The Latest from Helen


So after one glorious week in Ireland spanning shannon, dublin, Cork, Clanmel, and Kilkenny (partly due to missing our flight to dublin and spending seven hours on a bus that spanned ireland and every single last car buzzing around for christmas shopping..and leaving from an airport in france that was an actual tent.. really a tent! with a nasty ryan air man who said 10 minutes late for check in was too late and so we waved our plane goodbye 60 euros later and anotherflight to shannon and we’re in Ireland!)
I’ll have to say that a cold chrismas has it’s charm with the hot whiskey and the van chaud and the cosy fireplaces and the soda bread and the beautiful food.. managed to see all of the family and had an awesome cousin’s dinner.. that , a bunch of the old irish singing.. and then another night out with the ronans and it was all I could do to raise my glass on stephen’s day and wander along the seaside with some friends to take in the view and attempt to get some words out but a whisper was all I could manage having lost my voice and any sense of international time (sorry to the haneklaus family again for that 4am phone call!) Also it snowed big fat flakes on christmas day for the first time in fifty years and the first time Elise every saw snow falling ever. SO new years in placa catalunya, Barcelona and some stunning days there. Luckily we survived the crowds, the cops with the batons, the massive sangria tubs we accidently ordered, the crazy clowns, the spraying champane and the australian pub which we fled to at 12.05 when the crowd surged and the sirens starting blasting.. talked to some finnish guys for a while, got elises name on a poster in chinese and then accidently donated it to the pub when we left and some how mnaged to get home at bout 4.. long story.. Spain was great (every day was sunny and warm .. feel like I’m cheating with the snow at christmas and the sun in winter!), slept in till 11, ate tapas, saw everything, ate lunch on top of a mountain above the clouds and walked all over town and inside every shop try and eliminate the christmas waddle. Also if you go to spain order hot chocolate.. aka chocolate sludge.. these europeans really know their food!

so left spain this morning and spent all day walking round rome after we nearly got kidnapped, saw the city and are still trying to decide if a horse and carriage ride around rome worth every penny.. of to vatican city tomorrow.. miss you all.. happy birthday alex and mum (you got your phonecalls, date shmate:) Don’t have to much fun without me!

Love Helen:)

ok Im adding a piece on prague:)
This is the morning after the first night out with everyone in our thirty person dorm, in the first day checked in did a tour of the city had two excellent meals an excellent night out sampling the local delicacy .. something like green cordial with a MASSIVE kick, last time we’ll let someone who actually went to inter pol and changed his name to crazy horse buy us the first round:)

Prague is easily the most random town there is! it’s excellent here, they have a castle that they built according to the architectural fashion at the time so basically it’s italian gothic out the back, some try hard gothic at the front with a green renaissance bit wacked on the top because apparently renaissance was ‘in’ when they were finishing it.. they also have these little ‘joke’ statues in the corner of the charles bridge pillars.. one is a monk with his hand dissapearing up a nuns dress;).. and nearby a statue of the king himself that looks like he’s taking a leak if you stand on the corner of the church steps and finally a church in which the local architect put a statue of himself as an act of self-commemoration on the front facade just under all the saints and apostles. modest guy. Ok I think its time to go, apparently there’s a really cool church that some crazy guy decorated with human bones.!
Having a blast here, Hope this finds you all well see you in19 days!

PS al and co. I get back on the friday night at 7.30 think its the 29th, I’ll message the details sorry ive been a little slow getting back to you on that:)