They Thought We Were Going On An Epic Journey!
We took a bus from Dublin to Cork. It was about 5 hours. Everyone kept warning us how painfully slow the buses are. They would say, ” oh my, your going to take the bus all the way from Dublin to Cork, it will be 5 hours!”. These people are not used to traveling distances of any kind, much like a lot of the people who live in Great Britain. Going to the next town is a big event for them. Are we strange because a five hour bus ride is not a big deal to us? The bus ride was pleasant enough, we passed by lots of sheep farms, and low lying hills.
Our First Breakfast, Irish Style
We arrived in Cork and went to find the B&B we had pre-booked. After the nightmare in Dublin we decided not to take anymore chances. It turned out we could have just found a place upon arrival. We stayed one night at the B&B. The man who ran the place was very nice. We got a full breakfast, it had to have been at least 6 eggs each that were scrambled on our plates! We couldn’t finish them all. We also had toast, tea, and cereal. Our room had a very crooked floor and the stairs coming up to it were on such a slant, it made you kind of dizzy when you walked on them. The whole building was leaning to one side.
A Closet For A Room
We enjoyed the stay at the B&B, but it was a bit more than we wanted to pay. We found a hostel that looked quite nice, it had internet, and a nice sitting area. We couldn’t look at a room though, they were all full until the next day. We booked it anyways, and came back in the morning to check in. We took one look at the room and decided we would look for something else. It was the smallest and worst room we had seen yet, and it was still going to cost us $75 Canadian. It was bunk beds, which we have never got when booking a double room in a hostel before. The room was barely bigger than the bunk beds. There was absolutely nothing else in the room, unless you want to count the window and the door. We have slept in all kinds of places and are not that picky, but surely we could find something better for around the same price.
Just a minute down the road we saw a sign saying rooms available. The lady said she had only one room left and warned us it was small. We went up to take a look. It was small, but much bigger than the bunk bed room. It was cozy and at least had some furnishings in it. It even had a tv. When we came down, she asked if it would be okay. She said we could have it for 40 euros, we didn’t hesitate to take it for the next 3 nights.
Getting A Feel For The Downtown Area Of Cork
A large river flows down the middle of Cork making it a scenic town. There are old buildings everywhere. The main part of the town is full of streets lined with shops on each side. There were surprisingly a lot of modern stores with trendy clothing and shoes. One thing you have to watch out for when walking around town are the large metal lamp posts that sit right in the middle of the sidewalks. Surely a few people have staggered out of a pub and walked into these a time or two. Overall it was a charming little place with a very comfortable feel to it. A place you could easily see yourself living in.
There are plenty of pubs, many of them serve food. We went out one night to try a traditional pub. It was full of locals and got more packed as the evening went on. We sat right up at the bar. We were amazed at the amount of Guinness and Murphy’s stout that was being poured out of the taps. It never seemed to end. The bartender would be working on half a dozen of them at a time. Only when you come to Ireland can you fully understand how much drinking and the pubs are a way of life for the people here. The pub is the center of all socializing and activity.
Meeting Up With Travelers We Met While In Portugal
We contacted the couple we met in Lagos, Portugal. They are from Australia, but have obtained visas to work in Ireland. They were doing a bit of traveling and then heading to Ireland to find jobs and settle for a while. They had family in Cork so that is who they would stay with.
Blarney Castle, Ignore The Rumors That The Stone Is Peed On And Kiss It Anyways
We met up with our fellow travelers just a few kilometers out of town at the site of the Blarney Castle. It was situated on a large area of property. It was interesting to walk inside the castle and see the different rooms and learn what they were used for.
Then of course we had to kiss the Blarney Stone. We really didn’t know much about it, other than you were supposed to kiss it and get some kind of gift from it. I thought it was going to be some rock on the ground that you kissed. It turned out to be a strange set up. It was a lot more difficult to do than we expected.
It is one particular stone at the top wall of the castle. Nothing special, just a ordinary stone that you would never pick out from the rest of the stones had you not been told it was the Blarney Stone. Where it sits there is a space between the floor and the wall. There is a wide spaced metal grill to stop you from falling through it. You have to be assisted by one of the workers to kiss the stone. You lie on your back and have to bend your body backwards hanging your head down to reach the stone and kiss it. You can see wear marks from where so many people have done so for decades. We were reluctant to kiss it, as we had been told stories that Irish Youth go to the castle at night and urinate on the stone. Whether it is true or not, we don’t know.
After exploring the castle we took a walk around the area. There is a trail that takes you through an enchanting forest area. There are a number of things to see which include many tales of witch and fairy folklore.
Getting To Experience An Irish Home and Home Cooked Meal
We went with David and Grace in their car to David’s aunt and uncles house. We were invited to come have tea with them. It turned out we were going to be fed dinner as well. What a treat! We had all kinds of vegetables and potatoes, and we were spoiled with fish being done especially for us. To follow, out came plates with all kinds of desserts. We were so stuffed by the end we could hardly move. It was very special to actually get to come to a home where we were traveling. It really makes you feel more connected to a place when you get to sit down in someones house and meet a family. Thanks to Grace, David and his family!