A Travellerspoint blog

Sydney: Part 1

Hello!

I am so happy to be adventuring again. Travel Jenna is out in full force!

My flight from Vancouver was delayed, so we didn't end up taking off until about 12:45am. By that point, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep right away, and slept through the first meal that was provided. I found this hilarious when I woke up, since basically the only thing I was really anxious about for this whole trip was if I would be able to sleep on the flight. So it was a late but good start.

I landed in Sydney at 8:30am local time. The inside of the plane was sprayed with pesticides before we were allowed to disembark, which was very strange. And the customs control was electronic! I put my passport into a machine, looked at the camera and then the doors magically opened. It was pretty neat. A real human did look at my declaration card, though. They hesitated when they saw I had said yes to "have you been in a lake or near wilderness in the last 30 days", but then saw that I was from Canada. He said "oh right - all of Canada is wilderness. Carry on." It was awesome.

I took the train to King's Cross and then it was just a short walk to the hostel. I got there just before 10am, and the guy at check in told me to go get some free breakfast before it closed at 10, and to check in afterwards. That was a nice surprise (especially since I have now learned that food in Sydney is so expensive!!). I changed clothes, and then immediately set out on a four hour walk around Sydney harbour. I went through the Royal Botanical Gardens and along the water to get my first glimpse of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. They do not disappoints! From there I wandered through the Rocks, and then back towards the hostel through downtown. I got back at about 2:30, and decided to have a little nap...... I slept for 14 hours instead. Whoops. A thrilling end to my first day! Yesterday I took a ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour, where I chatted to an old Australian man who was very apologetic after mistakenly calling me American. At Darling Harbour I went to the aquarium, and made friends with sharks, a dugong, and many penguins. I had lunch in a cafe and then took the ferry back. I got off one stop before Circular Quay, and walked across the Harbour Bridge. I think I took approximately 300 photos. On my walk back to the hostel I came across a little alley where there were a ton of empty bird cages suspended from wires, so they were floating above the street. It was very cool. I would have assumed that after my 14 hour sleep I would be mostly adjusted, but apparently not, since I fell asleep at 6pm. I work up at 3am and was quite displeased. That's two nights in a row I slept through dinner.

I am now sitting in the common room drinking tea. My plan for today is to take the bus out to Bondi beach, and do the 6km Bondi to Coogee beach walk. Yes, I will wear lots of sunscreen and try not to get stung by a jellyfish. So far, I am loving Sydney! I hope all of you are doing well.

Love,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 15:09 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Here We Go Again!

Hello!

I am so thrilled to be able to post here again! And I am beyond excited to take off for Australia!

Before we continue the adventures, I want to mention that right now this blog has over 10,000 views?? Who the heck are you people? Perhaps I am not the only one that has repeatedly read through this blog during the last 434 days that I have not been travelling. Anyway, I hope all you mysterious people reading have enjoyed learning about my last journey.

I have been very thankful that I kept something like this while I was in Europe. So, for this round, I am hoping to have more frequent and detailed posts coming. I also found it very interesting to look back on the posts where I mentioned my thoughts and feelings about what I had done and how I was changing, so there may be a few more ramblings like that coming your way as well.

Speaking of which.... I've decided to make a little list of things that I want to accomplish while I am down in Oz (any other suggestions are welcome):
- hug a wallaby
- hug a koala
- take lots of photos, and try to take more with me actually in them
- spend some time with people I meet at a hostel
- try not to get overly sunburnt
- be entirely real.

In reference to that last one - I had a very interesting conversation recently where I was told that this trip would be the perfect opportunity to practice not only learning and noticing what I need (in reference to my happiness, comfort, and relationships), but actually asking for it. For example, if someone I have a good relationship with does something that I find hurtful or disrespectful, I need to learn to do or say something in order to make myself feel better. My current strategy is basically "pretend nothing happened and then maybe at some point I will get over it" - AKA, "don't make waves". As you can probably imagine, it is not an overly successful strategy. This is definitely something I need to learn how to do in real life, so if Travel Jenna can master this skill, that would be very helpful for Regular Jenna. My Health professor from last semester would say that "be entirely real" is a terrible goal, because it does not follow the SMART Goal format, but I am putting it on the list anyway. So there.

Anyway, as far as actual travel goes, here is the plan:

I fly into Sydney on June 21st, and hang out there until the 27th, at which point I will head to Melbourne. I am in Melbourne until July 10th, where I will hopefully learn what the heck "footy" actually is. From July 10th to 14th I will be up in Cairns, where I will be doing a Great Barrier Reef tour! Then I am off to Brisbane, which is where the planned portion of this adventure ends. I need to be back in Sydney to fly home on July 26th (theoretically).

I am very very excited to head off and explore new places! I am bringing my DSLR on this trip, so I am hoping to get some great pictures. (Posting pictures on here I found to be very fussy and irritating.. it would be easier to view them on Instagram @jenna.miller10 ). I have plans to meet up with some of the Australians I met on the Contiki tour in Europe, which will be amazing. I believe some of them have now read this blog, so hopefully they aren't too mad at me for certain posts that cast them in a less-than-positive light. Obviously, my attitude has since changed. If they weren't lovely, fantastic people, I wouldn't be going to see them.

I think that's all I have to say for now... my flight leaves Vancouver at 11:45pm on June 19th, and I land at 8:30am Sydney time on June 21st. I have experienced some extremely sweet goodbyes over the last couple of days, which were unexpected and actually made me quite emotional. So thank you, those people. You are all great, and I will miss you very much! As usual, please send me pictures of your pets and other miscellaneous life updates while I am away. In return, when I get home I will try to limit the amount of times I begin a sentence with "When I was in Australia....".

Cheers to new adventures.

Love,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 08:35 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

6 Months Later

Hey, remember that time I went to Europe? I sure do.

6 months ago, on April 10th 2016, I arrived back in Victoria after 88 days of travel - the best 88 days ever. I'm sure you all noticed that I never wrote a "The End" post for this blog. I meant to, and there is still a draft of it sitting here that I began on April 14th, but I could never get it to sound the way I wanted, and in general I was just too sad about my adventure being over to write it. So, on such a convenient date, I'm writing it with all the benefits of hindsight.

Victoria - London - Amsterdam - Berlin - Dresden - Prague - Dachau - Munich - Venice - Rome - Florence - Pisa - Lucerne - Paris - Nice - Milan - Rome - Vienna - Salzburg - Nuremburg - Prague - London - Brighton - Edinburgh - Inverness - Dublin - Galway - Lisdoonvarna - Dublin - Athens - Aegina - Athens - London - Victoria

10 countries and 25 cities. In 10 of those cities, I was completely alone, which I would never have imagined myself doing when I was 18. How things change. But let's back up a bit. If you were going by my last post, I have been in Aegina for six months, which unfortunately is not true. I said I would describe my journey home, so let's do that before I get into my reminiscing and psychobabble.

I took the train to the Athens airport the morning of April 8th, and flew to London. I landed in the early afternoon, and took a taxi to my hotel, as my flight to Vancouver was not until the next day. At this point, the goal was to use up the pounds I had left over from my earlier days in England. So I checked into my hotel, had a shower, and walked to the grocery store to pick up snacks. I spent the rest of the afternoon Skyping with friends, repacking my overflowing backpack, and watching Netflix. In the morning I took the shuttle back to Heathrow a few hours before my flight, anticipating a nice stay in the Air Canada Lounge. Unfortunately, the voucher that I had been given for the lounge only works in Canadian airports. Shoot. So I passed the next couple of hours sitting in a cafe, reading. My flight from London to Vancouver was uneventful. The only noteworthy event was that I had a long chat with the man sitting next to me about what we had been doing in England. I told him I had been backpacking Europe by myself and he was quite impressed. He was from Las Vegas, and had been hiking around England with his uncle. Talking to a random stranger on a plane is not something I would have expected myself to do, but there you go.

When I landed in Vancouver, I have to say, the first thing I did was turn my phone off airplane mode. I actually had a few texts waiting, which was kind of amusing, since they were from February. I dealt with the baggage situation, making sure my treasured backpack would be on my Vancouver-Victoria flight, and then speed-walked to the Air Canada Lounge in Vancouver. Shelley happened to be in the Vancouver airport at the same time, waiting for her flight to Toronto, so we excitedly caught up while eating snacks. She took off to go to her gate, and I followed shortly after. My last flight segment was only 12 minutes, but it was one of the most beautiful flights I have ever been on. You don't get all that high on that flight, and it was a beautiful day, so I had a perfect view of all the islands as I flew towards home. Another segment of speed-walking later, I was greeted by Dad and Brendan! (If you remember, I didn't tell Mom when I was coming home, so at this point she still had no idea I was back. I had posted an Instagram picture of Athens right before my flight took off from London in an attempt at misdirection.) My plan was to be dropped off at the top of the driveway, and walk down and ring the doorbell. I was even filming it as I walked up and waited... No one was home. Awkward. So instead I let myself in; had a long, affectionate reunion with Marlowe; had a shower, enjoying the cleanliness and the water pressure; and put on a load of laundry. (I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of clothing choice I had, considering I had been wearing the same four outfits for several months.) A little while later, Mom and Brett came home. I was standing at the top of the stairs, and they both walked by, but neither one looked up. So I went down and very casually said hello, causing a slight shock.

The next day, I went into Cakes Etc and asked for my job back, which my bosses thankfully agreed to. From there, life went on. So there is my final travel segment summary, that should have been posted 5 months and 25 days ago, but oh well.

If I'm honest, I was thrilled to be home for about a month. Then, I began dreaming about my next adventure. I think if I could have that pattern for my life - three months of travel, one month home, repeat - I would be very content. Unfortunately that's not how the world works. But if I ever win the lottery, you can guess what I'll be doing.

I miss travelling. It was difficult and lonely at times, but it was the most incredible experience. Every day, I was excited to wake up. I walked for hours, soaking up the sights and sounds and smells of places I had read and dreamed about. That is what I want for the rest of my life - to experience and learn, to feel awe and joy, to meet interesting people, to be aware and appreciative of every opportunity. Optimistically, this would occur on a different continent, but it would be great if I could figure out how to do that no matter where I am.

I am back at school now, and midterms were last week. I think this is approximately the time last year I broke the news to my dad about going on a trip, and I can definitely understand the timing. There is something about fall that makes me restless. I am enjoying my classes, and doing fairly well in them so far, but I spend a fair amount of time wishing I was somewhere else. At this point, that somewhere is Australia. But, if given the opportunity, I would go back to Europe at the drop of a hat.

If anyone follows me on Instagram, you will have noticed that about half of the pictures I post are Europe throwbacks, with captions like "I left my soul at the Trevi Fountain". And that's so true. I can close my eyes and picture that square in Rome, and the cobblestone streets that lead to it. I can see the people selling selfie sticks and those things that project colourful lights everywhere. There is a gelato shop on the corner. I can picture it when I was surrounded by people from the Contiki tour, completely awestruck; I can see it when I was alone, sitting off to the side, eating gelato, and watching people throw coins in; and I can see it when I was with Harry and his friends, taking photos. That's where I would choose to be at any given time. Or, I would be at the top of the lookout in Nice, staring out at the ocean and being amazed by the view and the colour contrast. Or, I would be on top of Mount Pilatus, taking panorama photos and throwing snowballs at unsuspecting Australians. Or, I would be in Edinburgh, walking along the Royal Mile and touching every cashmere scarf I walked past. Or, I would be in Prague, staring wistfully at the monastery libraries.

So if at any point you look at me and it seems like I am far away, I am. I am reliving these and a hundred other moments that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

For those of you who saw me in person both before and after my trip, it would be fairly obvious that this trip changed me. For one thing, I have another tattoo. I got it in Nice, the day before my 20th birthday, and I didn't tell anyone about it. Also, I am far more outgoing now than I used to be (which, to be fair, is not really saying much). I am content with my own company. I am stronger and braver. I discovered that if a problem arises, and everyone I could ask for help is on the other side of the world, I can deal with it. I am patient - sometimes the "speed shuttle" from the train station to the airport is the slowest thing ever, and you are about 20 minutes away from missing your flight, but there's nothing you can do about it. The bonus of that, is that when you do get to the airport, you only have to wait for about three minutes before boarding. I see the positives a lot more easily, and I see beauty everywhere. That is something I noticed when I got home, I was shocked at how gorgeous Victoria is. I knew it was, but I had been around it so much that it stopped impressing me, which is a bit sad. Six months after coming back, I'm still impressed. I've made more friends, and been able to talk about my experiences more openly. One thing that hasn't changed, however, is my intent to visit as many places on this earth that I possibly can.

This post has been a bit all over the place, I'm sorry. It's surprising that six months later I'm having the same difficulties writing the ending that I did before. I will be keeping this blog for my next adventures, so this won't be the last time I post anything. But it does feel very final right now. I guess that means I have to board a plane sometime soon. This adventure may be over, but there will be many more in the future.

Thank you all for following along. I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did.

Love always,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 09:33 Comments (1)

Aegina

Hello!

So as I mentioned below, I took a day trip to Aegina, a little island about 45 minutes from Athens by ferry. I took the first ferry there and the last ferry back, and had a fun and exhausting day.

The ferry left Piraeus port at 7:00am, so I left my hostel at 5:30. It was an hour metro ride to get to the port from my hostel. The boat ride was fairly quick, and I was deposited in Aegina just after sunrise. I decided I loved it approximately six seconds after getting off the ferry. It is full of classic old Greek fishermen with moustaches sitting in colourful boats. I went for a walk around the harbour for a while and then had a delicious breakfast of an omelette and a giant fruit salad.
There was a specific beach I wanted to go to that was a 30 minute drive from the port, but the bus on the island only runs three times a day, which would have been a hassle. So, even though the only shoes I had with me were flats, I decided to rent a supremely uncomfortable bike for the day. It was a great decision, however painful it may have been, because I could easily stop whenever I saw something cool and take pictures. I took a lot that I am quite happy with. There were tons of little coves along the way, and one little whitewashed church with a bright blue door that was so pretty I wasn't sure if it was real. I reached the beach I wanted after about an hour. The Aegina website had definitely talked it up more than it was worth, but the village around it was adorable. I sat there for two hours or so and read my book, just enjoying being there. Then I continued on. I didn't want to bike back the way I had come, so I followed the road across the middle of the island back towards the port. That may have been a poor decision, as this route involved a mountain. But it was a pretty ride, and I passed through several more little villages. Mopeds seemed to be the transportation of choice, and I was passed by many. At one point, a car going the opposite direction passed me. The driver's window was open, and he was holding a rope. Attached to the rope, and trotting beside the car, was a horse. I'm not sure why this man was taking his horse for a walk, and why he didn't just ride it, but it was an amusing sight. Climbing up the mountain was worth it once I reached the top. Talk about a view. Plus, once I reached the top I didn't pedal again. I only had to brake about 15 minutes later so I wouldn't continue coasting into the ocean.
I rolled into the port again at about 2:30 and got some lunch. I checked google maps as I was eating, and determined I had ridden this crappy bike for 32km. Not bad. I figured that deserved a milkshake. After lunch I got back on my crappy bike and rode to one of the pretty coves I had passed that morning. It had gotten cloudy as the day progressed, but it seemed blasphemous to be on a Greek island and not go for a swim. The water was gorgeous, but slightly colder than I had anticipated. Not nearly cold enough for me not to go in though. There was no one else around, and I had a lovely float in the turquoise water. Afterwards I lay on the beach and listened to music, pretending my legs weren't as embarrassingly white as they were.
I took the ferry back to Athens at 6:15, and arrived back at my hostel at about 8:00. I got a quick dinner and then immediately had a shower and went to bed.

I am a little bit sad I didn't get to go to Santorini, but I still think it would be more fun to do with someone. So Greece is definitely still on the list for the future. One more post incoming, and then you can all delete this blog and just give me a call when you want to talk to me. I have cell service again! And I am very happy to be home.

Love,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 13:19 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Athens

Hello!

So as most of you know, I am home now. But I'll fill you in on what happened during the last week of my adventure, if anyone is actually still reading this. If no one is, that's okay, but I should finish it anyway.

So Athens. I flew in from Dublin on April 3rd and took the metro from the airport into the centre of the city. My hostel was across the street from the Acropolis, which was really cool, and I had a great view of it from my balcony. I had a gyro for dinner, and enjoyed the many cats and dogs that were just wandering around. Also, there were orange trees everywhere, so some places smelled delightfully citrusy. My first full day in Athens I went for a long walk down a bunch of narrow streets filled with shops. I think I went into every single one... I hadn't bought many souvenirs over the rest of my trip, since I didn't want to carry them around for weeks, so almost everyone's presents plus my own are from Greece. The streets went on for quite a while, until I ended up in a big square with an adorable church and a bunch of fruit vendors. They were literally shovelling huge, ripe strawberries into paper bags. I walked back towards my hostel a different way, while eating ice cream, obviously, and made my way to a big park where the Temple of Zeus lives. I took some pictures of the temple as well as of Hadrian's Gate (a different Hadrian than the one in England), and then went back to the hostel. This hostel hosts nightly events, so that evening I went with the people of my hostel room to a neighbouring bar for a trivia contest. We lost, but I met a guy from Vancouver, and the people from my room were delightful.
The next day I went to the Acropolis. It was a decent hike to get up there, but the views and the ruins were definitely worth it. I was a bit disappointed that the Parthenon had scaffolding on it, so I couldn't get the "classic" picture. I took many photos nonetheless. While I was up there, I passed a family walking around who had just come up from the many stairs. The little girl was saying "we came all the way up here for this? So not worth it!". I disagreed. I walked back down the opposite side that I came up, got more ice cream, and continued walking through the streets. It was a gorgeous day, and I got slightly sunburned but it went away by the next morning.
My third day in Athens was quiet. I went to a park and had a picnic, and read three books. That evening I made plans for the next day. I had decided not to go to Santorini on this trip, which is sad, but I felt it would be wrong to be in Greece and not go to some kind of island and go swimming. So I booked a ferry for the next day. My day on Aegina will be a separate post.
My last day in Athens I went back to the market streets and picked up my last few gifts. I had another picnic, enjoying the beautiful weather and the fact that I was wearing shorts. I had a tasty souvlaki for dinner and managed to pack everything I had bought over the last few days into my bag. Nothing broke, so I clearly did a good job. On the morning of the 9th I checked out of the hostel and took the metro back to the airport. There was a slight struggle getting my bag checked, which I 100% blame on the Aegean Airlines website. Eventually I gave up and paid the 45 Euros and got on my flight to London.

I highly recommend Greece, and I will definitely be back. Santorini is calling me. I will post something about Aegina shortly, and there will be one about my journey home as well. Stay tuned.

Love,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 12:54 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Some Thoughts

Hello!

As you're all aware, I've been gone for a while. 86 days so far I think. I haven't spent all of that time alone, but even where there were people around, like during Contiki, I often preferred my own company. I'm fairly introverted, so that's not much of a surprise.
Before I left on this trip, I talked to many people who had taken similar journeys, or who had been to some of the places I was planning to go. The phrase "life-changing" came up more than once. I thought that that meant I would never forget this trip, which is true. However, I think that as well as being life-changing, the last three months have been Jenna-changing. There are a few things I've noticed recently, subtle things, that snuck up on me. For example, yesterday I went to one of those pedicure places where little fish nibble on your feet (I'll explain about that more in my post on Athens). I was there alone, unsurprisingly, but there were three other girls there about my age having the same thing done. Not only did we all have a lengthy conversation (they are from the USA, studying in Rome) but I was the one that initiated it. By myself. With total strangers. I don't think that has happened without me feeling extremely uncomfortable and anxious since I was little enough not to care.
Since this fish experience was spontaneous, I had been wearing close-toed shoes, so I had to sit around for a while waiting for my toenails to dry. I amused myself by looking through all the pictures on my phone. Now, as much as I feel awkward admitting it, a lot of the pictures that I am featured in, I don't particularly like. 99% of the time, I think I look weird or fat or awkward. The only reason I've kept so many of the pictures of myself from this trip is because of where they were taken. But as I was looking through them, I had trouble figuring out why I didn't like them. Obviously there were a few that my opinion of hadn't changed, but there were many more photos that I distinctly remember hating, that I now have no problem with. Sure, they're not the best pictures of me that exist, but there's nothing really wrong with them. This is an interesting development of mine. (Self-confidence?!)
One other thing that I noticed, which may sound a bit ridiculous, is that my taste in clothing has changed slightly. Pre-January, probably even pre-March, my clothing was mostly solid colours, nothing too bright, nothing that would attract attention. A few days ago, I bought a shirt with zebras all over it. Why is this relevant? Clothing with smaller, more intricate patterns tends to bring people closer in order to figure out what it is. At least it does with me. So this shirt, which I am currently wearing, has many small zebras running all over it, which is a lot more "attention-grabbing" (even though it's really not, I know) than most things I own. I've always liked zebras so it's not a shock that I liked the shirt. But I probably wouldn't have bought it before. So I must be more okay with people looking at me and noticing me, which I think is really cool.

This is a super random post, I know. And it's not really on topic of what you guys are used to reading, but I figure I may as well say some of this stuff while I have an audience. I'm pretty proud of myself. I've been away from my family and friends for longer than I have been before in my entire life. I've made friends. I danced at a club in Florence and got drunk in Rome (it was bound to happen at some point, don't look at me like that!). I've managed my money and booked my transportation and accommodation. I've navigated public transportation in a dozen cities and a handful of languages. I've been brave and smart and I've kept myself safe. And the cool thing is, I totally forgot about my anti-depressants, and I haven't taken any in a month with no change. And the anti-anxiety ones, which I was sure I would use regularly and ultimately run out of, I've barely touched. I think I've taken five in the last 86 days.

I am excited to come home and see how this new person fits in to my old life. I am excited to go back to work and school and sports, and do things just because they make me happy. Turns out, I really like being happy. And I'm pretty sure that happy, brave, confident Jenna will do just fine. I'm excited for you all to meet her.

I'll be posting an Athens update soon. I just wanted to let you know what I've been thinking about.

Love,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 04:11 Comments (6)

Galway

Hello!

Okay so who wants to hear about the super exciting thing I did?! Drumroll please.....

I galloped a horse down the beach in western Ireland. Woohoo! When I was seven, I read a book where a girl went to Ireland and did that, and since then I have wanted to do it too. We did a four hour ride up through the hills, saw lots of cows (and this one adorable pony who followed us along the fence for a good ten minutes) and then went down to the beach. It was a beautiful day, so our timing was perfect. The day before there was a hailstorm and the day after it rained constantly. Ben rode a sturdy horse named Guinness, which was very appropriate, and I rode Banjo, who was as excited about the beach as I was. He really liked going fast, so we got along quite well. There were amazing views all the way along the trail, and I would have gotten more pictures than I did if Banjo didn't throw a tantrum when I tried to stop. We finished our ride at the beach and were picked up by the farm owner, who then drove us back into the little town of Lisdoonvarna. Only about 800 people live there, and the hostel we stayed in could have definitely housed all of them... Okay not quite, but it was huge, which was weird for a place that size. But we got the room to ourselves, so that was good. The only issue was that the wifi didn't reach the rooms.

That evening we went for dinner at the Roadside Diner. YUM. There is a smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna, so I had a local smoked salmon sandwich and "chips". Since the town is so small there's not much there, so we had dinner, made friends with a lovely dog who didn't seem to have a family, although had a collar, and then went back to the hostel. We sat by the fireplace in the common room using the wifi, and then went to bed. The next day it was pouring, so we got soaked waiting for the bus. It was a quiet ride back to Galway.

I'm a little bit out of order because of the exciting horse experience. On the first day we were in Galway we went down to the beach (where the hailstorm attacked) and through the "high street" of Galway, which is quite small since the town itself isn't huge. Ice cream cones were happily eaten. There were several street performers around. Mostly musicians, but also one guy who was making balloon animals which was awesome. When we got back to Galway after our adventure, it was still pouring, so we just hung out at the hostel. The next morning we caught the bus back to Dublin and checked into the hotel by the airport for our last night, featuring Thai food and a Netflix documentary about dinosaurs.

Now, I am in Athens and I think Ben is still on a plane. The other exciting news I have for you all is that Athens is my last stop on my grand adventure. So I will be coming home soon! I will not say the exact day in order to frustrate my mother, as I am planning to show up at my house and surprise her. If anyone other than Lisa Hill would like to know when I will be back, send me a message, and I will tell you if you promise to keep it a secret.

I am very excited to be in Athens. It's warm, and I need to go buy a pair of shorts, since the only thing I have is jeans. So I am going to go do that. It is a beautiful day. I am looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

Love,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 00:39 Archived in Ireland Comments (3)

Dublin

Hello!

Okay so as I said, I flew to Dublin on the 25th. I waited around in the airport for a while and then met up with Ben! Yay! We took a bus into the city with a group of drunk men, who I assumed were there for a stag party. We checked into our hotel (a hotel - not a hostel! Thanks Monica!!) and then got some food and called it an early night. The next day was Ben's birthday! Being jet-lagged, he had woken up very early and had gone out, and when I woke up he was sitting looking very pleased with himself over a box of cupcakes. We had a buffet breakfast at the hotel, and then went to the zoo. I have been to quite a fe zoos in my time, so I can accurately say that the Dublin zoo is fantastic. They had three baby elephants who were just thrilled to exist, and were hilarious to watch. That evening we had dinner at a pub and then went back to the hotel. The next day there was a huge parade, as it was the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprisings. There was a ridiculous number of people downtown, and I really thought at one point there was going to be a fight. The police were refusing to open the barricades after the parade because someone important was going to eat dinner at the castle later, so everyone in that area, including us, was stuck until they opened a passage a few blocks away, and everyone was annoyed. When we finally got through, we went to the Guinness storehouse, which was surprisingly difficult to find. So many buildings have GUINNESS on them! We learned about beer and drank some, and then took a horse-drawn carriage ride back to the hotel. The horse's name was Johnny, in case anyone is wondering.

Yesterday we checked out of the hotel and into a hostel in a different area of Dublin, went for a walk in St Stephens Green, which is a beautiful park, and then walked to Aviva Stadium. I got tickets for the Ireland vs Slovakia soccer game! It was a good game, although all the action happened in the first half. It ended with a tie: 2-2. I miss playing soccer!

Today we took a bus to Galway, checked into the hostel, and then had lunch at Finnegan's, which I highly recommend if anyone is ever here. We went for a walk down the river to the beach, where there was a random, aggressive hailstorm. Obviously it happened in the one place where there is no shelter. However by the time we got back into town it was sunny and we were dry. Tomorrow will be very exciting, but I won't tell you about it yet. Hopefully I'll be so excited afterwards that it won't take me this long to update the blog. Again, sorry.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Love,
Jenna

Posted by jennamiller 14:33 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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