Below is a list of 10 things I learned this summer whilst holidaying and travelling in Ireland and beyond.
1. Definition of a heatwave in Ireland
5 consecutive days of 25 degrees or more, constitute a heatwave. We have had one heatwave so far this summer, another one coming up later this week!
2. Dived or dove?
Whilst watching the kids diving off the pier on Inishbofin I started asking my friends if it was dived off the pier or dove off the pier.
Some said it was definitely dived, others were more leaning towards dove. Google tells me that BOTH can be used. Dived is more often used in Europe, dove is more an American used term. More info here.
3. Train Tickets in Ireland
Can be bought online, single and return, and you can reserve your seat on intercity trains( and online is ALWAYS the best value)Once bought online, you then need to go to a railway station to print out your ticket. There are some “special offers”, though they don’t render when you search for a regular ticket. Check out the special offers to discover Ireland by rail here. Remember, rail fares have been reduced by 20% earlier in the year! Interested in the history of the Gort Railwaystation? Check out this article!
4. Train Tickets in Belgium
Can be bought online, single and return. Unlike in Ireland, on national journeys, you can’t reserve your seat. Although you buy your ticket for a specific time, it doesn’t matter what train you catch that day. Tickets bought online are non-refundable. If you buy your ticket from a ticketing machine or at the ticketing desk, you can ONLY buy single tickets (?). There are lots of different tickets/subscriptions, Check them out here. . Interestingly enough, a supplement is payable if your trip starts or finishes at Brussels Airport. Depending on the “special” ticket you buy, the supplement is included( or not). Oh yes, and if you travel with a pet, it will set you back 3 Euros.
5. Train Tickets from Zagreb to Ljubljana
I was very fortunate to participate in an internal cycle conference called Velocity ( read my report here), and flew into Zagreb, as there aren’t any direct flights from Dublin to Ljubljana. So we took the train from Zagreb to Ljubljana and booked our tickets online via thetrainline.com. A single ticket bought online was 25 Euros. I later discovered that if you bought the ticket locally at Zagreb railway station, it was only 9 Euros. Mindboggling. Also, the distance between Zagreb and Ljubljana is approximately 120 km. The train trip is well over 2 hours. Why? The voltage in Croatia is different to Slovenia so when the train gets to the border, a different engine is required and that process takes almost an hour.
6. Salty Tea anyone?
I am big fan of tea, and lately I *Try* not to take any sugar. Whilst reading Dervla Murphy’s Full Tilt journey, cycling from Ireland to India, I learned that in the Punjab, people drink green tea … with Salt !!???!!!
7. Pure Himalayan Salt
Have you recently bought the every so popular Pure Himalayan Salt( it’s pink) ? I admit I have never bought it, but quite fascinated that those popular salts are readily available in Ireland. It seems so very far away. I took a further look at the label, and found out that Pure Himalayan salts are a product from Pakistan. I then also read on the label that the salt was packed in South Africa. I then saw distributors in the UK and the Netherlands. What a journey the pure Himalayan salts have been on. On that note, for some reason Pakistan has been popping up everywhere and people have suggested I really ought to visit Pakistan. Maybe I just might ? Suggestions welcome:)
8. Travelling by bus in Ireland
The other day I booked a single ticket by bus from Waterford to Gort. A single ticket was just over 24 Euros. A return is just over 38 Euros. So it’s better value to buy a return ticket versus buying two single tickets. Interestingly enough, now that the rail fares have been reduced by 20% , a single ticket from Gort to Waterford is 13.27 ( okay this is the 7:11 am train). All other trains are 23.27 Euros. A return ticket is between 31.89 and 36.76
9. Lodging a cheque at the post office
Anpost advertises that AIB /BOI Customers can lodge cheques at the post office. However when we tried to lodge a cheque, we were told that a lodgement slip is required, yes , from the bank. So yes, you can lodge a cheque at the post office, you will just have to get that lodgement slip first.. why oh why
10. Child benefit
Now that our eldest son turned 18,the last installment of child benefit has hit my bank account.
Would love to hear what was new to you too, or even better, share what you learned this summer!