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Monday, February 6, 2017

PUT A CORK IN IT

Last weekend, several of my fellow American students ventured down the island to what some would argue is the true capital of Ireland, Cork!












The morning after we got back from Howth, we got ourselves to the nearest bus station and grabbed some student tickets to Cork. The bus was supposed to take about 3 hours, but it ended up taking 4. With no bathroom breaks, it was definitely a long ride, but once we got to Cork, it was well worth it. We stayed at a hostel near the airport (it was actually pretty decent!), and once we dropped our things off, we headed down to the City Centre to grab some lunch. It was about 2 PM by that point, and since we hadn't eaten since about 8 AM, we were all dying for some food, any food.

First up, we went to the English Market, per multiple cab drivers' suggestions (since we have such a big group we always have to grab a few taxis). It was bustling with sights and smells, and although we all wanted to buy some of the fresh food the vendors had available, it just wasn't practical for us to buy food we wouldn't be able to store or cook until tomorrow. But, once we finally had some energy back in our systems, we wandered around, finding a gorgeous cathedral on St. Patrick's street, many shopping centers, and once dusk hit, an even more magnificent church at the top of a hill on the edge of town. 

Our group had been split up by that point, so we all reunited at Rearden's, a huge restaurant in the middle of the City Centre. We only intended to swing by there and pick up the other members of our group, but we ended up staying there for about 4 hours because the restaurant turned into a bar and club! On the bright side, staying there meant we didn't have to pay the cover charge.

Sunday, we headed out to Blarney to visit the famed Blarney Castle. I felt obligated to kiss the Blarney Stone at least once during my time here in Ireland, and even though I only spent about 10 seconds with the stone itself, getting to explore the castle and the grounds around it was well worth the 12 euro student ticket. It was a rainy and misty day, so in all of our pictures we look like wet dogs, but the atmosphere felt like true Ireland - simple, antique, foggy, and green.

I do have to say, I really enjoyed Cork because it felt like a calmer version of Dublin, featuring all of the major attractions and brands that Dublin has but with less hustle and bustle. It made it more manageable when our bus back got delayed by 3 hours! 

I just got back from London yesterday, and once my friends have a chance to upload their photos from the trip (I didn't have space to take my DSLR!), I'll share more details about that trip then.

Much love,


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