Tag Archive: Dublin

A Fiddler’s Wink

´╗┐The train and ferry journey back to Dublin was easy, albeit a bit long. The lights of Dublin ferry port welcoming us back with open arms. Soon we were in front of Molly’s folks, in the car and driving down the Strand Road. The view of the smoldering ESB cooling towers, across Seapoint, with a full moon in between just beautiful. It felt so familiar here but yet very strange. Almost as if I’ve not been away. We made it back to Cabinteely for some stories and some home cooked food.
The next few days we lay low so that we could catch up with family. Saturday night was a different story.
We had heard that our friends were all going out for a few drinks in Johnnie Foxes up in the Dublin hills. We decided to sneak up and surprise them all. Nervously off we went and before I could say “I miss Africa” we were there hugging, shaking hands and laughing. I was good to see them but this still felt alien to me. So many questions fired at us in quick succession I didn’t know where to begin. Purposely, I redirected the conversations to how they were and the goings on in Ireland over the last eighteen months.
For those who don’t know Johnnie Foxes is the highest pub in Ireland and a very traditional Irish pub. A warren of rooms, wooden stools, old heavy oak tables, roaring open fires, saw dust on the floor and lots of atmosphere. And as usual for a Saturday night there was traditional (a Fiddle, Guitar and Banjo with singing) music, or as we call it “Diddely I”. About as Irish as you can get really.
I had wandered off to the bar to get some drinks. On thee way back I faced the band, and in the tinyest moment, as I passed the fiddler, he winked. It was at that very moment when I knew I was home. Travel was now over and the business of re-establishing old friendships and seeing family had begun.
So, now I’m back in Planet Newbridge arguing with me Dad just like as before. It’s as cold as I remember, wet as I remember and as depressing as I remember.
Now I know why I left!

Dublin to Chefchaouen

Everything seemed to go like clockwork. The flight was on time, got to the bus station in Malaga easily enough (but then realised that Jeanne’s camera had been lifted… splitters !). The 3 hour journey down to Algeciras took us down the coast through the holiday towns of Feungerola, Torre Molinos and Marbella. I’m delighted that I did not have the misfortune of ever going there on jolliers, as it really does look like “Ballymun in the Sun”. We checked into the “Almar” hotel in preparation for the 9 am sailing to Tanger the next morn.

The sailing was a bit bumpy to start. Most people were walking about as if they had a few pints on them! The bus station was right outside, and once we figured out the time, we waited for the bus to Tetouan. The bus ride to Tetouan was cool enough but towards the end the stunning Rif Mountains revealed themselves. Our hotel, the “Panorama Vista”, was fine but our “vista” was the stairs and not the mountains… pants!

The next day off to Chefchaouen. Andalucian style buildings of bright white and pastal blues. Very pretty. It’s our new home for two days. And well deserved think as we were knackered. But to our delight there were five weddings outside our hotel and did not get a wink of sleep. So, today a few siesta’s will be had…

Pastal Streets with Vines Overhead
Pastel Streets with Vines Overhead