Back to Ireland after 4 years. I knew I would come back at some point. At the time, I visited Dublin, spent 3 weeks in Co. Leitrim, explored Galway and the Connemarra (hmm not sure about the spelling). I enjoyed the Irish atmosphere, the pubs, the sound of music in the streets, the small cities, the green countryside.
I felt this warm welcome back as soon as I landed in Cork yesterday. Friendly staff at the airport, in the bus, in my hostel. I was supposed to surf but my host had to cancel, so I am staying at the Kinlay house, a cheap and well-located budget accommodation, with a very cozy lounge. This morning, I went for a walk in St Patrick Street, where I bought a new winter hat as it's a bit chilly! ^^
I kept on walking around the city center most of the day. For lunch, I checked TripAdvisor and went to the White Rabbit BBQ and Bar. I totally recommend the place! Vert friendly (and cute 😉) barman, delicious food and good prices. The sky was blue and I found the perfect spot on the terrasse, where I stayed for 1 or 2 hours... enjoying an Irish coffee! :P PS: several people told me they loved my hand! 😀
In the afternoon, I went to St Anne's church, and rang the bells of Shandon. The top offers a nice view on the city, but it was very windy up there! It started to rain after that so I went to a few charity shops and bookshops, and then to Lidl to buy some dinner! 😉 Now I am exhausted and my feet hurt, so I went back to my hostel to watch the new episode of Grey's Anatomy!!! Yay!
This morning, I found a good deal online: €20 for a return ticket to Midleton plus Jameson experience. I took the bus at 10, under the rain; I was glad I walked around yesterday and planned some indoor stuff for today! The visit of Jameson lasted about 2 hours, included a guided tour of the distillery and some whiskey tasting. The distillery itself is quite impressive; 2000 barrels are produced everyday, each barrel containing 200L of spirit. I wrote "spirit" because, legally, you have to wait for 3 years to call it "whiskey". It is then aged a few more years in different types of barrels (made with white oak) before being sold. Midleton is the only distillery making Jameson whiskey in the whole world.
After the tour, the guide asked for 8 volunteers to taste different whiskeys, so I had to drink some Jameson, some Scottish whiskey and some American whiskey - Jameson's was the best of course! :P At the end, everyone got a free glass, I chose a cocktail with ginger and lime (and whiskey naturally). The visit ended at 1pm, I didn't have lunch, I should admit I felt a bit dizzy haha. Only a bit! 😀
Oops, I was too tired to keep on writing yesterday evening lol. Let me continue the story now!
A young couple sat next to me in the bar, May and Avner from Israel. They were traveling by car around Ireland. We got along very well, and they offered to drop me somewhere on their way. My initial plan was to take the bus back to Cork, and there take a train to Cobh, which was a bit stupid if you check the map!
So here we are, the 3 of us in their rented car. But it was already 1 or 2pm, and our stomachs started to complain! :P We therefore decided to find a place to eat before hitting the road... which happened to be more difficult than we had expected! Indeed, Midleton is a tiny city... or shall I say village? As I said previously, my plan was to go to Cobh and May and Avner wanted to go to Blarney castle. I suggested we drive to Cobh (15-20 minutes from Midleton) as I knew there were some restaurants there. We ended up in a fancy place with view on the harbor, and ate until being completely full! :D After some time, I checked my map and discovered that the Titanic Experience was only 250m from where we were! Perfect for me!!! Oh, also, I forgot to mention; we didn't find any free car park, so we decided to pay. But it was our lucky day; the thingy was out of order! :P Our paths separated in Cobh, after exchanging our Facebook and some big hugs and goodbyes... 😀
I went to the Titanic Experience - under the rain and the cold. I was a bit disappointed by the visit; the beginning was great but too short, and the exhibition was pointless. And I didn't see Jack!!! 😥 Yet, it was nice to discover the last place the Titanic hit the ground, on the 10th of April 1912. Quite moving as well. The worst was to see the number of canoes which left her half empty...
The rain stopped when I left the White Star Line offices, thus I went for a short walk in the town.
I finally reached the train station to head back to Cork, and discovered that the trains were not running and were replaced by a... free coach! Haha! Emilie would say: lucky girl! :P
I left my hostel at 9am this morning, with a view to enjoy my 3 last hours in Cork before taking a bus to the airport. But... 😦 everything is closed on Sunday morning!!! Really EVERYTHING! Nobody in the streets, no cars, nothing. I wanted to go back to the English market to buy some fresh orange juice, and wander around the stalls. I wanted to go to charity shops in town. I wanted to walk in St Patrick street. So after 10 minutes wandering, I gave up and found a comfy armchair in Starbucks lol... Here I am, with my MacBook, updating my blog. Such a cliché. So I guess I will just stay here, with my coffee and the new episode of Grey's Anatomy... That sucks a bit haha!
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