Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cork: One of Lonely Planet's Top 10 Cities in the World

Carrot and parsnip soup with brown bread. My new favorite.

Me in Cobh

Our first real Ireland overnight adventure. We went to Cork. We stayed in a hostel. There were 16 of us, ready to partake in an adventure exploring Ireland and it's beautiful cities. It started with a bus ride to get there, passing farms full of sheep and cows. Every now and then we'd pass a castle, just hanging out in the distance. The little towns we drove through were perfect, full of shops, churches, and little houses. Just the ride down to Cork was worth it. Once we got to Cork, Ireland's second largest city, we went straight to Blarney Castle where I kissed the Blarney Stone. What people don't tell you is how scary it is. First you have to climb tons of tiny twisting, slippery stairs to get to the top of the castle. To kiss the stone, you must trust your life with a man that holds on to you as you lean over backwards to kiss it. After walking around the grounds for a bit, we took a bus back to Cork City and walked around, exploring the shops, cafes, and beautiful views.

After a free breakfast of toast and tea from our hostel, we ventured out into the city again the next day. This time spending most of the morning at the famous English Market. The market had so many things I wanted to eat: cheese, bread, meat, pasta, olives, fruit, vegetables, chocolates, so many good things. I could have bought everything there. It was like heaven. Once we got our fill of good food, we took a train to Cobh, the last stop the Titanic made before it left for America. That's pretty much all Cobh has to offer, except for its pretty views and the steepest street in Ireland, which we walked up.(picture above) It seemed steeper when we were walking than what the picture shows.
Cork City

We had a quick train ride back to the city, running from the station to the market to hopefully get more treats, ended with only a few plums instead of the bread and cakes we wanted. But still, a perfect ending to a wonderful afternoon. That night, we went to pub to experience Cork night life, and decided we missed Galway just a little.
The view from the top of Blarney Castle

Another quick bus ride the next morning and we were home again. Each picture I took was of things more beautiful than the last. I can only imagine what the end of my trip has in store for me. Traveling, though, makes me appreciate where I live. Galway is growing on me. As the bus pulled up to the station I was happy to get back to my apartment, Shop Street and school. It feels so good to come back to a place I now call home.
Me getting the Gift of Gab
Another view from the top


  1. i have to admit, i'm a little disappointed that the "reward" for kissing the blarney stone is the "gift of gab". i thought it was something way cooler than that. especially now that i know how difficult a feat it really is.

  2. Hi, Jen. I am SO jealous. Ireland is so beautiful and sounds like you are having a fabulous time. Loved the stuff about the oysters. Keep it up and enjoy every minute!
    Aunt Beth

  3. I thought you already had the gift of gab. Love ya, mom