We took a taxi from our hotel in Miraflores [Miraflores-travel-guide-902817] and asked to bring us to the Plaza de Armas, we started to drive and then there was a road block, people with billboards in the middle of the street, a protest of some kind.large_1297706_14316174874592.jpg The taxi driver didn't want to let us get out at this point and the city center was unreachable so we decided to just go back to Miraflores then. We still had some souvenir shopping to do so we checked out the shopping mall. There we saw Christine again, she was also doing some last minute shopping before going to the airport. She didn't have time enough to have lunch with us so we said our goodbyes again and went our own way. We had lunch at Mc Donalds, just because we can ... It's a sort of tradition to have one Mc Donalds meal per vacation (don't ask me why)

We found a real nice handicrafts market and at one stand they did their utmost best to get us the T-shirt with that special print in the right size, perfect service but a feel sorry for leaving them in the mess the search created. We walked around a bit and discovered we were really close to the ocean, we could see water in the distance so we thought maybe a beachwalk or something.large_1297706_14316174886560.jpg But as we came closer we found ourselvess on a huge cliff and no real way to get down to beach level. We didn't really look for a way down but enjoyed the view instead. For dinner we went back to the hotel, the boys had the same idea and joined us.

Next morning we tried Lima centre again and this time we managed to get there. We visit the Church and Convent of San Francisco and the famous catacombs. They offer a tour in English, the guide is still in school so she struggles with the right words now and the. All the tourists try to help figuring out which word she means which is funny at times. In the catacombs there were som works going on which made the lights flicker at times, nice little spooky touch ! After the tour we still have some time left to check out the area of Plaza de Armas and then it's back to the hotel to get our stuff and go to the airport. Sadly our trip Peru is over but I'm determined to come again !

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Posted by Stefmuts 01:29 Archived in Peru Tagged churches buildings culture lima Comments (2)

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