It was awesome, despite how, at times, my body wanted nothing more than to shut down.
Our flight to Cork was at 6 something in the morning, and we had to get to the airport by 4 to check in, which was awesome. We had our cab pick us up from Thoresby at 2, (its a long way to the airport and we wanted to be sure to get there on time) so naturally we didn’t sleep that night. We hopped in the cab and about 3 blocks from the house, I realize that I left my passport (failboat, i know), so had to have the guy turn around so I could go grab it.
The airport was very much like what I imagine Purgatory would be. Ryanair gave us the runaround a few times, but nothing huge (this time), and we got to our plane with no problem. The flight was short and we were in front of our Hostel before we knew it. Problem was, though, that there was no one there. We knocked, no answer. We called, it said we couldn’t. We ended up sitting there for about a half hour before decided to give up and wait at the nearby train station, and then come back and rip the owner’s head off.
Well, we didn’t do that, once we finally did get back to the place and someone answered the door for us. The woman was warm and welcoming and we couldn’t bring ourselves to threaten the idea of beds waiting for us in the other room. So we got in, plopped down and passed out for 5 hours. We needed it.
When we woke up, we wandered around Cork and checked the shops out (that’s pretty much all there were, to be honest), and I got a sweater there for super cheap (it was really really cold that day). The city was very quaint. It was small with tons of gift shops, restaurants, bars, pubs and a slew of other similar things. We went back to the Hostel after that to prepare for our night out, which we spent in 2 pubs. Guinness is much better in Ireland, but who is honestly surprised by this? I also had a shot of Bailey’s, but that was just so I could see how it tasted. We eventually got tired and decided going back was best.
The next day was when we went to Blarney Castle, which was absolutely amazing. We hopped on a bus that took us to the castle and village at around noon, so we got there a half hour later. It was much smaller and quieter than Cork, and I forgot what it was like to not be surrounded by concrete. Living in the heart of London for a month will do that to a person. I was excited about all the green and nature, especially because the sun was shining brightly and there wasn’t really a cloud in the sky (which is unusual for this region). The girls, who are much bigger hippies than I, were also very excited and ran around in nature for a little bit before deciding that the castle was the main objective. It’s a very interesting castle, standing straight and tall on a rocky base. We wandered around in many of the “rooms” of the building on our way up the (terrifying spiral) staircase to the top. Once at the top, we were treated to an amazing view of the area, which was photographed thoroughly. Then, I got to kiss the Blarney stone, which made me extremely happy (despite having friends clueless as to its importance..) and hope for my next class presentation.
After that, we took the bus back, vegged out at the Hostel, and then went back out, this time, just to one pub. An Bróg was the name of this place, and it was much more fun, because the crowd was very much our age. We sat and drank pretty early (9:00) and the place was pretty empty, but by the time it was 11:00, it had turned into a club, with everybody dancing around. We didn’t make it out of there till 1:00, because we were having a lot of fun.
The next morning, we had to wake up at 6 so as to hop onto our next flight to Dublin. Again, the airport was miserable. The flight was interesting, though, in that it was about 25 minutes long. That, and there was a french couple sitting across the isle from us. We recognized them, because they had been touring Blarney at the same time we were. We shrugged it off, thinking it was an interesting coincidence, and passed out.
Arriving in Dublin, we decided that we loved it immediately. It made us realize how small and boring Cork was. The bus we caught at the airport took us to our Hostel (which is right in Temple Bar), and Claire and I decided that sleep was necessary, while Katie went on a tour of some buildings or whatever. Waking up, we wandered around the city, getting acquainted with Temple Bar, St. Stephen’s Green (an awesome park), and the area around the river. We shopped more (which was terrible, because its SO expensive in Dublin), and found ourselves being treated to a fancy (and inexpensive, compared to the other places in the area) dinner by Claire’s parents, so that was pretty awesome. Afterward, we wandered to a pub that we eventually fell in love with. We got there and it was reasonably full, so we sat at the bar. We ordered our drinks and socialized with our bartender. He ended up coming over to talk to us whenever he didn’t have anything to do, and it was really interesting. He was from Australia and came to Dublin because he thought it’d be cool to work there. We talked for a while, but once it got busy, he couldn’t really come around and chat with us anymore, so we didn’t see him much. We moved to the other end of the pub at that point, because there was live music and we love that sort of thing. The band actually made us get up and dance, and one of the singers tried (in vain) to teach us how to do an Irish dance. Despite being embarrassed, it was really fun. I got paired up with a black girl (i have no idea what her accent was) who kept giggling because of how terrible at dancing I am. The band had to go around 1, because the bar was closing at that point. But as they were packing up, we were talking to them and they were awesome too. I forget their names, which is upsetting, but they talked to us about politics and heritage. The bartender (Michael, was his name) was at this point running around cleaning up, and another one of the bartenders was yelling for everybody to leave because they had to close up, but we weren’t asked to leave at any point. We chilled a little more with the band / Michael before we decided that we really needed to go, so we got the contact information of both the band and bar hand and left for a really good night’s rest.
The next day, we got up and the strangest thing happened. The french couple, that we had seen in Blarney, the Cork Airport, our Airplane to Dublin AND walking around Dublin were in our room with us! We were going to say something to them, but they left before we could comprehend what was going on (we were really tired). Other people in the room were Christian, a man from Estonia, and Koji (i don’t know if this is his actual name), a Japanese guy wandering around Europe. So we got breakfast and ran around Dublin, seeing all the things there were to see within walking distance. Mr. Spikey was our favorite. The city felt a lot like if Philadelphia and London merged, which is probably why I loved it so much lol. We returned to St. Stephen’s Green once again, this time with subway (which we had been eating all week due to a coupon book given to us at the beginning at the trip), and had a mini picnic in front of the duck pond (which also had gulls, pidgeons and swans). Then, we walked back to the Hostel, grabbed our stuff, and left. We had a bit of time to kill, so we returned to the pub and had a round. One of the other bartenders from the previous night served us and also sat and chatted with us for a few minutes, because it was pretty much empty (as all bars should be at 5:00). Michael wasn’t there, because it was his day off. But the other guy (whose name I unfortunately missed) was also really nice and made sure to stress the fact that we had to visit next time we were in Dublin. We assured him we would, raised our glasses to Ireland, and left for the airport.
I’m gonna end the post now, because this is a much nicer way to end it than to go through how terrible the ride home was.