Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here are my favourites - that I buy at the Gorey's farmers market on Saturdays:
is a very tasty hard(ish) goats cheese made in county Cork.
-Gubbeen, made in West Cork
is a cow's milk cheese, creamy and great to eat with chutneys. There is also a smoked version.
-Mature sheep cheese (such as Cratloe Hills)
if you like manchego, you'll love this.
based in Fenagh, they make cheddar-type cheeses with unusual flavours, such as nettle and sundried tomatoes, chilli, etc...
-if you are into blue cheese (not my case): then try Wicklow Blue or Cashel Blue.
Wicklow has a whole range of its own cheeses. Wicklow Baun is a brie-type cheese and Old MacDonnells farm in the Glen of the Downs makes not only probiotic yogurt but also soft spreadable sheep cheese.
If you want to investigate for yourself, this is a very useful site, if you are interested in learning a bit more about great cheeses made in Ireland: http://www.irishcheese.ie/
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
while this might not reflect particularly well on the financial sheets of the State, it is what gives the city its welcoming character. The city, that just celebrated the 20th anniversary of fall of the wall (mauerfall), has been the 'muse' of three great movies - reflecting live in the city (or cities!) before, during and after the Mauerfall.
-The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) - Before
Released in 2006, this masterpiece focuses on the invisible relationship of a Stasi agent and a couple of intellectuals he is 'surveying' in the East Berlin of the 1980s. Rightly so, it won an Oscar for Best foreign language film. One of the best movies in a long time.
-Good Bye Lenin (2003) - During
This hilarious drama/comedy follows Alex's troubles. His mum has been in a coma for a few months, missing one of the most important episodes in the history of the country: the fall of teh wall. As he tries to keep his mum from finding out the Berlin wall has fallen, in order to save her fragile health, Alex keeps their flat in East Berlin as West-free as possible, with very funny consequences.
-Run Lola Run (Lola rennt - 1998) - After
This popular thriller sees Lola literally running across different parts of post-wall Berlin trying to find 100,000 marks in cash to save her boyfriend Manni. Three options on three different ways Lola could have solve this problem unfold... offering some Berlin sightseeing along the way.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The other cities in the Lonely Planet Top 10 are: Cuenca, Ecuador; Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Kyoto, Japan; Lecce, Italy; Singapore; Vancouver, Canada; Istanbul, Turkey; and Charleston, USA.
Get your checklist started and get down to Cork, quick! The Film Festival is on this month so you can still get ahead of the crowd.
Anyway, I'm getting into the Berlin Wall Fall celebrations mood by watching George Lee's 4-part series Beyond the Berlin Wall that started last night on RTE (you can catch it on RTE Player at www.rte.ie) even if I'll be arriving when all the party is finished!
So we might be too late for the Wall celebrations and too early for the Christmas markets... now that's what I call good planning. I hope my brother is around at least ;-)
Monday, November 2, 2009
Agnieszka has been telling me off for not updating the hungry rambler a bit more often so I promise, mala, I'll be good in the run up to Xmas. The truth is that I've been quite busy: I was in Cork for a few days around the October Bank Holiday for a friend's wedding and took the chance to go and check on some other friends we hadn't seen for a while.
The thing about Cork is that I never want to go back home after being there. I always have a wannaliveincork type of crisis that lasts for a good few days. I'm only recovering now!
Anyway. It was the chance to finally go for a meal at the reknowned Cafe Paradiso, meant to be the best veggie resto in the country. IT was a bit pricey but boy was it good... (I only write 'boy' because I'm just back from Cork you see... they say boy all the time down there... I kind of like it - it makes sentences sound much stronger...)- to sound like a real Corkegian you need to add that to emphasise your opinions, as well as adding 'like' at the end of each phrase (if you want to emphasise it or not). Try it at home. IT's safe ;-) and great fun. I like 'like' myself quite a lot. It probably drives most people scatty but once you start, there is no stopping.
I was too stuffed to go for a dessert and that's saying something: vegetarian doesn't mean you have to go hungry. I really think meat-eaters should try a good veggie cafe or restaurant every now and then. They'll be pleasantly surprised.
As for myself, I couldn't really become a full-time vegetarian, for two reasons: meat lasagna and chorizo sausage. And seafood, of course.
However, if out and about looking for some good food, try a veggie restaurant/cafe if possible: they rarely dissapoint. You will find they are in general more creative with their menus than conventional cafes.
If you rather test it at home first: Cafe Paradiso has a cookbook out (this is high end cooking mind you), if you'd like something more 'doable' at home go for the Cornucopia one.
Cornucopia is another great veggie spot, this time in Dublin, where the amazing smells of the place and just looking at the desserts are enough to kill your hunger. This is definitely another recommended spot for meat-eaters in search of their inner veggie-self.
But back to Cork: The Quay co-op is another veggie cafe (more suitable for recessionary budgets) that is well worth a visit (I have never been to Cork without eating at least one at The Quay).
If you are still not convinced that going veggie (even part-time) will be good for you and for the planet, then don't miss the Farmgate restaurant at the English Market: they have amazing desserts and definitely the best flan (creme caramel) I have tried since I visited Cuba.
And by the way, the jazz festival was on: in between treats we went to see Imelda May at the Savoy. She was such good fun - almost as good as the flan!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It was a gorgeous bright day and had a great timing doing the filming. The photo session was in aid of Sightsavers and shows how lovely Wexford can be with a bit of sunshine!!
spot Mark's mini!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The puds are brilliant - and with an early bird of under €20 you can't go wrong really.
Friday, September 18, 2009
To some it might feel like another nitty gritty Irish movie focusing on disfunctional families, rough around the edges suburbs and pained childhoods. But I just love Lance Daly's Kisses.
Set in contemporary Dublin, this Ken Loachesque take on Irish society (back in vogue since the economy has gone dire straits) is a 5-star movie and it has some of the most amazing footage I have ever seen of Dublin city: when Kylie and Dylan hitch a lift from the dredger guy.
Have a look at the trailer on http://www.kisses.ie/
Then, we were also travelling to Herefordshire, in England, for our friends Kate and Tom's wedding- which was amazing... and I really mean it. After crossing in my list weddings in Ireland, Spain, Slovakia, Poland, the UK and the US I have to admit I'm always impressed with the simplicity, practicality, elegance and excellent food I've enjoyed at English weddings.
On Thursday night (before getting the ferry from Rosslare to Pembroke on Friday morning) I finally got to have dinner at this famous seafood restaurant in Co. Wexford, The Lobster Pot.
Since 30 is quite a birthday I decided I'd go for the lobster, of course ;-) - after all, I was driving so didn't spend much on the wine/booze department...
The staff were super friendly and the place has a lot of character, looking more like a gastro pub than a fancy resto. However, I'd say the average age of the clientele was waaaay passed my big Three O, and it might as well - it made me feel young again!
Not that I'm ageist but in these sort of places you usually find ladies like the ones sitting next to us on the waiting table. The waiter is politely asking how the meal was and she points out the potatoes were 'awful' - they had eyes on them... Mark actually thought she meant there was ice in the spuds, which made it even funnier...
anyway, the grumpy old bat got a free pudding... so maybe that's the only reason people complain at restaurants... specially about potatoes having eyes or ice or whatever it was she felt it was wrong with her spuds.
Our food was lovely. However, I'm slightly disappointed with the range of the menu- I sort of expected a wild selection of creatures available (I'm from Galicia after all!) that simply wasn't there. The puddings were nice but a touch overpriced and not really matching the quality of the main course. It was definitely worth the drive though, and that lobster was really tasty...
On Friday morning we took the 9 ferry to Pembroke, which in theory only takes 3 hours and 45 min but, in my experience, it always ends up taking at least 4 hours - and it feels quite long...
This seems to be another hot spot for OAPs, I've noticed... and I wonder if they get a special pass or if they are just scared of flying... any ideas???
Tom and Kate's wedding was in this lovely manor house called Whitney Court, in Whitney on Wye, just by the Welsh border (very near Brecon). It has the most stunning views of the countryside -helped by a weekend weather of remarkable sunshine and summer temperatures!
What I loved about Tom and Kate's wedding was:
A/the fact that there was no religion involved (Churches have hijacked weddings for way too long people!) and
B/ it just fitted their personalities so well. It was warm, welcoming and featured all local produce - including booze.
Then there was dancing and drinking and more dancing and drinking ... and then Cornish pasties at midnight. Who said the Brits can't pull a gastro fest? well, if someone can that has to be Tom and Kate, which I hope are having a brilliant time in Croatia.
I wonder if they eat Cornish pasties in Croatia...
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Here's a little clip of some Galician pipers (gaiteiros) doing the 'vermut' rounds at Viveiro's mighty summer party: Naseiro.
As a teenager, growing up in Viveiro means suffering a pretty bleak winter but a prospect of a damn good party-fuelled summer AND counting down the days for Naseiro.
Old and young build the shacks where they'll spend the five best days of the summer: day and night. Basically, Naseiro is like a massive picnic gone out of hand. Whereas my grandmother's generation used to go down to their nicely set up temporary tables to have a few dances and enjoy a few drinks and food with friends, the whole thing has now evolved into a shanty-townesque mad structure spreading along the river. Imagine cramping a whole town into a few acres of land. The whole town moves temporarily for five days. That's Naseiro. And Viveiro people love it.
All the excesses are allowed: too much food, too much drink, cross dressing, maybe a few unplanned pregnancies as well... Since Naseiro means the end of the summer holidays for some, the energy that goes into the whole affair is phenomenal - had it been organised in early June, the myth of Naseiro, the mighty party of Viveiro, might not be quite as huge.
Each of the five days is dedicated to a traditional Galician dish but the most popular one is Octopus Friday, cooked 'a feira' style (fair/market style - what the non-Galicians call Galician Style).
I've loved it since being a child, I worshipped it as a teenager and now, living abroad, I don't get to go to Naseiro too often. In fact, until this year, I hadn't been for a good few years. Having enjoyed the sesion vermut (the midday dance and drinks session), some tasty pulpo and a couple of dancing nights, I'm back to work feeling homesick - and counting the days for next year's.
If there is one thing that a true Viveiro person doesn't want to miss, that is Naseiro- without a doubt.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
-Carmine's Italian Seafood restaurant
in the Seaport area, near Brooklyn Bridge, this spot was a real discovery. Great food at great prices. A huge main of fried calamari for just over a tenner really makes your day (a pasta and tomato side and a salad are included in the price). Established in 1903, there is a good reason why this place is still up and running in 2009. It is cosy, it has an authentic Italian feeling about it, it has great food, in a great location, at unbeatable prices AND the best baked cheesecake ever... If you are around the area, definitely give it a try.
This low key, Japanese style restaurant in the University area, is cheap and cheerful. The noodles with stir fried vegetables and prawns are super tasty. Specials for $9.
-Wholefoods Market - Union Square
The idea is nice and simple: you shop downstairs and go and sit down to eat it upstairs. Despite being totally crammed (and it is only Wednesday morning!), it is totally worth it, for the sushi, amazing selection of salads (and this is very elaborate salads, not just a few leaves of lettuce!) and other Indian and international delicacies, are some of the best we've tried. If you are in a rush, this is the best grub to go.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Esther's blog http://elparamonaranja.blogspot.com/ has a video on the exhibition to give you an idea of just how good a photographer she is ;-)
Monday, May 11, 2009
My holiday destinations as a wedding guest have included Bratislava, Strzegom (in Poland) and the UK. This year the wedding guest travel plan is: the US in May, Galicia in August, UK in September and Cork in October.
I must admit the US wasn't top of my to-visit list but I have warmed up to the idea, specially since it is getting closer (only 6 days left!).
Here's a snapshot of my pre-trip impressions.
The itinerary is Chicago - Iowa - New York. So Des Moines born Bill Bryson is a great read to get into the Iowa mood. His childhood memories growing up in Des Moines, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, have got me quite excited about checking out small town America. Although, I am probably in for some disappointment if I'm expecting the 50's bright life of Bryson's tender years.
I watched Colm Toibin's interview with Pat Kenny (unusual for me) in the Late Show last Friday so his new book Brooklyn in my list now.
www.visitnewyork.ie is an Irish site with all-things NY. IT has a great online tool to create your personalised to-do list, depending on interests (the attractions one is quite helpful).
I'm also trying to use the travel plan application in LinkedIn but haven't given it much time yet.
www.aerlingus.com to check the requirements to enter the US (clear)
The worst thing, so far:
Scare mongering: about two things mainly: swine flue and entry requirements. I was born on Sept 11th,will they hold it against me???
Hotel prices (pretty high, even for budget hotels)
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Aerlingus’s customer service department must have forgotten that golden rule of communication which says the whole purpose of communicating is to get some feedback from those you are trying to communicate with… That is: if you try to communicate with other people in a way they will not be able to understand you, the whole effort is just useless.
A couple of weeks ago, my parents bought flight tickets to come and visit. The route: Santiago de Compostela – Dublin. The process was initially simple, as the Aerlingus website allows users in different countries to book flights in different languages.
But yesterday, my mum texts me URGING me to check an email she has just forwarded to me from Aerlingus. It is a simple Travel Advisory note from Aerlingus, trying to flog car rentals and other products – just in English!. Of course the note might as well have been written in Chinese for neither my mum nor my dad speak English. And I think: this is just wrong.
If you sell tickets to people in different countries, at least make the effort to use that same language you used to sell your tickets for any communication with your customers afterwards… pure manners really (not just customer service best practice).
So my mum is freaking out but I tell her everything is ok and nobody is to kick her out of that plain coming to Ireland on Saturday. She is such a pain sometimes but I must admit she is 100% right on this one.
I remember the last time they came she was totally annoyed because nobody on the plane back to Santiago (and that is not one single crew member) spoke even Spanish. And I say EVEN, because for most Galicians (including me), Spanish is their second language, not even their mother tongue.
Can you imagine getting on a plane from Dublin to … let’s say Moscow just for the craic… and discover all the crew members spoke just Russian? The world would be up in arms.
It just reminds me of a friend’s neighbour who went on holidays to rural Andalucía. When she came back she explained she had a ‘lovely’ time but was a bit upset as the locals ‘didn’t have any English’. As she put it: “they didn’t make any effort with the language”. Now, if she couldn’t be bothered, why should the locals?
Maybe it is an understandable attitude coming from an old lady, but surely Aerlingus should know better…
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Unlike other seaside resorts (and I’m not going to name any…), Brighton has survived its Victorian heyday gracefully, reinventing itself into a trendy, gay-friendly, University town hot spot. Locals are probably exhausted by the amount of hen parties and day trippers they get every weekend but surely that gives the place its upbeat look of constant-holidaying atmosphere.
However, under this shiny layer of busy cafes, shops and yoga centres, you can still sense the 1930s Brighton described by Graham Greene in its murder novel Brighton Rock. Maybe because its mighty pier seems so timeless. Maybe because (besides a few out of place apartment blocks from the 60s) Brighton’s skyline is quite untouched and preserved for a city of almost half a million people. I suppose there is always a slight dark feel to seaside resorts they can never quite shake off... or maybe I’m just taking too seriously that idea of an underworld of local mafia so well described by Greene.
Anyway, for the most amazing breakfasts, lunches (the best haloumi cheese salad ever) smoothies and cakes, go to Bill’s (http://www.billsproducestore.co.uk/ ). Good weather and good food can definitely made a holiday! For some traditional Brighton lazy afternoon fun, head to The Pier for amusements and some easy-going gambling, waffles, crepes, fish and chips and other old-style delights.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This is a handy story from Silicon Republic for those spending St. Patrick's Day in Dublin and interested in what's happening between 12th and 17th March for the capital's St. Patrick's Day Festival.
Maybe I was a bit star-struck too, since it is the first time I go to a restaurant where the chef is almost more known for his newspaper columns, cookbooks and TV appearances than for his culinary delights.
We got a round table by the window, which was great - beautiful and a bit more private-, but I was secretly waiting for the moment we sit down and open a menu featuring a list of anaemic sounding dishes garnished with overweight prices. But it never happened. The menu was written in plain English and fairly priced, with main courses starting at just over €18 if I remember well (the puds were a bit on the pricey side but they were worth it).
The artichoke and smoked salmon soup was delicious and unusual (for me), and so was the lemon tart with raspberry sorbet. Traditional fish and chips sounded like a good idea and it was tasty but, in retrospect, I should have gone for something more adventurous, specially after seeing the pictures of the fish pie dishes in his book (the day after!).
After dinner, we headed upstairs to The Aviator’s Lounge for some drinks. It was relaxed and quaint but the average age was quite a bit older than our party. Overall, it was a highly enjoyable experience, recession-proof and highly recommended (And I think the birthday boy also had a good time, which was the point of the whole shebang).
If you want to check it out, Richard Corrigan’s cookbook is called: The clatter of forks and spoons. Also, in last Sunday’s The Sunday Business Post Agenda magazine you can find his recipe for fish soup http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=FOOD+AND+DRINK-qqqm=nav-qqqid=40008-qqqx=1.asp
And if you want to book and try it for yourself, you can do it online at http://www.brownesdublin.com/. I’m told by the party organiser you must book well in advance to secure a table.
Monday, February 23, 2009
For its easy access, well marked path, beauty and being just the right length, The Spinc and Glenealo Valley trail in Glendalough, County Wicklow, has to be one of my favourite ‘Sunday Walks’ and probably one of the best walks in Leinster.
Pros, hikers and other extreme walking creatures will tell you there are plenty of routes and beauty spots to be discovered in the Wicklow Mountains without the crowds of popular Glendalough, but beware: maps of the routes and other useful (and essential) details on the terrain for us amateurs is scarce. Google searching for maps is enough to put you off walking altogether if you are having a good day, enough to drive you insane if you are having a bad one.
Glendalough’s trails, on the other hand, are almost ‘idiot-proof’, easily explained and classified according to levels and manageable for walkers of all types.
There are three trails involving the ‘Spinc’ - all circuit walks:
Heading up the Spinc and then linking up with the famous Wicklow Way (there is a dedicated website www.Wicklow way.com)but lacks the detail of the trails at Glenda Lough, if you are not a ‘hardcore walker’ you will not find much useful information for you, which is a shame). 11km (4 hours approx.)
Spinc and Glenealo Valley. 9 km (3 hours and a half walk approx.)
Shorter version cutting through the forest. 5 km (2 hours approx.)
The White Trail takes you up to the Spinc (or ‘pointed hill’) overlooking the Upper Lake of Glendalough, around the boggy Glenealy Valley and down back to the car park along the Miners’ Trail. Starting the walk from the left hand side of the lake will allow you to get the sharpest climb of the walk out of the way at the beginning, which tends to be an easier approach. After conquering the 600+ steps that take you to the top of the Spinc, the route becomes much easier.
A boardwalk takes you along the ridge (with some photo spots on the way) and down to the valley, where the path eventually becomes a rough stoney track (but who cares? we are going downhill now…). Overall, it is a very enjoyable circuit with amazing views of the valley of Glendalough, perfect for a Sunday outing and long enough to get you some fresh air and renewed energy to start the week...
-The Best of Walking in Glendalough:
Very well marked paths and trails, explaining difficulty and type of terrain.
-The Worst of Walking in Glendalough:
It is ALWAYS crowded. The best time to go is probably January, when some hotels are closed. The higher level of the walk, the smaller amount of people you will encounter though. Definitely avoid Bank Holiday weekends.
You can find a listing of all trails at:
How to get there- if you don‘t have a car:
http://www.glendaloughbus.com/ (from Dublin city and Bray)
Monday, February 16, 2009
Having said that, the ‘hustling phenomenon’ seems to be almost exclusive to Habana (and Varadero). In places like Matanzas and Pinar del Rio, hustlers just seem to be non-existent, and friends travelling further afield to the East of the country seem to confirm similar experiences.
A fact that is helping the ‘hustlers’ business’ is general ignorance about the double currency system in place in the country. Most tourists in package holidays seem to be unaware of the fact that there are two currencies in Cuba: Peso Convertible and Peso (also called Moneda Nacional or MN). Ditch the Lonely Planet, no guide can keep up with the changes happening in Cuba, specially in relation to currency matters, the importance (or lack of it) of the US dollar, the status of the euro, etc… Take Euros with you and get them changed ONLY in official places (at the time of travelling, I had made the mistake of changing Euros for US dollars only to find that the change to Pesos Convertibles from dollars was penalised by 10%, as well as having a terrible exchange rate).
Basically one Peso Convertible is almost the same value as one Euro and will buy you approximately 27 Pesos (MN). While you will pay (over pay) in ‘Convertibles’ in cafes, shops and access to attractions (such as the Museo de La Revolución); you can use ‘Pesos’ (MN) in street food stalls (pizzas and cakes in people’s ground floor), fruit markets and some cafes aimed at Cubans (very few, though). Be alert and watch your money.
Taking this into account, these are 3 of the most popular scams you are likely to encounter in La Habana:
-The Coin with Che
We all want to go to Cuba to see the ‘real Cuba’, and get back home with great souvenirs. Not just the same old funny-looking ashtray made of coconut shell or the voluptuous mulata-incense-holder, we want ‘the real Cuban souvenir’. So for those not aware of the double currency issue, a coin with the face of Che is a great opportunity to show off in front of friends and family back at home. This guy is so great he will not make any money from it, you see? It says 3 pesos on the coin and that is exactly what he will do: he will swap with you his Che 3 pesos coin for YOUR 3 pesos coin (Convertibles though!!!). You might come home as happy as Larry but you could have got nine of those for one euro if you had gone to the bank. AREAS of ACTION: seen often outside Capitolio.
-The Milk Scam
She has a hungry baby or so you are told. You might be a bit wary but she assures you she doesn’t want any money, powder milk (a luxury for Cubans) is all she is after. So you go and buy her some powder milk for her hungry baby in the nearest shop, and you go back to your hotel or ‘casa particular’ feeling great about yourself, after all you are not just giving money to beggars, you are doing something Good, with capital G. Anybody would fall for that, right? I wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings but what this woman will do next is go back to the shop and get ‘your’ Convertible money back (or at least a fraction of it). And the child isn’t even hers. AREAS of ACTION: usually hanging around the park across the road from Hotel Inglaterra and the Galician Centre.
-The hungry kid
As Cuban friend Mirta said to me once: no one dies of hunger in Cuba. She might be disappointed on Fidel but let’s call a spade a spade. Hungry kids in La Habana don’t ask you for a bite of your ‘pan con lechon’ or a sip of your ‘jugo de guayaba’, they will ask you for ‘a dollar, sir’ or ‘a dollar, lady’. What they are going to do with the dollar, I don’t know, but it will definitely take away their hunger. AREAS of ACTION: As the number of naïve tourists increases, kids seem to go ‘hungrier’ around Habana Vieja, but you may find them in other parts of the city.
Useful Tips to enjoy Cuba:
-Don’t listen to stories, whatever you are told NEVER change money on the street (on top of getting a raw deal, you could actually get jailed for it).
-Always check your change and ask for a receipt to check if you are being overcharged (if they don’t want to give you one, chances are you probably ARE being ripped off).
-Enjoy the street food and fruit markets – mainly located in Centro Habana and Vedado - like Cubans do (here you should only pay in Moneda Nacional).
-Less is More: as far as hustlers go, language barriers are almost a blessing and will help you resist their incredible pester-power. Not understanding could save you from being dragged into more complex and convincing scams Spanish-speakers usually fall for.
-Using taxis could actually save you money. Walking through some areas of the city at night-time (such as Centro Habana) is not recommended. While it isn’t particularly dangerous, you do run the risk of getting your bag taken or suffering other minor petty crime incident. If a Cuban says an area is a ‘no-go’ at night time, believe it. Only one thing: make sure you get a fair deal for your taxi ride home.
-If you want to find paradise, avoid popular Varadero and go for any of the other many ‘Cayos’ in the island. Cayo Levisa, off the coast of Pinar del Rio, has all the peace and quite you miss in Habana - but bring along plenty of mosquito repellant.
After living two months in La Habana, I felt a mixture of sadness and joy when leaving: sadness leaving some great people behind but happiness at the prospect of being able to sit to read a book in a park without someone coming to piss me off (excuse the language) for one reason or the other. By the end of it I was sick of: hustlers, park attendants, museum guards, kids in general, police, taxi drivers and poorly looking dogs (if you are an animal-lover you will not like Habana).
-Worst of travelling to La Habana: the constant fight with hustlers and other chancers.
-Best of travelling to La Habana: If you are lucky enough to have friends in Cuba (or friends of friends), meeting them and seeing first-hand the genuine Cuban hospitality will save your image of the country.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
In no particular order:
-Sha Roe Bistro (Clonegal, Co. Wexford/Carlow border)
-The Wicklow Heather (Laragh, Co. Wicklow)
-The Oar House (Howth, Co. Dublin)
-Co-op cafe (Cork city)
-The Tavern pub and restaurant (Murrisk, Co. Mayo)
1-No man is an island.
2-City lights- Dublin and Cork.
The weather this year might not be ideal to go exploring places like Carraontouil or The Spink but walking is A/ good for you and B/ it will open your apetite for dinner time.
http://www.walkireland.ie/ has a search engine with a range of walking trails in Ireland for walkers of all levels. For a more relaxed outdoor Valentine, Altamont Gardens, just outside Tullow, in County Carlow, celebrate their Snowdrop Week from 9th February until 15th February.
-Worst of Valentine’s Day: Cheesy cards with stale declarations of love such as ‘The key to my heart’ and ‘You are the one I love’.