What a day! We both woke up later than we have the past two days which allowed us to be fresh for the day. We checked out of the hotel in Dublin and began our journey to Cork. The ride through Dublin was challenging to say the least. All of the street signs are posted on the sides of the building in size 2 font. So far there has not been a single time that I have gotten to an intersection where is said “take a left at Billy O’Malley Jameson Street,” and I could actually see that I was at the correct intersection. While on the subject of directions, this metric system over here is a pain in the butt. When driving and it says, “take a left in 400 meters,” I have no instinctual understanding of how far that actually is. They might as well be saying, “turn in 200 hotdog buns” as it is just as effective in my brain.
Once we got out of the city I was really able to bring Zippy, the affectionate name that I have given our car, up to speed. You see, Zippy is a special car, with special characteristics. Zippy wants so badly to be a standard and not an automatic. In fact, short of carrying around a bag of bricks to put behind the wheels, I still have no idea how to properly park the poor girl. My only options when driving is:
- A – Automatic
- N – Neutral
- R – Reverse
That is it! It is also not possible to crank the engine without pushing down the brake, which always make me think that the battery is dead each time we get in the car. I also have no idea who makes Zippy. The car has a lightning bolt on the steering wheel which lends you to think she has a cool name like Zeus or Zoom, however five minutes behind the wheel throws that out the window. Like I said, Zippy wants to be a standard and she really fights to get out of her first gears on her own. Driving her is like waking up a 14 year boy for school. She is grumpy and groans, but eventually gets going after some work.
The rest of the trip from Dublin to Cork was wonderful. It was overcast for much of the time, however as we got about an hour outside of Cork, the sun came out and we were able to really enjoy the rolling hills and the countryside. Once we got into the Cork area Lindsey resumed her back seat driver behavior. She has no tolerance for round abouts and large two story buses that take over the entire road. Fortunately it is not a long distance from the highway to our hotel in Cork, it just meant that we had to get a cold beer in Lindsey to get her to calm down and get her heart to beat at a normal rate.
When we got to the hotel, they had not gotten the room ready for us yet. I had asked for a room on the upper floors as I had read that the views of the city from the hotel are great and worth asking for. The front desk offered to bring our luggage to the room once it was ready so that we could have a walk around or a drink while we waited. We decided to head to the bar for a drink and a bite of food. I did not want something heavy like a Guinness and Lindsey chose a Heineken which sounded light and was a delightful choice. We both had a beer, she had an angus beef sandwich and I had a crab sandwich. Our lunches hit the spot and when we were done we were able to head straight to our room and our waiting luggage. The room is amazing, a large room with one wall as a ceiling to floor size window overlooking the river and the city. This is by far one of the best hotel views I have had in my life (hopefully it will not be the last on this trip).
We left the hotel for a walk around the city. There were only a handful of places that we wanted to see in Cork, but we did want to just have a walk around. It is awesome that Lindsey and I are married to each other because we vacation the same. We do not try to see everything and find walking around and watching people is just as enjoyable. We ended up going to the Shandon clock tower and St Anne’s church. Getting here involved a long walk up a bunch of steps. This made the cute little cafe at the top a perfect spot for a break and two milkshakes.
We just kept following street after street chasing the next cool thing to look at. I ended up seeing a cool-looking church on the top of a silly tall hill and we were off! We trekked all the way up the hill, took some pictures of the church and headed back down. It was already starting to get a bit warm, and scaling hills and walking miles was not helping. By the time we got to the bottom I was getting some texts from work concerning an issue that was going on which had us heading back towards the hotel.
I was able to get to my computer and have a look at the problem while Lindsey took a short unplanned nap. After work was done and naps had been taken, we got up and had a shower to get ready for dinner. The place that we had originally planned to go to ended up being closed this week which meant that we have to have a look around the area without our safety blanket of Yelp (such a good resource to find good places). We ended up going to the place right next to our original choice, a classical Irish restaurant called 14A. They had a 3 course special which we took advantage of. The starters were great, but unfortunately the main dishes were nothing to blow our socks off with. After dinner we returned to the hotel for a little bit of sleep medicine (a Guinness for me and a Rose [insert ‘e’ with apostrophe above that I am too lazy to find the ASCII version of]).
After our drinks we are going to head to bed for a early wakeup call in the morning. We want to get a head start on our “off the beaten path” adventure to visit the Ballycotton Cliffs, a location that has been the top of Lindsey’s places to visit since we started to plan this Ireland adventure. The cliffs are in a very small town on the coast, which has been very difficult to get a GPS to locate. The internet seems to only provide backwoods directions, “take the road left when you see a dog that responds to the name Muffin.” Hopefully we will be able to ask for directions when we get closer.
We plan to play on our nature walk and have a look at this small fishing town. Once we have our fill, we will head to Kilkenny. Also, sorry about the different picture sizes. I uploaded some from my computer rather than my phone and the app formats them differently. Tonight, like Zippy, I just don’t have it in me to fix it.