Where Has Big Lou Been?

Let’s see my last post was on August 12, some six days ago.  Why so long since the last post you ask?  Well I’ve been having problems uploading content to the site and it has taken almost six days to resolve the issue.  Two things happened.  First I signed up to have my site moved to a faster server in the hopes that content would load to you the user faster.  However, after the site was moved no one told me that I would have to make some changes in my publishing to my host set up.  As a result, when I tried to upload all of my pictures from Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula my software crashed.  It took one day to figure that one out.  Next, after I made the changes needed so the site could be uploaded, the uploading process took about 12 hours.  It has never taken that long for an upload.  However, my web development software said the pictures were uploaded successfully.  However, when I went on line to view them I got a 404 error message which essentially means there is no content. I was told to try uploading them again but before I did that I tried to upload some short videos to Veimo and I noticed that these 100 to 180 MB files were taking over three hours to upload.  Could that be the problem.  Everyone I talked to said that should not make any difference.  However, I was not convinced.  So last night in Stranraer, Scotland (Yes I’m in Scotland) I had a faster connection and thought maybe that photo album somehow became corrupted because of the software crash and the slow connection so I had to delete over 100 photographs and upload the delete.  I did that and it worked.  Next I did a test of five photographs I took on the way to where I am staying tonight, which is Arrochar, Scotland at the foot of the Scottish Highlands, and tried to upload them when I arrive.  SUCCESS!  So now I must re-create the Dingle photo album and also put together the Dublin album and upload them.

Now to bring you up to date on my travels.

On Wednesday of last week, that would be August 13, I caught the 7:15 AM bus from Dingle Town to Tralee and then a train from Tralee to Dublin.  I’m glad the bus stop was just across the street from the guest house I stayed in because it was very chilly and misty.  The bus trip, the wait time for the connection and the train ride took a total of about 5 and 1/2 hours.  When I arrived at Dublin’s Heusten Station I went to purchase my ticket from Dublin to Belfast then asked for directions, as I always do to my hotel.  The nice person at the ticket counter told me to take the 647 to Trinity College (wow I thought right in the middle of everything) then side change to the 7 bus and take it to Sydney Parade (oh dear I hope I’m not too far out of town).  I did what I was told and when I got on the 7 bus I gave the address to the driver but he did not have a clue where this place was.  He suggested I get off at a certain spot, which I did, and was able to get directions from the locals but it was about a two mile walk so I haled a cab and got the driver to take me there.

The hotel/guest house is located in a rather upscale neighborhood (see the pictures when I get them uploaded) and the accommodations were quite nice except the internet upload speeds were slower than slowest, if that makes sense, which I think contributed to my system problems.  The good news is there is a rapid transit line which was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel and a ten minute ride to Pearse Station in the city center.  So that made the location better.  The bad news is I was just far enough out of town so that when I returned to get cleaned up for dinner, ditch my DSLR and change into sneakers I just did not want to make the commute back into the city center so I missed out on the night life.  That’s OK because I was really tired from all of the sight seeing I did each day.

Dublin is a wonderful city.  People are beyond friendly as I have found with every encounter I’ve had with an Irish person.  The city was exceptionally crowded while I was there making walking a slow process.  Many/most of the things I wanted to see required a tour at the Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery  The Library at Trinity College, and the Kilmainham Gaol.  The wait times at the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery were so long that I decided that it was not worth the wait.  However, I did wait to get in the tours of the Library at Trinity College where they had a fascinating exhibit of the history of the Book Of Kells, no photographs of that however were allowed.  But we were allowed to take photographs of the Long Room in the main library.

The Kilmainham Goal, is the most notorious jail in Ireland famous mostly for all of the hangings and firing squad executions of political prisoners of the 1916 uprising.  A very interesting although chilling visit, exhibit and tour which I must say was just excellent.

I also visited Christ Church, The Dublin Castle, the famous Post Office on O’Connell Street, Trinity College Campus and the James Joyce Center where they had an excellent photographic exhibition of Dublin in 1904 as it would have been in Joyce’s “ lysses" by a photographer named Lee Miller.  Just amazing photographs.  I hope the photographs get published in a book, They are just extraordinary.  

So three days was not enough.  If you go to Dublin make sure you carve out at least a whole week.  There is much to see, much to do and you will just love the Irish.

On Sunday, that was yesterday wasn’t it, I had to take a taxi to Connelly Station because the rapid transit system doesn’t operate on Sunday till after I was supposed to catch my 10:00 AM train to Belfast.  The taxi driver who picked my up said when I told him I was surprised how cold it was said “cold? it’s not cold, this is hot, it’s grand weather lad.  I thought “lad” since I must be at least twice his age, but that is the difference between summer in Ireland and summer in the US or summer in Spain.  “This is grand weather lad”.  I love it.

The train to Belfast took all of two hours and the only way to get to my ferry that was taking me to Scotland was by cab.  Fortunately, I found another person to share the cab with so it only cost me 5 pound sterling which was good because that is all the pound sterling I had on me.

By the time we arrived at the harbor the wind had really picked up and as we were getting out of the cab the driver said that a lot of the crossings were cancelled because of the rough seas.  I didn’t receive any messages about my ferry crossing being cancelled so I just assumed it would sail and when I went inside the check in agent confirmed that we would be sailing at 3:30.  Now I had a two hour wait.  By the time we boarded the ferry it was really windy and there was a very hard driving rain.  I would describe it much like a “Noreaster”.  I can tell you this those wave looked pretty big to me with lots of white caps that made me think of my mother when she would say things like" that water looks cold" or in this case "that water looks angry".  Well once we got going it was rough although the ferry was quite large and had stabilizers, however they work.  Still that vessel not only moved up and down but sideways as well so anyone who tried to get up a walked looked like they had been on a drinking binge for a few days.  Now when I got up that morning I was determined to be on deck for at least part of the time during this three hour crossing but because on the gail force winds and driving rain no one was allowed on deck.  We arrived about 30 minutes late to gail force winds and a driving rain.  I hailed a cab and took it to my hotel.  By the time I got checked in the rain at least had stopped so I got something to eat, ran a test on my web site and went to bed.

This morning I caught a train from Stranraer to Glasgow Central Station, and then walk about five blocks to the Queen Street Station and cooled my heels for three hours till the train to Arrochar left.  The hotel is beautiful and my room is right on a lake with a mountain view.  Alas I’m only here for one night before heading to Fort William tomorrow where I spend two nights and then on to Dundee where I have four whole nights in the same place.

Now its wash my undies time so I’ll sign off.

1.Louis.skypala@verizon.net © Louis M. Skypala 2014