Between the mountains & the sea – Travel Diary, Nr. 2 

Hello everyone or to say it in irish: “Dia dhuit“. It’s been a while since my last diary entry and a lot has happened – we made some lovely trips in the countryside, visited some pubs, worked in the hostel and met some interesting people, and (*drum roll*) fortunately, we made some new plans for December, but more on this later.

We’re here for one month now and in 2 days we’re going to leave Sligo for our next stop. Isn’t it crazy how time flies? Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday when we arrived at the airport, cried our eyes out and said good bye to our parents. But no, it’s already 4 weeks ago and while thinking about these past few weeks, I have to declare, I don’t regret my decision and I’m still so excited for the next 5 months of our Work & Travel. I’m sure to say, that this trip is going to change me in many positive ways and I already learned a lot of new things in this short amount of time. But anyway, I don’t want to keep you in suspense, so let’s talk about all our recent experiences in Sligo and what we’re going to do next!

“Business before pleasure”, that’s what they say and according to this, I’m starting with our work experiences but I’m trying to make it as short as I can. We had to work nearly every weekend but therefore we had some free days during the week, which was totally fine and since we have winter season it’s very quiet in the hostel, which means it was overall not exhausting. Out of the 4 weekends were 2 booked out. So we had to clean the whole hostel 2 times but luckily Marvin and I are a good team, so it was manageable! All in all, it was a nice experience, especially because we had the chance to meet people from all over the world and practice our language skills. So thanks again to our hosts for this great opportunity.

My favorite photograph from our trip to Rosses Point.

That was really short but now it’s time for the fun part 🙂 After our first weekend working, we had some free time and decided to visit another beach called Rosses Point, which is very different than Strandhill but that’s exactly why it’s such a special place. Again, we had to take the bus and it took us about 25 minutes to get there. Unfortunately, it was a very cold and windy day, even though the weather report said something completly different the day before. But I mean, we’re in Ireland so you can’t believe what the weather people say and besides, it’s constantly changing. So instead of moping around, we made use of the good old Layering System and put as much clothes on as we could and oh well, it was so worth it. Rosses Point is not as touristy as Strandhill, so it’s very quiet and you don’t have many restaurants etc. there. Instead, you have a tremendous nature! You don’t get sidetracked by any shops or music or something, so in conclusion, you can fully enjoy the view and everything around you. You’re able to sense the beauty of this nature and really appreciate it. So you may can imagine, that we had a marvelous time even though we freeze our a**es off. But long talk short sense, here are some photographs from our short trip to this beautiful little place on earth (but to be honest, no camera really captures how great it was).

Two weeks later, we did our third and last big trip in Sligo – a hike to the top of the Knocknarea, one of the big mountains here. Actually, we wanted to see the Ben Bulben which is the most famous mountain in Sligo County, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a way to get there, since there is no bus line (the transport connection is not as good as in Germany). Anyhow, the Knocknarea is 327m high and very close to Strandhill, so not as far away as the Ben Bulben (which is more in the north of the county). The bus driver stopped right before the hikingtrail, just for us and that saved us a lot of time! Altogether, it took us about an hour to reach the top but only because I had some struggels with my asthma and my anxiety.

Otherwise, it would have took us only 40 minutes, but these crazy stairs, the hight, the physical effort and my asthma triggered a little panic attack. It was weird because I never had something like this before. I just felt like James Stewart in “Vertigo” – standing on the stairs, turning myself around, looking into the deep and having this dizziness plus an asthma attack. I tell you, it was crazy and I thought I would never be able to walk to the top of the mountain or even back to our starting point. For this one moment, I felt like I wasn’t able to do anything. Luckily, I had this panic state for only 10 or 15 minutes and after a small break, I had enough power to hike the rest of Knocknarea. And I was so happy and proud of myself that I didn’t gave up. Because the view was incredible.

Our way back was very quick compared to our “climb”, because we wanted to catch the bus. We literally ran the last few metres but we were one minute too late and we saw the bus passing by. Oh well, that was annoying because we were in the middle of nowhere and except from a few houses and a gas station, was nothing. So we had to wait in this icy cold for one hour. What a crundy end of a crazy day.. but it was worth it!

If we didn’t make any trips or work, we spent the rest of our leisure time with playing games (f.e. backgammon, which I never played before but since I won nearly every game it became my new favorite, haha), drawing or reading (in this one month I already draw more than the last 2 or 3 months at home), watching Netflix and socializing with the few people in our hostel. Nothing really exciting but I mean, you can’t always run around and do crazy and cool things, especially not when you’re a “poor” traveller like us. Besides, there are not so many things to see here, except from the beaches, the mountains, maybe some lakes and of course the pubs. Now that I mention them, we luckily had the chance to visit 2 more pubs. The O’Neill’s Bar and Shot The Craws, where we could finally listen to some traditional irish music, and this time it was really nice and cozy. Just like you imagine an irish pub.

To make a little conclusion: we had a great start of our Work and Travel in Sligo, full of fun and new experiences, and we really appreciated to spend this one month here. It’s not a big city but for a short visit, to see the lovely countryside, it’s totally worth it and recommendable.

Some buildings from Sligo’s city centre. I especially like the last one, which reminds me so much of Hogwarts.

The second pub we visited, O’Neill’s bar.

And last but not least, some photographs of myself in Sligo.

But let’s come to the last and most interesting part, what are we going to do next? First of all, it’s very hard to find a new host/job during winter here in Ireland, especially when you’re a couple. So the closer our date of departure came, the bigger got my anxiety. We contacted a few hosts on HelpX but always got a rejection or no answer, which was so frustrating. I already had the worste-case scenario in my head and I even had a bad mood for 2 or 3 days (Sorry again Marvin). I was just acting crazy and while thinking about it know, I just get angry on myself because I’m always overthinking way too much. I wish I could be more easygoing in such situations because it’s so annoying. Anyone else here who has the same problem?

Anyway, after 3 days being in a bad mood – the silver lining – we got a new offer on HelpX. Oh, how happy I was! You may can imagine, that this automatically blew my anxiety and bad vibes away 🙂 The host which contacted us, has a Bed & Breakfast in a city called Skibbereen in West Cork, not far away from Cork City. So we’re finally going to see another completly different side of Ireland and I’m so excited. Again we’re working for food and accommodation and the work is going to be very similiar to our hostel work. We also planed to stay there over Christmas but that’s all I’m going to tell you until now. Because I want to save the other informations for my next blog post 😉

With that said, we “arrived” at the end of my second diary entry. I hope you enjoyed reading it (even though it was very long this time) and seeing all the photographs from our time in Sligo. As always, feel free to contact me in the comments or on my other social media. See you later & lots of love,

Your Shirinatra xx