Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adieu to Ireland

The long delayed conclusion to my Ireland vacation:

Day 6- Cork

So far, Cork is unimpressive. It's a very industrial city and lacking the "brightness" of Galway. We try to visit the Butter Museum but it doesn't open until 10 AM. Hmmm... Wait around half an hour or get a move on to Dublin? 

Our B&B suggested we stop at the Rock of Cashel- an ancient castle and cathedral ruin. Once it was the seat of the ancient kings of Ireland. Now, this surprisingly well preserved ruin hosts tours most of the year. It's amazing to see. Cashel is a gem in the center of the country. We had a lovely lunch at Ladyswell along the main road and within walking distance of the ruin. I had the most delicious Mediterranean panini (with cole slaw of course) and my sister had the seafood chowder. I'm not sure how "chowdery" it was, but she said it was delicious.  

The rest of the trip North was uneventful. One thing that struck me odd was the radio. Irish radio is horrid. I will never complain about the lack of selection here for as long as I live. We literally heard the same 6 songs all week long. A sampling of the songs sponsoring our vacation:

- Enrique Iglesias "Tonight (I'm Loving You)- Of course, we sang the CD version "Tonight (I'm Fucking You) and this song has haunted me ever since we returned. I can't turn around without hearing it and when I do I must sing along. I even sang it for Suicide Karaoke. God, I love that song. Oh Enrique, when'd you get so dirty? It's even spawned a new verb "to iglesias", meaning to have sex. As in: You are totally getting iglesiased tonight.

- Jessie J "Money"- She hasn't really broken in the states yet, but I think her album is only just coming out. She was just in the last issue of Entertainment Weekly or Vogue or something and I saw her on Graham Norton not too long ago. I wasn't impressed, but now I feel I must inflict this song on everyone.

- Some techno/dance song that wanted to "take us higher off the ground". No idea.

- Bruno Marz "Grenade"- Sounds like the guy needs to get some self esteem.

- Adele "Rolling in the Deep"/"Someone Like You"- I fully admit to buying this album the other day. I can't escape it. She sounds amazing and I find her hilarious. Did you see her on "Chelsea Lately"? I tried to link to it, but my computer's acting up. Youtube it- trust me.

Now in Dublin, we're hunting for our next B&B which is located on Dublin Bay. It's a bit far out of the city but my main concern was getting to the car rental and airport on time. Regardless, there's a bus stop right across the street so we can leave the car it took me FOREVER to parallel park on the busy road. Our original B&B had plumbing issues that were as yet unresolved, but he booked us into another one a few doors down. The Sea Breeze is run by the tiniest old lady I've ever seen. How does she get up the stairs? Who changes the linen? These are questions probably best not to ask. Our room did have an excellent view of the bay but the room itself may have been the worst so far. Not bad, so much as old and out dated in more of a Salvation Army sense than an antique one.

After the required nap, we take the bus (1.80 euro) to the city center, or close enough really. All I want at this point is Indian food. I've been craving it something fierce all week. Problem is, we left all maps etc. in the room. I also still cannot find my camera charger. What the heck fire happened to it?! Wandering the streets of Temple Bar, in the rain, there is a beacon ahead in the form of a human directional. He is pointing to Shan Indian restaurant. God bless you sir. Now, get me a samosa! It's after 8 PM but there is only a large party in the dining room. I get a bit nervous but soon others arrive. I guess this is the place to go late.

It takes a while to get our food considering no one else is in the restaurant, but once it comes I don't really care. The samosa is flavorful and just a bit spicy. I have to Aloo Mutter (potatoes and peas) and my sister has the Saag Paneer (homemade cheese in spinach). I asked for mine spicy but that's not how it comes. Oh well... The assortment of chutney's is also very different from what I'm used to- slightly sweet lemon preserve, pickled onions, and something containing tamarind. Still, it was pretty good and just over 10 euros each.

We try for a pint at The Quay since we liked the one in Galway so much, but it is well over the legal limit of patrons. My stupid umbrella gets caught in several peoples jackets. It was also very expensive. We skedaddled back across the river to find someplace more cozy and closer to where we needed to pick up the bus home. Thankfully, the drizzle has finally let up. I can't remember the name of the bar we ended up at! It was fun with two levels. We almost went into this place next door called... Poets Corner? Poet Laureate? Something about literature. Before we know it though, it's time to catch the bus back before it stops running and start packing for Amsterdam. We're planning to leave our large bags at the airport, so stuffing all essentials into our carry on's is a chore. I'm starting to run low on funds.

I've eaten cole slaw at almost every meal in Ireland. People seem obsessed with it. Is this a new transport from abroad? I was even asked if I already knew I liked it before they would serve it to me. So cute. "Honey, I'm from Texas. We eat this by the bucket full!" For the most part, cole slaw here has a lot of mayonnaise. It was nice at first, I'm not used to real mayo, but eventually I just wanted to drain out much of it. A soft hand in cole slaw is often best I think. I've also lost count on the number of eggs I've eaten. Every breakfast and then on accident other times (stupid yummy quiche). If I never see another egg....

Next: This is the end or Hello Amsterdam!

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