Travel story: Partying Like it’s 1922

It was your typical rainy day in Dublin and after a day filled with adventures and walks, it was time for a party. Time to dress up! Feathers in my hair, a black flapper dress, silk gloves that reached my elbows and pearls adorning my neck. My dancing shoes were polished and shining. Boyfriend was wearing a vest, a bowtie and a bowler hat. We looked stunning. We looked ready for a party.

After a quick meal of cauliflower soup, we headed towards The Gate where the party was being held. Not sure what to expect, but dressed the part nonetheless, we went in. A man in a beautiful suit asked for our tickets and after him pronouncing my name very funnily, we were allowed in. We were not the first ones to arrive, luckily. Who arrives first at a party! The anticipation hung in the room, people were looking around, waiting for it to start. Whatever ‘it’ was, but enjoying themselves. We got ourselves a drink and looked at the people around us. Most were dressed like we were, some were dressed in weirdly modern clothing. More and more guests seemed to arrive, until it was full enough to have a good party. Until one man, who had been chatting away here and there, stepped into the spotlight:

 “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since”

And so it began. The party. The fabulous party that everyone wanted to visit, but not everyone was lucky enough to be invited. The party of the great Jay Gatsby.

Reading the Great Gatsby is one thing. You can follow the entire storyline, with all its little trips outside the main story, following characters that have their own problems to deal with, that don’t focus on the main plot. Seeing the movie is probably like that, but usally with bits and pieces cut out of it, but I must admit I haven’t seen it. Experiencing the story however, on one of Gatsby’s own parties, is a whole different thing.

For this is what we came for. A play of the Great Gatsby, but not your typical ‘sit in your chair, watch and shut your mouth’ kinda play, no, this was an experience. Dress the part. Join the party. Talk to the party guests. Learn how to dance the charleston and just enjoying yourself.

And we did. Thorougly. We danced. We laughed. We sometimes followed side charachters into side rooms to hear parts of their lives, but never missed the big parts that were going on in the big, beautiful hallway where the party was held.

Seeing shows and plays is one of our little traditions whenever we travel somewhere. Whether it’s the opera in Prague, a tragedy in Shakespeare’s own theatre, a flamenco show or a comedy where everything goes wrong, we always seek and usually find inspiring entertainment on our trips. When I heard of this one, I must admit I wasn’t immediately excited. I don’t enjoy audience participation, usually. But this was different. This was a play in a setting that fit the book absolutely perfectly and it was so well done. I had a marvelous time and I’m pretty sure all of the other guests at Gatsby’s party did too!

Dublin guide for ordinary travelers

Wanderlust Wonderland brings you: a travel guide for ordinary travelers, with must-sees, tips and tricks and the most delicious food, for ordinary travelers, like you and me.

I loved Dublin. A small city filled with friendly people, lots of highlights and amazingly cheap bookstores. When we had to leave we already decided that we should come back one day, sooner rather than later.

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Can anybody tell me where the Blarney Roses grow?

Can anybody tell me where the Blarney roses grow? It might be down in Limerick town, it might be in Mayo. It’s somewhere in the Emerald Isle and this I want to know. Can anybody tell me where the Blarney roses grow?

blarney castle and gardens welcome sign

I thought we would find them at Blarney Castle, but no such luck. But even without the roses, this was a perfect day in a perfect place in Ireland.

On our last full day in Ireland, we had actually planned to travel to Dingle, to take a boat tour there and try to see if we could find Fungi the Dingle Dolphin. But we discovered that the trip was a bit pricey so we decided to go to Blarney Castle instead. And I’m really glad we did because it was an amazing day.

pastel pink flowers in blarney castle garden

It was such a beautiful place to be. The castle gardens are huge and you can wander around for ages. It has the most amazing flowers, waterfalls, little bridges and a whole  garden with beautiful statues.

We walked around for a few hours, taking in the beautiful nature that surrounded us and enjoying some massive icecreams. It was a very relaxing day. The sun was shining very bright and it was a wonderful day.

girl hiking in the woods near blarney castle

Besides the gardens, there was a whole forest, where we also walked around for a bit, before entering the gardens again and walking towards Blarney Castle.

blarney castle tower seen from below

Blarney Castle was built in 1446 and is one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. It is home of the Blarney Stone, the legendary stone of eloquence. It is said that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you will never be lost for words. Needless to say, there was a huge line here. We didn’t do it, but it was fun to see others do it.

Instead, we just walked around a bit more. We found a poison garden with lots of interesting plants. We took our time to be able to see everything and have a relaxing, quiet day.

That evening, we had diner at Luigi Malone and I had the most wonderful lasagna and a rum strawberry cocktail. We spent the rest of the evening in a bar with live music. Ireland has a lot of these, but this is the first night we actually went to one. I would really recommend this, because it’s a lot of fun!

And thus concludes our trip to Ireland. We had a wonderful vacation, spending a few days in Dublin, Kilkenny and Cork and saw a bit of what Ireland has to offer. I can’t wait to go back to see even more of this beautiful country ♥

A night in Dublin, A night in Cork…

After seeing Dublin, Glendalough and Kilkenny, we traveled further to Cork. We stayed here for two days, and on our first day, we explored the city a bit.

The busdrive from Kilkenny to Cork took about two and a half hours. While Boyfriend fell asleep quite soon, I just looked outside and enjoyed the beautiful scenery we were driving through. I saw cows crossing the road and we drove through Waterford and Dungarvan. Other than that, I saw a lot of beautiful nature.

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Ghost Stories in Kilkenny

We didn’t just book a vacation to Dublin, we wanted to explore Ireland a little bit more than that. On the first few days we had seen Dublin and Glendalough in the Wicklow mountains. After Dublin, we would stay one night in Kilkenny before traveling to Cork, where we would stay for another two days before going home again. Our day in Kilkenny was short, but definitely worth a blogpost!

Our plan was to take the bus from Dublin to Kilkenny. We didn’t know where the bus stops were, so we asked a couple of people. Everyone sent us in another direction, so we kept walking in circles before finally finding the bus stop. We left two hours later than was originally our plan. But you know, that happens. We tried not to let it get us down. We were very tired so today wouldn’t be a very busy day. We slept and had lunch in the bus and walked to our hotel when we arrived in Kilkenny. We would stay one night in the Kilkenny House Hotel, which was quite luxurious compared to what we usually stayed in, and especially compared to the room we would later stay in in Cork….

Did I mention we were tired? We only wanted to relax in the room for a little while. I took a bath, we watched some television. And then we fell asleep. We only woke up with just enough time to make it to the city center, have some quick dinner and then start the Ghost Tour we booked.

Kilkenny is a small town with a lot of old buildings and ancient history. When we had booked our flights and hotels, I was looking for things to do in the city. I found this ghost tour that sounded amazing. I was a little bit afraid that it would be a tour with things jumping out of the dark, which is something I would not love (did I mention I’m a scaredy cat?), but luckily it wasn’t. Instead a tour guide would take us through the medieval city centre and tell us ghost stories.

For the tour, we got to dress the part. We could all get a cape and a wizard’s hat which was very fun. Only Boyfriend and I did this, the rest of our group didn’t want to. Which was their loss, because the outfit really helped a lot with the rain. Though a lot of other tourists just stared at us…

Our guide was a very good storyteller and he told us all sorts of ghostly tales about things that happened in this town. Sightings of Banshees, for one, but he also told us some tales about witches. The one I remember best was about Alice Kyteler. She was the first woman that was accused of witchcraft in Ireland. In her life, she had been married four times and all of her husbands died under mysterious circumstances. She was on trial for witchcraft and was imprisoned along with her servant Petronella, who had confessed, under torture, to have helped Alice in her witchcraft. But only Petronella stood on trial, and was burned at the stake, for Alice had disappeared and was never to be seen again…

After the ghost tour, we did a little walk around the town ourselfs, admiring the city in the nightlight, before we went back to our hotel to get some rest. The next day we would be traveling to Cork.

Guinness Lake and Glendalough

On our fourth and last day in Dublin, we decided to take a tour to see some of Ireland’s beautiful nature. We had planned to cycle to Powerscourt Estate but it was raining and also, the Irish drive on ‘the wrong side of the road’ and that’s just difficult. So instead, we looked for tours and found a great tour with PaddyWagon, that would take us to see Glendalough.

Our tourbus was late, but to make up for it, our guide Frank took us to see the Guinness Lake. Which was absolutely breathtaking. We took hundreds of pictures but they don’t quite capure the magnificence.

The Guinness Lake is actually called Lough Tay and is part of the Wicklow Mountains. It was so awesome standing there, taking in the view and feel the crisp clean air fill your lungs.

We set on to Glendalough while our tourguide talked about Ireland and its history. It was all very interesting, though it took me a few seconds to understand his accent.

Glendalough is an Irish valley in the national park Wicklow mountains, and it’s about an hour and a half away from Dublin.

We just walked around for a bit, taking in everything. It was a wonderful place to be. At one point it started raining, but we didn’t care, we just had fun. When the rain stopped, the sun broke through the clouds and it gave the whole place a somewhat golden glow. It was beautiful.

Way too soon, we were to leave again. I could have wandered around for hours, but alas. Our bus took us back to Dublin. The tourguide stayed silent this time, because a lot of people wanted to sleep in the bus. Boyfriend also fell asleep, so I talked a bit with the girl that was sitting behind us. It’s so nice to meet new people from all over the world. She came from Japan and we talked, almost the whole ride, about our countries and the differences.

Back in Dublin, we had diner at Grand Central and then we went back to our hotel for our last night in Dublin.

A rainy day in Dublin

On our first two days in Dublin, the weather was incredible. The third day, not so much. But we didn’t mind. It rains a lot in Ireland (as it does in the Netherlands, by the way), it’s just part of the experience. And our third day was as amazing as the first two, if not better.

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Citytrip Dublin (part two)

Dublin is such an amazing city. On our first day, we saw the Garden of Remembrance, went to the Dublin writer’s museum, bought some books at Chapters, had tea at the Tea Garden and had the best fish and chips of the city. Now, time for a little overview on our second day there!

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Citytrip: Dublin

Hi, how are ya? Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Last year we visited a few places in Ireland and it was absolutely dreamy! We started off in Dublin, where we stayed a couple of days. It is such a lovely city and already I am dreaming to go back. The city is small but oh so lovely, with interesting museums and beautiful architecture. What would be a better time to show you some pictures of Dublin than on Saint Paddy’s?

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