Literature City at Dublin

From all of the Europe photos that I have ever seen it was never looks bad. One European country which I adore most is Ireland, which is famous for its natural beauty. Frankly, all this time, I do not know much about Ireland. I only know I used to adore a favorite boyband, Taken, which comes from here.

Rain without Umbrella

Strong winds were unusually cold direct attack, so we set foot in Dublin. It feels like walking into a freezer. The weather in Dublin changed every hour. Whatever the season, for sure, the rain always fell in Ireland. Not surprisingly, the people of Ireland is not too concerned with the rain and do not depend on the umbrella, so often it rains. If it rains, they will run quickly through the rain with a waterproof coat. We also went along to try to survive without frequent use umbrellas.

With a population of about 1 million people of the total population of Ireland’s 4 million inhabitants, Dublin looks neatly. Jam free highways. Car ride to everywhere in the city only takes a maximum of 15 minutes. We liked the old buildings are Victorian-style town, which seems deliberately preserved by the local government.

Little Walk in Grafton Street

One of the most famous pedestrian in Dublin is Grafton Street. This is where shopping centers and urban attraction. Unique attractions, among others pose as still as a statue, a sort of circus attraction streets of adrenaline with high bike and other equipment, to the street musician who plays guitar and harp beautifully. There is only a unique spectacle that is able to invite a crowd.

We were also amazed encounter sand creations made various forms, exhibited at the roadside. “It turns out that adults also like to play a sand castle, and could be a great spectacle!” I muttered.

As a person who likes to read, my favorite course in Grafton Street bookstore. The price of the book here on average 3 Euros.

In addition to the cheap, small book shops here also offers the comfort and intimate atmosphere which made us feel at home. One of the interesting shops is Books Upstairs. In this place, I can actually chat with the owner who was very friendly, and he recommended me to read the works of the best writers of Ireland. I was so glad.

If already in Grafton, do not forget to squeeze eat at Bewleys. The restaurant is a favorite place, because it is convenient, the food is good and reasonably priced. The atmosphere is thick with wooden ornaments and vintage style, presenting the impression of a warm and homey. Because I abstain from eating pork, just to be safe, my menu choice is fruit pancakes, the price is 4.5 euros. Another interesting dish to be sampled is Irish mussels or mussels cooked with white sauce were delicious. Savory once!

City of Literature

As a writer, I try to explore Dublin from the standpoint of literature. The new I know, very rich treasures of literature Dublin. Dublin is home to The Book of Kells, one of the oldest books with illustrations of the most beautiful in the world. The Book of Kells is stored properly in the Old Library of Trinity College Dublin. This saves a large library of books and ancient manuscripts alphabetically.

Dublin is also the birthplace of Nobel Prize winner of literature, such as William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Not surprisingly, Dublin was named by UNESCO as a City of Literature, because the city’s commitment to literature since thousands of years ago. The cool air and the beautiful surroundings make Dublin a city that yearned for every writer to work.

I and friends also visited the National Library of Ireland. They are being held in William Butler Yeats in memory of poet pride. There are also a variety of Irish writer handwriting on display, to show the creative process through which the authors. The most fun is the poetry of their zone. Curious, we joined in, sit down, and listen to a poem recited, while looking at a picture slideshow reassuring.

We got an opportunity to meet the Irish writer named Claire K. She wrote a novel-themed thriller, All Names Have Been Changes. While eating dinner at the restaurant, she tells a lot about the creative process. She is a full time writer who writes from 9 am to 5 pm. She chose not to install Internet connections in the apartment. “It’s a distraction!” She said. Oops! If me, cannot live another second without the internet.

The Films Setting: Wicklow County

One of the famous Irish writers today is Cecilia A, author PS I Love You, which has been made into a movie. Irish natural scenery in the film looks very beautiful, makes us eager to feel it too. We are very excited about our trip to Wicklow County, setting for many famous films such as John Boorman’s movie titled “Excalibur”, Jim Sheridan’s Oscar winning movie titled “In the Name of the Father”,and BBC series titled “Ballykissangel”

Beautiful scenery with green pastures and fat sheep being absorbed grazing unfold in front of the eye. Occasionally we stopped in a rural area, drinking tea or eating bread to taste the life of local residents.

We saw Guinness Lake, where the water is black and no white sand edges (like guinness with white froth). We also went to Glendalough, a burial area that used to be the set of Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart”. There is St. Kevin’s Celtic Cross, a large cross in the middle of the cemetery. That said, if we can embrace and hands we can see each other, then all our wishes will come true. Unfortunately, I did not manage to do so.

Important Notes:

  • Harcourt Hotel is located in the center of Dublin City, just walk to Grafton Street and some other city parks. It costs from 89 euros – 119 euros per night.
  • Public transport can use the buses and electric trains. There are also taxis, ranging from sedans to form a van.
  • If you want to go sightseeing, you can try a city tour with a red double-docker bus that stops in front of Trinity College (located close to Grafton Street).


This entry was posted in Ireland.

Schwarzwald Black Forest

What happens if two doctoral students who lives in a foreign country having a small chat on one evening? A plan for fun adventure. I and my friend decided to celebrate birthdays together with trying something new, which rarely comes to mind both of us: skiing! We also agreed to learn to ski in the area Schwarzwald, Germany, the original city of Schwarzwälder a.k.a blackforest torte cake.

The Blackforest 
We chose Schwarzwald because it is strategically located, including in regions close to the German border with two other countries, namely Switzerland and France. We promise to meet in Freiburg, the nearest big city of Schwarzwald. There we rented a Ferienwohnung or vacation home. We were greeted kindly by Alvie Vömye, the owner of the house. Lodging in the form of a sort of tiny studio apartment is quite large, with a dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and a comfortable bedroom.

Birthday celebration began with a triple-decker eating chocolate cake layered black cherry cream with sprinkles in each layer, and doused with kirschwasser (cherry water, alcoholic beverages of cherry, typical of southern Germany and the province of Alsace, France). That blackforest first cake that we eat directly in the home town of the cake. Delicacy very impressive!

We took a private ski courses in the area Todtnauberg, Hochschwarzwald. The consideration, in order to more freely than join the large group. Ski lessons that day started at around 14:00 pm. The morning we left, because they still have to take the train from the train station Hinterzarten, in the direction of Freiburg, followed by a bus ride away from Kirchzarten to the village of Todtnauberg. Looks several other passengers also have the same intention. However, they are complete bring their winter sports equipment.

Learning to Ski
We went to a ski equipment rental shop in the highland village of Todtnauberg. After changing costumes, we were given ski boots, one number above the usual number of shoes we wear. For rental of this equipment, we pay 10 euros per person. This is much cheaper than we had expected. Because, when checking on their pages, the price of a set of ski equipment that is 19 euro. Later, after checking again, the price of 10 euro turned out for a set of ski equipment children’s sizes! Also delicious are petite like this, we can both save up to 9 euros.

We had hobbled running shoes weighing may reach a quarter of our weight. To lift the leg was difficult. Ski boards too heavy. In fact, all of the equipment has been adapted to our height and weight.

The location is learning to ski is Muggenbrunn, which is slightly higher than Todtnauberg. Daniel, our instructor, was a friendly old man. We were taught to put boots skis. After that, the real lesson begins. Lifting the foot already shod only heavy, especially coupled with the board that it is firmly in the shoe. First of all, we must be able to stand properly. Then, to be able to maintain body balance. Ski sticks really help sustain us in order to remain standing.

Furthermore, learning to walk. Way street that first taught is the way the V-shaped, like a penguin style. The new opens, already slipping. Foot and hand we have to be really strong support the body. However, when rolled, it turned out fun. Only, if you can not put the brakes on, might crash. The next lesson is up the hill. Of course this is even more difficult. Snow already meet skis, while we still can go up as well. Daniel was already waiting for us at the top.

Another technique is the road sideways. Daniel calls side walking, one leg at a riding like climbing stairs. For us, this method is relatively easier than penguin style. Arriving at the top, we then slid again. This time of fun and amusing. Several times we fall, mostly because they can not put the brakes on the pace of the slide. Do not be mistaken, so falling in the snow we can immediately get up by itself. Difficult! Foot feels like embedded. We only can wake up, once drawn by Daniel.

The following modules are sliding and braking force called Daniel as a ‘slice’. To do this style, both ends of the skis held together at the front, so as to form a triangle position. Gliding with legs opened selebarnya, then to stop the slides, both feet opened even wider. Lola had some success doing this slide, although eventually fall as well as to curb special skill.

Imperceptibly, an hour passed. And, because we are ‘good girls and fun’, so said Daniel, he also adds hours of our courses without us having to pay more. Another bonus, we still can play its own outside of class hours. Fun …. Unfortunately, the body was not strong anymore. Hands and legs are sore. Fortunately we ‘only’ bruises. Because, said some people, when learning to ski, we must be prepared to risk body ache, bruises, or broken bones.

Across the Border to Colmar
We chose to visit Colmar, because this city is the old town became the center of a wine in the province of Alsace, France. Round-trip bus ticket-Colmar Breisach relatively low, only 7,70 euro per person and takes about 30 minutes. During the trip, we passed through small villages and expanse of prairie. The scenery is different. When outside the borders of Germany, seen houses were more colorful than in Germany. Traffic signs are installed is also not as much as in Germany.

Arriving in Colmar, many other passengers who get off at the stop Theater. We decided to go to the final station in La Gare de Colmar. We miscalculated, it turns out the distance from the station to the city center is quite far away. Understandably, we expect Colmar would like most cities in Germany alone, so out station directly find downtown.

We walked through the park Place du Champs de Mars beautiful, with a fountain in the middle. Colmar is also the place of origin of Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, maker of the Statue of Liberty in New York. Entering the old city center of Colmar, we were immediately amazed at the small streets of stone and old multi-storey buildings, with a triangular roof and painted colorful. We also briefly popped into Rue Unterlinden, Musee Unterlinden seputaran, one of the famous museum that contains a collection of art, artifacts of local and international, ranging from pre-history to contemporary.

We then look for La Petite Venise, a mini Venice in Colmar region. Passing through Cathedral St. Martin, knew we had reached the Place de L’Ecole, which according to the map, there is a house that once occupied the famous philosopher, Voltaire. But exactly where, to no avail we found.

Actually, this place does not look much like Venice. Only, there is a small canal there, with some of the gondola tethered. In addition to the canal, the area is also marked by the presence of small cobbled alleys that either side there are houses, cafes, and shops with classical architecture

Café in Rue des Merchands

We did a wine tour with a visit a small wine shops are mostly found in Colmar. Strada Vino in the store, we sampled both types of wine mainstay of Colmar, which is kind of Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Both come from grape varieties that grow in the region Alsace, France. Riesling white wine smelled fragrant floral, while the reddish pink Gewürztraminer has an aroma similar to lychee fruit. Lola decided to buy a bottle of wine Gewürztraminer as a gift for his friend, who happened to be a fan of white wine flavored fruit.

Afterward, we stopped into a cafe in the Rue des Merchands, which is displayed in front of the old stuff, such as teapots, plates and cups antique. The cafe is not too large. Surprisingly, we were served by grandma! Cashier clerks were already elderly. Of course they only speak French. Forced, we use hand language and facial expressions. Fortunately, this friendly grandmother can understand we are only able to point to the menu while trying to pronounce the name of our order. We ordered thé japonais (Japanese tea) and a latte. We also ordered a macaroon, chocolate, and pistachio. Hmm … good!

After the morning we still hear and speak German, in the afternoon we were already in the French-speaking parts of the world. That is a unique and fun venturing into the border area

Important Notes:

  1. Book train tickets should be far in advance, in order to get a cheap price.
  2. The cost of our lodging for 49 euros per night for the house, plus 2 euro (25,000) for kurtaxe (a kind of compulsory dues citizens in Germany) per person per night. With that price, we will get Schwarzwald Card, a card that can be used to enter the sites for free. With this card, we can also free ride trains and buses in the area Schwarzwald, even can also be used to Freiburg and Breisach, a town on the border with France to get to Colmar.
  3. 3. The private ski lessons offered at 39 euros per hour for two people. Not including the cost of renting the equipment, such as boards, boots and ski sticks in a ski equipment rental
This entry was posted in Germany.

The Beautiful South Korea Jeonju

I’ve been obsessed with the balance of life to feel the need to apply them on each side of life, including when traveling. I realize this mission with my husband while visiting South Korea, in March. In addition to Seoul, we added Jeonju City is more calm and relaxed, to visit. No one chose, as the capital of Jeollabuk-do is determined by cittaslow International as its slow city South Korea.

The taxi driver who drove us from the bus terminal Jeonju pointing the right direction. He spoke in Korean language we do not understand. My eyes followed the direction of his hand. Without the need to understand the words he spoke, I was immediately blown away. From inside the cab of a moving fairly quickly on the highway, looking ocean hanok houses, a traditional Korean house, spread out pretty far as the eye can see.

That’s where our goal, Jeonju Hanok Village. Areas in the central city of Jeonju, where resides more than 800 hanok are still well preserved. This traditional building coupled nicely with several historic buildings relics of the Joseon Dynasty, the last dynasty that ruled Korea in 1392 – 1897. Can not wait it’s like to spend the night here.

After calling the residence directing our cab driver, we finally arrived in Saekdongjeogori Guesthouse. Actually, the main streets in Jeonju Hanok Village are wide enough to accommodate two cars passed. However, many also inn is located in a narrow alley, like our inn this, so it’s quite challenging to find.
Our specialty shaped small hanok. Inside there are four rooms that are rented to tourists. Touch wood and natural atmosphere combined with traditional design if brought us walked through time. We were like a couple Korea Joseon Dynasty eras with a warm resting at home. Homey!

Even though it was quite cold outside air because it has not fully entered into the spring, the atmosphere inside hamok it was warm. In fact, there is no heating. To be honest, I was worried about the cold at midnight. Moreover, in the room no beds, we slept on the floor paved with futon, like the traditional way Korean people.

Apparently, the warmth created in the hanok is derived from the floor that maintains the traditional system called ondol. This is how the Korean people heat their homes by channeling heat from a fireplace that is usually located at the back of the house. Warmer temperatures were spreading through the rocks on the bottom floor of hanok made of wood. That said, the ondol system has been used in Korea since the Bronze Age or around 1000 BC.

Journey to the Past

After refining the stuff, we decided to walk down the halls of the hanok bounded by a stone wall. For travelers with limited time, walking aimlessly in fact quite time-consuming. But, here the time seemed to slow down. We also walked around Jeonju Hanok Village is not too wide. Excitement we felt, when inadvertently find Gyeonggijeon Temple building, which previously only we look through the photos on the internet and travel brochures. It felt, enough to ‘pay’ for lost time.

Gyeonggijeon temple consists of several parts such as palaces, temples, monuments, and museums. This temple is one of the buildings that are quite popular Joseon Dynasty relics. Several historic buildings in this area is directly related to the family of Yi Seong-gye, the founder and first king of the Joseon Dynasty, who also came from Jeonju. In fact, it is said, in this temple of King Yejong placenta, king of the Joseon Dynasty 8, was buried, so it seems very personal.

This temple also housed the relics of the Joseon era as the official portrait of Yi Seong-gye and kings later, and books neatly arranged in the museum. Joseon Dynasty is known to set down the most influence on Korean culture today. Starting from the norm, ethics, languages and dialects, science, literature, and the economy is growing rapidly in this era.

Enjoy all the relics of the Joseon Dynasty, imperceptibly closer dusk, light golden yellow sun fills every corner of the village. We went back to explore the streets of the village. When arriving at Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School, the sound of stringed musical instrument sounds serene splitting silence. Besides us, there are only two other diners in the place that was once a school and a temple to the adherents of Confucianism in the Joseon era. Intrigued, I tried to find the source of the music.

The sound was coming from a booth in the same area. From the door cracks open, I saw a woman play the gayageum, a traditional Korean stringed instrument, in a small room of the sort of smoky incense. It was washed away. For local communities, gayageum not only for entertainment, but also as a means of meditation.

After satisfying curiosity, we went on a trip up the hill not far from Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School. Located at the highest point in Hanok Village that allows us to enjoy the sunset while permeates the stories behind the historic sites and Imokdae Omokdae shaped like a house on stilts. It’s romantic!

Omokdae a silent witness when Yi Seong-gye celebrated victory over its battle against Japanese troops during his career as a warlord, before founding Joseon. While Imokdae is where the ancestral Yi Seong-gye play war games with his friends.

Stuck in a place rich in history, accompanied by sunlight at dusk, make us delusional, if we both were in the Joseon era, what about our jobs?

Sound excerpts gayageum still sounded faint, the sun creates a golden yellow tinge beautiful chime in on hundreds of hanok. The air grew colder, but we are still reluctant to leave.

“You make a right choice. There are a lot of delicious foods in Jeonju !, “said a receptionist guesthouse where we stayed in Myeongdong, before we Jeonju. His remarks make us more excited to head to town status as Creative City of Gastronomy of UNESCO.

Jeonju indeed save a rich culinary tradition dating back centuries ago. Although the type of food is roughly equal to other areas in South Korea, taste different food. For example, the most famous Jeonju bibimbap throughout Korea. Rice mixed vegetables and meat has a flavor that tasted fresh. Arguably, bibimbap is the best I’ve ever eaten!

Kimchi in Jeonju equally steady. Thick marinade and flavor ingredients sea food is very strong. Kimchi in Korea does have a variety of flavors, depending upon the region. Perilously close to the south coast, the seafood flavor materials stronger and more viscous marinade.

No wonder the taste cuisine in this area feels fresher. Perhaps this comes from foodstuffs agricultural products in the city’s minimal residual industrial pollution. Vegetables, fruit, rice and ginseng from Jeonju judged to have the best quality in Korea.

Places in Jeonju only written in hangul letters, but to recognize a restaurant serving Korean dishes, quite easily. Visitors simply look at the exterior of the building. If there are large jars made of clay, meaning it provides a restaurant bibimbap, kimchi and other traditional Korean food. Because, kimchi which is in the process of fermentation is stored in jars that they put outside the restaurant.

Jeonju never stop spoiling our appetite. In addition to the main meals, snacks for sale are also very diverse. One of our favorite places was PNB bakery. Bakery that has become an icon of this Jeonju sell choco pie is very tasty. To be missed.

Want to make Korea Jeonju as a culinary destination, local government seriously introduce a variety of culinary wealth through a variety of festivals, such as Jeonju Bibimbap Festival and The International Fermented Food Expo held in Jeonju each year. Unfortunately, while there we did not find any festival.