Adventures · Life in Ireland

Chillin’ in Cork

“We should have gone to Cork tomorrow since it’s your last day off for a while…” said my aunt in the depth of darkness that is my room last night at approximately 1:30 am (note: she got here last Thursday and she’s visiting for 3 weeks- she’s never been to Europe, so I’m showing her the ropes!). We both couldn’t sleep, so, there I was, in the middle of the night, researching to find us a bus that would get us to Cork the next day. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! I found us some 20€ tickets, and away we went south bright and early at 8:30 this morning to the other big town in Ireland.

The only thing I knew about Cork was that the Blarney Stone was near it. And, the only reason why I knew that was because my aunt had taken a peek at my Ireland book. So, basically, I knew nothing about Cork. BUT, the weather cooperated, and it was beautiful and I’m definitely planning on going back when it’s not a bank holiday (aka more places open)!

Blarney Castle grounds. Babbling brooks and greenery everywhere!
Blarney Castle grounds. Babbling brooks and greenery everywhere!
The castle itself was modest, but filled with nooks and crannies!
The castle itself was modest, but filled with nooks and crannies!

So, the castle, which was about 10€ to get into, involved walking up 100 tiny winding stairs to get to the Blarney Stone. The Blarney Stone is supposed to give you the gift of gab, which is good for me because sometimes I wish I was better at conversing. Growing up with a motormouth mother, whom I love so dearly, definitely made me on the more quiet side. (note to self: don’t bring motormouth mother here, lest her jaw break right off by end of day)

View at the top of the castle!
View at the top of the castle!
Preparing to germify. Ignore the post-bus-nap ratch hair.
Preparing to germify. Ignore the post-bus-nap ratch hair.

It took about a half-hour to make our way to the top of the castle, and although the germophobe in me really didn’t want to kiss a spot that millions of others have kissed (Germs! Diseases! Cancer! Death!), I sucked it up, put on an extra thick layer of eos to block all germs, got upside down, and trusted a castle employee to lower me down as I kissed the stone.

Such a tourist.
Such a tourist.

After thoroughly applying Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer to lips because, of course, I’m a doctor and, again, was killing all germs, we wandered the gardens and enjoyed the greenery. It was seriously about 68°F, which my Texas soul was completely enjoying. I was frolicking like a little schoolgirl. Look, Ma, no jacket!

Finding secret passageways exclusively for people under 5'1".
Finding secret passageways exclusively for people under 5’1″.
Color! Color, everywhere!
Color! Color, everywhere!

Content with our castle excursion, we took the 20 minute bus ride back into town and attempted to find a place to eat lunch at. I say attempt because it was a bank holiday today, so everything was closed. And when I say everything, I mean everything but pubs and, like, Subway. Ew.

We were able to find this French cafe called Paradise Crepe that gave me one of, if not the best, meal I’ve had this go around in Europe. It was delicious, and we didn’t even have to battle any rude Parisians to get the full French outdoor dining experience! I had a chicken croque-monsieur (which looked like panini to my untrained eye), and then finished it off with a crepe loaded with bananas, honey, cinnamon, fruit compote, powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. I’m not explaining it well, so let the photographic evidence attempt to explain the beautiful dining experience I had.

When have you ever dined anywhere and got 1.5 servings!?
When have you ever dined anywhere and got 1.5 servings!?
Sweet cappuccinos and macchiatos!
Sweet cappuccinos and macchiatos!
Split a crepe as big as my head.
Split a crepe as big as my head.

We finished the day walking around town, before heading back on the 6:30 pm bus to Dublin. I fall in love with Ireland more and more every day, and we still have two more Irish excursions this week! I’m so excited to see what this year will bring, and never in a million years did I think I’d ever be living in Europe again, so soon after university. Life is such a beautiful adventure!

Cheers,

Monique

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5 thoughts on “Chillin’ in Cork

  1. Your photos and write-ups paint a beautiful image of Ireland! Ireland should use you as their spokesperson…although they might want a native, eh? Anyway, I find the country utterly fascinating through your eyes! I love it there, and I haven’t even been there physically!

  2. And seeing that I am a motormouth, I find it necessary to write a third comment lest I not live up to my rep…..I love that you are becoming a Chatty-Cathy now that you’ve kissed the stone. Welcome to the exclusive club of Chatters!

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