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February 2020
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My ass Hertz

Well it's finally time for an update from me I guess.

I'll start by saying that I now hate the car company Hertz with the fire of a thousand suns. You see, Cal and I had the perfect plan for Ireland. We'd come in, see Dublin for a few days, and then hire a car and drive around, seeing most of the country in the 8 days that we're here. All was well. We arrived at the airport, booked the car to be picked up in two days – it'd cost us e179 ($300) for the week, and that was that. So in blissful ignorance of the hellfire the bastards were about to unleash upon us we enjoyed Dublin (more on that when I finish ranting). So this morning we head out to pick up the car ready for our big trip. We hand over all our details and things are looking good until the dude behind the counter casually mentions that "Oh, since you're under 25 (aside: I turn 25 in a month and a half) you'll have to pay another e35 a day because of that." Cue blank stares from Cal and I. This now meant to rent a shoebox of a car for a week it'd cost us e360 ($680) and the excess on the car went up to e1000 which was probably close to the cost of it new anyway.

So yeah, faced with having to pay double the amount we were originally quoted, and cheered on by the fact that they prominantly advertised "No hidden fees!" all over their brochures, we were screwed. We'd planned the trip around driving, we were both really looking forward to stopping in at little towns around the place which might not be on tours, etc. So all our thoughts of booking accomodation were thrown out and it pretty much ruined our plans.

Refusing to pay the king's ransom that was the car hire, we've now adjusted our trip so that we're catching the bus everywhere, and we're going to about half the places we wanted to. This is a much cheaper option, but I do regret the fact that we're missing so much of this beautiful country. On the bus trip to Cork today there were so many towns I would've loved to have been able to hop out and check out. Goddamnit. I hate you Hertz.

Soooo on to the actual travel diaries bit of this entry, we're in Ireland now, and it kicks ass. We've just spent a couple of days in Dublin which was quite a lot like Sydney, except for the being about a thousand years older thing. It's very metropolitan and trendy (and COLD). We went and saw Trinity College and the Book of Kells which was pretty cool, and then attempted to go to the Guinness factory at my great insistance. We walked there, and on the way it rained, so we took shelter under a pub's awning. We were then subsequently dragged in by one of the locals for a drink.

Now I had a master plan. If you know me at all, you probably know I have master plans for everything. I have master plans for the best methods of cooking my breakfast in the morning (the plan is to eat at work if it is free). So my plan for Ireland was to have my first irish Guinness at the Guinness factory, thus ensuring that my first taste was of the best or purest stuff. Well the plan didn't go quite the way I hoped. As I mentioned we got dragged into the pub and were told to have a Guinness there by a friendly local. I've read (ON THE INTERNET!) that if you find an irish pub with an old man drinking a Guinness quietly to have one, and it'll be spectacular. This pub not only have numerous of the aforementioned people, but it also had a group of old guys playing irish ballads in the booth. So I tossed out my plans and had a Guinness. It was bloody good. I've never really liked it on the couple of occasions I've had it at home, but here it really does taste better.

So we have a couple of Pints, and are about to leave, and I head to the bathroom. While I was away apparently the friendly local told Cal that he'd be good to her if I wasn't if she knew what he meant… Of course I don't get told these things till we're well away from the pub. Grumble…

On to Cal for the rest of Dublin.


Comment from Callina
Time: April 10, 2006, 7:46 pm

Caught up with Celine in Dublin at a place called the 'The Hairy Lemon' and drank till it closed. Was great to see her and she is looking terrific despite everything which has happened… tempted to get me some of that La Meir stuff myself.. :p

Planning to catch up again with her on Easter Friday and Sat in Galway while we are there. The bars better be open!

Back to the present. Cork is warmer than Dublin but without the same saturation of beautiful historical sights. Don't get me wrong it does have them but they aren't in the same concentration nor are they quite as grand. The city is enfolded by the river Lee and as such has some really lovely bridges (just wait till we manage to post photos!).

Tomorrow I think we will catch a bus to Blarney (im not kissing the stone I tells ya! – besides I already have the gift of the gab :p) and then a bus out to Kinsale which is by all reports awesome.

Also finally learning from our past mistakes we have booked the rest of our accommodation for the trip – not an easy task with an upcoming long weekend. So we have two nights here in Cork in the most excellent Hostel come Bar aptly called Bru ( then Busing it to Killarney for two nights at Glenna Hostel then busing on to Galway for another two nights in Rossa's B&B.

Key: When In Europe PREBOOK PREBOOK PREBOOK – our new mantra. Asia was just so easy. You could rock up and basically find a place in 10 minutes and creat bad bad non-booking habbits.

Comment from Phil
Time: April 10, 2006, 7:51 pm

We're in Cork now, which I've recently discovered is the place of my ancestors before they got shipped off to Australia. Now it's probably likely that I've bragged to you that my family has been in Australia for like 8 generations and that we came over with the second fleet. Well this is partly correct. I've recently discovered that while my family did come over from Ireland almost 200 years ago (1814) they didn't come for such grand purposes of settlement.

You can probably guess that – yeup – my ancestor Jeremiah Sullivan was a convict. A geneology researcher my dad has put me in touch with suggests that he was probably persecuted for teaching Catholicism in a time it was outlawed which is okay, but he was a convict nonetheless.

So in Cork now, I'm [i]almost[/i] filled with a sense of pride at this being my homeland. I know that's retarded since my homeland is the Shire as you all know, but I can't help but feel that it's a small homecoming of sorts. Apparently there are no Pubs baring my family name, but Sullivan has sprung up numerous times on our brief walk around the city this arvo. There's numerous accountants and lawyers sharing my last name for some reason, and a quay which is cool.

I'm going to head out to the pub shortly and drop my last name and see if it gets me any free drinks. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Comment from Callina
Time: April 10, 2006, 7:53 pm

Just wanted to add:

The local pickup wasnt while phil was away but while he was standing next to me.. and it was more along the lines of 'does he know how lucky he is' and me responding 'yes' before taking flight. :p

Another thing .. by cheaper you should note that the 4 hour bus was only 7euros!!! I was impressed.

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