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Cork Calls...

Well, Meghs, Kenra and I are in Cork, Ireland. Arrived in the evening and have yet to venture out so I can't really tell you much about it. It looks fabulous at night when you are walking around trying to find a hostel/B&B to stay.

Alright...updates for you. Took the train from Dublin to Kilkenny (you know, Kilkenny - beer? Mmm Mmm ... actually, we didn't drink any)...and had a fabulous time. We had researched hostels in the area so went to the Info center and they gave us a map and pointed us in the correct direction. Checked in after waiting for 15 minutes out front, trying to figure out how to work our international phone card b/c they were not answering the door (still don't know!).

We did a two hour walk along the River Nore, taking pictures got it...the old buildings. Kilkenny is known as the Medieval capital of Ireland so there were many beautiful places to see. Grocery shopped for dinner. Meghs and I bought food that needed an oven but wait, did we check to see if we had one? No. Did we have one? No. Boo the waste of money. In the process of making our dinner the best we could, a 30ish year old woman checked in and mentioned that she was going to see the Nutcracker at the local theatre, perfromed by the European Ballet. Oh my! we thought, lets go. So we bought our tickets, only 17 euros. The Ballet begins...stumble, stumble, thump, goes the feet of the men (the women were decent -except for one that had the freakish eyes and you couldn't help but stare directly at them no matter how hard you tried to look away). Sigh. We asked ourselves if this was a local production? Hmm. An hour and 30 minutes later, we walk out the front door and head directly to the nearest pub. Okay, not nearest, the pub was a 10 minute walk away but a brochure in the Hostel said live Irish Music every Wednesday so of COURSE we went there. Walk in - three old people at the bar. Alright...we're on a role for Kilkenny! The 30ish year old woman joined us after the show and she walks up to the bartender and asks her about the music (in Irish no less!). And apparently it starts in the back room in 30 minutes. Alright - progress! We head to the back room, three old men. Drats! But wait....theres another door, lets check there. YES! Young people! Who have guitars and ...microphones! Success! We spent the next two hours listening to the Irish play American and English music. BUT they were good and the 'show' was worth the 17 euros. AND the last act (so to say) was this guy on guitar who had the most amazing voice and a girl on the cello. THEY played a few Irish songs. Quite a fabulous evening if i don't say so myself!

Work up still not knowing where to go next. Should we walk to the next town 10 miles away? Could we handle walking that far with our packs? hmm...prolly not. How much is the train to Waterford? To Cork? It doesn't go to Cork. Well damn. And around and around we went....okay, we thought, lets decided when we are leaving Ireland and go from there. Prices for plane tickets - outrageous if flying from cork or galway. Okay dublin. Well, if we leave on the 10th, we save 60 euros. Booked. We are flying to Rome on November 10. One thing accomplished. Now, what about today? sigh. We now have 5 days in Ireland - we know we will head to Dublin on the 9th and sleep at the airport (no hostel!). Thats four days we have. We want to spend 2 days in galway and we want to kiss the Blarney Stone. Okay. Lets bus to Cork, spend two days there, then bus/train to Galway. That's the plan.

Bought a bus ticket to Cork. Have you ridden an Ireland Bus? I swear that thing swings more than a couple in the 50ies. Kendra and I had a rough time keeping our stomachs calm, not to mention the spinning of our heads. Zooming down the small country lanes, somehow never hitting another car, a pedestrian, or SHEEP. Impressive. I do have to say though - the scenery was magnificent - definitely worth the pain. Rolling green hills spotted with sheep, sporadic castles and churches - the Ireland that you always see in movies and on posters. Definitely worth it.

Arrive in Cork around 6pm. It was dark. Did I mention that I had to pee for the past 70 minutes. Yeah, our bus did not come equipped with a bathroom. SIGH. It was painful. I asked Kendra to distract me and she told me she was sleeping! Such rudeness. Anyways, at other bus/train stations we've been to there have been tons of brochures about local hostels, maps, etc. This one - nothing! Oops. Our bad. We had a brochure from the previous hostel about a hostel that is by the bus station. Or was it the train station? Lets tour the block and see what we can find. Dum de do...20 minutes later a gentlemen tells us we look lost. We ask him where the train station is and if there is a hostel nearby. SUCCESS! 10 minutes later - knock - knock - knock - no body is home. Hmm. the sign says 'check in 4pm - 8pm' - knock - knock - knock - a spider appears on the door - nasty looking thing - after 10 minutes, we walk across the stree to a B&B - knock - knock - knock - gentleman answers the door and tells us he has no vaccancies but he is sure the place down the stree, up the big hill, to the left of the church does - Kent View he calls it. Okay. walk - walk - walk - Big hill indeed. Hmm...did he say left or right past the church? We need to start writing this stuff down. Ahh conveinance store - lets ask them! Never heard of it, eh? Okay - B&B down this other hill? Got it. Thanks. Walk up to the largest, most beautiful, brightly lit B&B in the area. Great - can't afford it. Lets ask anyway - Three bed room is normally 37 euros a night, i can give it to you for...35 euros - oh...right...jolly gee...thanks lady but do you know of any cheaper b&b's or hostels in the area - sheila's tourist hostel - your sister company? down the hill (wahoo!), to the right, to the left, on your right. Got it! By any chance - do you have a map?

And that is where we are currently. We are checked out, bags in storage for the day and ready to embark on CORK. We are hoping to find a day tour to Blarney or maybe it's walking distance? Meghs is looking for some green fields to walk across!

Will update more later.


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