Day six: Home time :( and Final Thoughts

14 06 2011

We got up early enough as we had to be at the airport at 10:30am for Ann’s flight to Luton. We said our goodbyes and headed straight through security. We had no trouble there. It was definitely a lot easier than security at Dublin Airport. We were two hours early for our flight but on time for Ann’s. We queued up with her until we could go no further. We then went to our gate where we got to the top of the non –priority queue but didn’t get our front seats. We got seats beside sweaty mc sweaterson . It was depressing landing in Dublin with the clouds and cold [It definitely was 😦 :(] after our great weekend .

Finally thoughts: 

Overall it was great holiday. Malta is a great place to visit as it’s steeped in history and the people our lovely. My highs were the temples, Mdina by night, swimming with the Fenechs, Seaside reataurant and the fishing village. My lows were getting burnt but apparently I can’t avoid that. I’d like to thank all the Fenechs for their wonderful family [Thank you…I chose my family especially to make you happy with them :P] especially Cec’s Mum for putting up with all of us. I’d also like to thank Bernard for driving us around and being our tour guide. Ann it was great to finally have a conversation with you and you’re as nice as you sounded on Gmail chat. Also want to thank Stephen for giving up his room for me. Zahra and Ali , it was great to a have you with us your cooking and company made the trip great. Last but not least I have to thank Cec for inviting me without her the whole trip wouldn’t be possible. She’s a great host , tour guide and lab mate [WEEEEEEEEE]. I will definitely be back to Malta [OH NOOOOO!!!!!!! LOL…you are welcome whenever you want].

By Ross O’Dwyer


Fenechs et al in Ireland: Goodbye Galway…Goodbye Ireland

29 04 2011

Our last day in Galway, Easter Monday, dawned. After our breakfast we decided to head to Dublin for my family’s last day in Ireland. We dropped our luggage at my apartment and then headed to Dublin City centre, where our first stop was LUNCH :). After that we did some shopping (we needed to update my sister’s wardrobe, so Bernard, Michele, mum and myself set on that task, whilst my bro and her boyfriend scuttled off). We managed to make her spend quite a lot of money (Ireland needs to recuperate its economy) and I again ended up buying some stuff. That occupied most of the afternoon. After that we went back to my apartment where we relaxed a bit and discussed plans for my brother’s wedding in August, and we booked accomodation for our stays in Tallinn (for my, Ann’s, Michael’s, Bernard’s and mum’s pre wedding trip) and Helsinki, where my brother is getting married.

We then went to Eddie Rockets since Bernard had been wanted and Oreo Milkshake and then came back home to sleep :). 7 people managed to successfully sleep in my room (and in comfort I must say). Thanks to Monika and Rachel (my apartment mate) who supplied me with inflatable mattresses and David (my other apartment mate, who offered but there was no place to put any more). We had a short night’s sleep, cos at 4:45 am we all woke up to go to the airport.

Thankfully all flights were within a short time frame, so we got the car and headed towards the airport. We dropped off Stephen and Michele (departure 7:10am to Helsinki), Mum and Bernard (departure 7:20am to Malta) and Ann (departure 7:30am to Berlin). Then Michael and myself took the car to the car hire place, which opens at 6am, and dropped off the car. No issues there wippie 🙂 We were then dropped off at the airport where I said goodbye to Michael (departure 8:15am to London) and I got the bus back to DCU, where I snuggled back into bed for a couple more hours of sleep before heading back to Uni to get back to my daily routine.

Overall, I must say it was a really successful trip, especially considering it was our first trip as a family in ages, and the first ever with the extended family. I was expecting it to be much more stressful, which it was not, and I think everyone had a great time. The next time we will all be together is at my brother’s wedding in August. However we are already planning our next family Easter trip in 2 years’ time. Destination: Unknown. Depending on where the different components of this family are (which is not easy to say 🙂 ).

Thank you all for coming to visit 🙂 Come again 🙂

Fenechs et al in Ireland: Arrival in Dublin and on to Kerry

27 04 2011

After the 4 days with Bee and Mum in Dublin, my sister Ann, her boyfriend Michael, my brother Stephen and his fiancee Michele came to Ireland. First up were Ann and Michael, who came to Uni where I showed them around the lab and we had some lunch before going to my apartment to pick up all our luggages to make our way to the airport where we met Stephen and Michele on arrival, and went to the car hire desk to get our car. Things went smoothly and off we went to our first B&B: Kilburn House.

Kilburn House

Kilburn House

As you can see, Kilburn House is situated in an area of greenery. However it is not too far away from the nearby village Milltown (2mins by car maximum). They have a couple of cows and two really cute and playful dogs, Brandy and Bailey. Brandy (the smaller dog) is a bundle of energy who gets really jealous of any attention given to Bailey. Bailey is the most good humored dog ever, cos I would never put up with Brandy constantly jumping on me 🙂

The Cows

The Cows

Brandy and Bailey

Brandy and Bailey

We settled in to our rooms, and off we went for some dinner at a nearby pub: Larkins.

Dinner at Larkins

Dinner at Larkins

We chatted a lot, made the waiter (James) blush a couple of times and had a good time. But by now we were tired, so off home we went to make plans for the next day and sleep.

PS: I would like to emphasize that these photos have not been taken by myself, but by my sisters bf Michael, who is much more capable than me 🙂

Mum & Bee in Dublin: Days 2-4

19 04 2011


Not much happened, since this was shopping day 🙂 We just (or mainly I just) spent lots of money. Got new shoes, jeans, tops and I do not know what else. But that is OK, cos my wardrobe needed some updating especially summer stuff, since I did not have many summer clothes considering I arrived here in October (PS: contrary to what you might think Irish summer clothes consist of when you walk through Dublin during the ‘warmer’ days of April, no short shorts, crop tops or sleeveless tops made it to my wardrobe). That evening we went for a walk at the park near my residence, had dinner at Eddie Rockets (with an Oreo Milkshake for Bernard) and went to sleep.

Day 3: HOWTH!

On Sunday we visited Howth. We caught the bus to the city centre and then another to Howth. Howth is a peninsula jutting out of the Irish coast onto the Irish sea:



The bus took us to the summit, and off walking we went along the cliffs. Unfortunately, instead of going left we turned right, and therefore we got the longer route. And most of it was not scenic. However the scenic part we saw was really beautiful, with cliffs all around and beautiful scenery. Bernard and myself also spotted a couple of houses we will be willing to buy 🙂 Of course they are out of our price range, but you can always hope 🙂 We then walked (and walked) until we reached Howth Harbour and visited a tiny market there, where I bought some sundried tomato pesto and Pesto Genovese, some sweet pastries and then bought lunch from a Lebanese stand, which was quite good. After that we took a walk round the harbour, and saw what I had been looking for. THE SEALS 🙂

One of the Seals (photo not taken by me)

One of the Seals (photo not taken by me)

We got to see 2 seals, who kept coming up and down, and were fat, splodgy and cute 🙂 You just want to go and swim with them 🙂 After that we got the bus back home, went to mass and then cooked dinner of pasta with the tomato pesto, followed by apple crumble and custard for dessert 🙂


On Monday, I went to Uni for a bit, and then joined mum and Bernard where we walked to the Botanic Gardens in Dublin. We went through them and found out we were there for more than an hour and a half. There is so much to see, and the place is so nice. I would suggest that they do some cleaning of the river bed though, as the presence of shoes, bottles, kegs and bicycle wheels in the middle of the river passing through the Botanic Gardens jars with the remainder of the peaceful environment. The tulips, which were in bloom, were beautiful however, and I hope to be back to see the rose garden in bloom :). After that we walked (Yes walked…cos HRH BB wanted to walk) to the city centre, where we had lunch, did some more shopping and then went home. By this time it was after 7:30pm, so we cooked some dinner. Out choice fell on Cecilia’s pie. It was delicious. A base of bread drizzled with olive oil, covered by a thin layer of tomato pesto and tomato sauce paste, covered by a layer of minced beef, onion and mushrooms, covered by another thin layer of tomato pesto and tomato sauce paste and topped with full fibre mashed potatoes and some cheese. MMMMM. It was really good, but no place remained for dessert, so we will eat it today 🙂

Today is Day 5. We are taking it easy, cos today Ann, Michael, Michele and Stephen are joining us to start our Easter trip. We need to wash clothes, I need to pack etc etc. Kerry beware 🙂 The Fenechs are on their way.

Mum & Bee in Dublin: Day 1

16 04 2011

So my dear mum and Bernard arrived safe and sound in Dublin last Thursday night. It was past midnight by the time we were back in the apartment, so we just placed the precious gbejniet in the fridge, put on pyjamas and went to sleep. Friday we woke up (actually they did not really feel like waking up, so I had to promise them that I will buy breakfast if they came out of bed within 5 seconds. Luckily it worked. So I took them to the lab, showed them around and then had breakfast at the Uni canteen. At this point I had to say my goodbyes, so they headed for the city centre and I went to the lab to do some work.

Mum and Bee visited Christchurch Cathedral and Dublinia. They said they liked them both, especially Christchurch Cathedral. At this point I had finished the work I wanted to do in the lab and went to join them. We had a small lunch at Subway and proceeded to walk to the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Storehouse is quite pricey to get into, however the visitor centre is really nice and well worth the money (even for someone who does not like the taste of Guinness). They give a history of the Guinness Factory, information about making Guinness and also information about advertising and marketing. An advert I really liked was this from the 1950s 🙂

We also got to pour our own pints and got a certificate YEAH (well Bernard did not cos he did not feel like doing it haha). We also got a photo for our master brewer card 🙂

Us at the Guinness Storehouse

Us at the Guinness Storehouse

After that we walked to the city centre, went through Grafton Street and then proceeded to Roly’s Bistro for the dinner I had won from the Dublin Events website. The dinner was exquisite. I had smoked chicken, asparagus and parmesan salad as a starter (not sure if it is the right name), followed by Traditional Kerry Lamb And Vegetable Pie With Roasted Parsnip And Thyme  as a main course and Roly’s Vanilla Crème Brulee With Apple And Cinnamon Muffin, With White Chocolate Ice Cream for dessert. Bernard had prawn cocktail to start, Grilled Fillet Of Irish Beef, Garlic And Rosemary Fondant Potato, Cracked Black Pepper And Brandy Cream as a main and Toblerone Chocolate Cheesecake With White Chocolate Ice Cream, and mum had Pan- Seared Bantry Bay Scallops With Roly’s Cured Salmon, Fennel Salad And Citrus Dressing for starters, the beef for main course (like Bee) and no dessert as she was full. The service was impeccable, the food was mouthwatering and we were positively happily stuffed at the end. The price is a bit too expensive for me to visit regularly, but it is well worth the cost of everything. I will definitely be back some time, on a special occasion when I need to celebrate and event.

After dinner we came back to the apartment. Then myself and Bernard changed quickly to go to Monika’s apartment for a house party she was organising with her apartment mates. I did not feel like it (we had walked A LOT) on that day (more than 7.5 km according to Google Maps). But it was well worth it as I enjoyed myself tremendously.

A Group of us at the house party

A Group of us at the house party

By the time I got back home I was dead tired but happy 🙂

That is all for now. Will be back soon (PS: to Mrs Brincat who I know will read this…Bee iridni nikteb il blog halli jehles milli joqod jibatlek messagg twiiiiillll hafna :)…sorry wasalt sa hawn biss, ima nittama li nikteb iktar daqt. Hawnhekk kollox sew. PS 1 minghandi: jien inkun Malta mit-2 sas-7 ta’ Gunju, PS 2: Meta gejja zzurni? ).

A great day to Softball!

10 04 2011

Lately, we have been having some great weather in Dublin. Today temperatures rose to 20 deg C, and the sun was out in full force, and therefore it was a great day to go back onto the field to play softball :). After my initial Irish softball experience, I was planning to start playing with the Flyers. However earlier on in the week I got the bad news from one of the girls, Cora, that the Flyers were no more 😦 Luckily she suggested another team: the Renegades. They also play in the Northside, however they are by no way as close as the other team (or more accurately they are still quite close: 15mins by car…but it took me 1 hour 15mins to come back by bus).

I was put into contact with one of the guys form the team, who picked me up and off to softball we went. I really enjoyed being back on the field. I made a couple of blunders (ball straight through the feet anyone?), but it was not all bad. I also got my first nice round bruise on my thigh. The first of many yet to come 🙂 I have still much to improve, but I am pleased with the way things turned out. The people on the team are also really nice 🙂 They have around 4 teams in the club, so I am sure they will find some place for me 🙂

Can’t wait for the next training session on Wednesday. I have decided to get just 1 bus and walk the rest of the way. I will see how that goes 🙂 Wish me luck 🙂

I Won :)

29 03 2011

I Won 🙂 My first competition. Finally. I have always been a bit jealous of my sister who always seems to manage to bag free tickets, competitions etc etc in London. Finally I got my first competition win in Ireland. This morning I received a call from Dublin Events saying that I had won the competition I had entered on their website. I could not really remember entering this particular competition, but knew I had gone through their website before, since it is quite informative about things to do in Ireland, events etc etc.

So what did I win? I got a dinner for 2 and a bottle of House Wine at the Rolys Bistro in Dublin. I am still deciding on who to take with me. I will probably go when my mum and Bernard will be spending some time in Dublin before embarking on our Easter family trip. So shall I take both, or one? And if one who? Suggestions welcome 🙂 I will tell you how things went and who I decided to go with when I get to go.