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Arrival in Mongolia, the best of both worlds

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

So did 12:10 AND 1:10, finally at 1:40 or so we boarded, left at 2 and arrived at 3:30 am.

We got into a taxi to take us to our hostel, we didn't have any Mongolian money yet and at 3:30 AM there was no-one there to help us change it either. So Adam asks the taxi driver if we can use dollars. "OK" he says in proud English. We get to the hostel, it is now almost 5. The door is locked, the lights are mostly off and no-one is opening, plus we have a driver charging us 3-4 times the amount of the cab fare mentioned in the guidebook.

The driver suggests that he knows a place to stay, a guesthouse for $7 a night, Adam said, OK if it was included in the money that we had already paid the filthy rat thieving cabby... He assured us it was. We get to the place, it is an apartment building where the Wicked Witch of the West lays dormant, she lets us in and we sleep for 3 hour or so.

When we get up WWoW says that it would be $10, and Adam explains that we had paid the rat-weasel cab driver. She said she didn't know the cabby, and that she didn't care what we paid him. I have no US money, Adam has $9... She wants $10, we don't have it. She threatens to call the police for $1. Adam laughs at her and tells her to get her money from the rat-weasel cab driver. She does, we go and get some Mongolian money (which is called the Togrog, no shit).

Back to our hostel, it's nice enough and then off in a baus to the countryside and a Ger camp. Some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. Exquisite. Rolling hills, grassy fields covered in wild horses, cattle, sheep etc. Worst roads on earth!

The Ger is a felt tent and was very comfortable. A little cold at night but Adam went all primal and shit and made fire. The camp provided meals too... Big meals, Adam couldn't finish lunch and I left part of my dinner...

Adam freaked when he saw what the sky was supposed to look like without all the city lights. We could see The Big Dipper on the horizon, very impressive. I dropped my camera in a toilet, not good. Slept to get ready for the incredibly bumpy journey back to Ulaanbataar, our faith in Mongolia, Mongolians and people in general having been restored.

permalink written by  Big_T on August 27, 2008 from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
from the travel blog: Big_T's Travel Blog
tagged Scam, Ger, Hostel and UB

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Dublin, Ireland

First things first...I AM IN IRELAND!!! EEEE!!!! :) haha, ok...got that over with..so moving on!
So I know that some of you have been anxiously awaiting to hear from me, but I was waiting till arrived in Limerick to sit down and load my patheticly small amount of photos and post a blog entry. That being said, I am technically in Limerick now...though the post may say it's in Dublin (shh, don't tell anyone I'm cheating), but this post will be filled with all the wonderful details (and a few pictures) of how I spent 3 days in Dublin for the beginning of my orientation here in Ireland.

Day 1 in Dublin- Sunday, 18th of January
My trip over was uneventful. All my planes departed/arrived on time or early. Despite this...my journey did hit an unexpected bump. When I arrived at the Abbey Court Hostel, where we (the students in Arcadia's University of Limerick and Ulster University programs) were staying in Dublin (it's near O'Connell street, which is the main street in Dublin), I discovered that one of my checked bags had been pilfered....yeah...someone had stolen my toiletries (including my jewelry) and some clothes. Needless to say, it wasn't the best way to start my trip, but everything can be replaced and I am (with the massive help of Arcadia) getting all the reports and insurance claims filed. After that morning, the afternoon was pretty relaxed, we had free time after lunch and we just walked around and explored the city a bit. I got a Vodafone (an international mobile phone). For dinner we all (the 10 Limerick students and 4 Ulster students) went to a small Irish restaurant. After dinner I called it a night and headed back to the hostel.

Day 2 in Dublin- Monday, 19th of January
The morning was filled with Arcadia orientation sessions about being in Ireland, our accomedations, our homestays etc. In the afternoon we went on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Dublin.

We first stopped at Dublin Castle

You can get tours of the inside...but we were trying to conserve our money, we'd only been here a day and I felt that I'd already spent too much! So we walked down to the next sight, the Christ Church Cathedral.

We got back on the bus and headed toward the Guinness Storehouse.

The place itself was really neat. The first floor was dedicated to the main ingredients of Guinness...Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water.

Then they had a little section about Arthur Guinness...the inventor of Guinness.

There was a tasting room, where you could taste some freshly brewed Guinness (it was ok...a bit bitter for me), museum-y sections with memorabilia and such...

And the Guinness Harp [Stephanie this is totally for you]

On the 6th Floor, you can pull your own Guinness and on the 7th Floor there is the Gravity Bar, which is completely encased in glass and has a perfect view of the city...it's taller then any of the buildings near it...so you can see clear to the mountains on the outside of the city, it was beautiful. In the bar you can also receive your complimentary drink (either a pint of Guinness or a soft drink)

After the Storehouse, we hopped back on the bus to stop 21, which was right in front of our hostel conveniently enough!

We got a cheap quick dinner and I called it a night.

Day 3 Dublin- Tuesday, 20th of January
The morning was spent discussing the Irish school system and what to expect from our classes. We had lunch, then a Q&A session...which was quite informative. We talked about the nuances of the Irish language...differences in Irish and American vocab, and were highly encouraged to look into joining a club or society on campus...according to the Arcadia staff it is the BEST way to meet people and reach a deeper understanding of the culture. So...I think I might join the Drama Socitey...haha...yeah I can't stay away...and maybe a sport? Gaelic football seems interesting...it's a mix of soccer, football, and basketball...yeah it's kinda odd, but apparently it's one of the oldest games in the world, so...there ya go! After watching the Presidental Inaguration in the hostel lounge, I got a quick dinner, then Arcadia treated us to a night at the theatre! We went to the Abbey Theatre and saw a wonderful production of The Playboy of the Western World, a new version of a classic play. I thorughly enjoyed it...some of the other people in the group fell asleep...but I was rivited! ;) It was a wonderful comedy and the pub set was incredible. Anyway, before I ramble on more...after the play we headed to The Porter House, a pub near the hostel. We sat and talked for a while before leaving. I got back to the hostel and backed up a bit, preparing to leave the next day for Limerick!

permalink written by  lesieur_h on January 21, 2009 from Dublin, Ireland
from the travel blog: A Semester Abroad
tagged Hostel, Dublin, Pub and Guinness

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My life is travel.

Cordoba, Argentina

This is my first blog ever....
Hundreds if not thousands of people must write these words everyday but maybe because of that I feel like I am entering a community of sorts... without knowing anyone else in that community. In all honesty I have been looking for a chance to start writing and I have noticed that i enjoy the process. Especially when writing about myself... Maybe I am a bit narcissistic. Maybe a lot narcissistic.

Anyways... My life is travel.

I was conceived in one continent and born in another... Since I was a child I never lived in the same country more than 5 years and often a lot less. When I stay somewhere for too long my feet get itchy and I need to don a pack and start moving... the further the better.

BUT; now that has changed.

In the past year I have undergone many profound changes that included marriage, moving to Cordoba Argentina, a daughter... and now my own hostel. And this is what this blog is about. It´s about hanging up your backpack, storing your clothes in an actual closet, wearing long pants and not shorts and dedicating your life to watching and helping others travel. It should be interesting, to me at least.

We just bought this hostel... It´s a beautiful house with tall ceilings, interior gardens, big double doors and a large backyard. It´s on a quiet sleepy street that almost miraculously is in the smack middle of the town... I walk out... take a few steps and like a slap in the face the city hits me. Very strange.

My hostel has no soul... it is quiet, empty, decorated with things that are not mine and that I don´t like. On weekdays like this no one comes around. The few guests curiously mimic the hostel. They too are strange, they too are quiet, mysterious... I know nothing about them as I know nothing about this place... it´s stories, it´s past life.
All I know is that the past owners were tired of it, I can tell from the paint that peels from the walls, the plants that died from lack of care, the dust that has gathered under the furniture...

I need to infect my hostel with the excitement that lives inside me. The excitement of starting something new, the excitement of making this a reflection of me... of making this hostel a home away from home for travelers. It´s a bit overwhelming there is so much to do... just the paperwork is mind-numbing... One day when I am really bored I will write about it, i mean why should I be the only one bored.

But now we start. As soon as I get up from this computer I start... moving beds, painting walls, decorating, planting, building....

Ready.... go.

permalink written by  pewmanche on August 25, 2010 from Cordoba, Argentina
from the travel blog: Life at Pewmanche
tagged Backpacker, Argentina, Hostel, Traveler, Begining and Cordoba

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Eight by Nine

Beijing, China

I'm a happy clam! Or should I say mussel since it is their product I'm here to buy. The hostel up-graded me to a two person dorm from a six person dorm - big improvement! And better yet, the other bed is empty giving me a private room. For the time being. There have been nights where I woke up with more roommates then then I went to bed with the night before. (Please don't read that the wrong way!). I can crank down the AC (mostly to rid the room of excess moisture), I don't have to share the bathroom with anyone and I don't have to be super quiet day or night (the lad I thought was going to be my roommate ignored his morning alarm forcing me to zip, wad and Groom a la the proverbial mouse). I've got 5 days here. How long can I enjoy the solitary??

(Comments don't always show up. Want to tell me something? Email my regular address.)

permalink written by  prrrrl on October 3, 2013 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Beijing, 2010 or Liaoning, 2013. They are appear to be mixed up!
tagged Hostel, Alone and Roommates

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