Like Ireland, without the pork…

This weekend – as you may have noticed if you happen to follow my blogs map in stalker like manner – I was back in Dublin for around about 32 hours. A long way to go, you might think, but Ive only seen my fiance for a day since the engagement, and we had a celebration to hold.

After the Berlitz Christmas party I got on a train to Frankfurt at 9.15 in the evening, arriving via the superspeed ICE (Inter City Express) train at around midnight. Hannover is cold this time of year, but Frankfurt in the middle of the night is worse than the freezer compartment at Waitrose. Id like to have walked around, but I couldnt feel any part of my body anywhere more than 3ft from the (very mildly warm) heater in the underground, so thats where I stayed for the duration. Frankfurt Hahn is another one of Ryanairs genius airports that is about as close to its destination as it is to the departure point. An hour and forty five minutes by bus, even when the bus leaves at 3am. I checked later, its actually significantly closer to Luxembourg than Frankfurt.

To cut a long story short, I eventually made it back to the flat and my waiting lady at about 10am, a ridiculous journey, but more than worth it.

Dublin at Christmas is ridiculous. So crowded that walking the main high street is an afternoons work in itself, and its not even worth contemplating going into the shops. Ill definitely be doing my Christmas shopping in Germany.

On Saturday evening we had a big party to celebrate the engagement, complete with Lithuanian herbal booze, Danish bitter spirit and at least five large bottles of the obligatory Champagne. The mulled wine, which we made from scratch, really topped it all off. It was all a bit messy, as you may have gathered, and strange for me (I dont really have any friends in Dublin yet, so all the guests were Helenas friends), but good fun. I think we have enough chocolate and left over spirits to last into 2009, thanks guys!

The fry up in the morning involved the strange combination of Chorizo and Italian Pancetta, instead of sausages and bacon, as Irelands shops are still almost entirely pork free. I dont even know what that would be called, but I doubt it qualifies as a Med. breakfast. Weird!

I hated having to leave again. As much as I like Hannover, a few hours with Helena really wasnt enough, and this week feels a little forced.On the way back I saw a bit of Frankfurt in the middle of the night. It seems a bit of a dirty city, not as picturesque as Hannover or Hildesheim, and has more kebab shops than the parts of Turkey Ive visited. They must live on nothing else.

The journey back was a nightmare, slow, cold and expensive (as I managed to lose my train ticket, which cost 88 Euro to replace; particularly annoying as I had a copy on my computer, which the company wouldnt accept). I got in to Hannover at about 5am, slept until 8am – long enough to miss the start of my class – and no doubt behaved like a zombie for the entire day. Im amazed I didnt sleep during the lesson, to be honest. Ive just about recovered now, and it was all worth it, but Im glad the last return trip will be the final one. At least for three days, and the trip home for Christmas, that is.

I think I might be getting travel weary, and I never thought Id say that!

J x

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