Tuesday, July 14, 2009

European Adventure, Part 2: Cork, Ireland

On our second night in Limerick, I was dosing off when the news came on the tv about Michael Jackson. I won't lie... I'm not really one of those people that's affected by celebrity deaths. Sure, it's sad, but I went to sleep and had forgotten about it when I woke up on Friday morning.

This didn't last long. The Irish are apparently big MJ fans, and we heard several MJ songs on the bus ride to Cork that morning. I didn't go a single day on the trip after this point without hearing several Michael Jackson songs. It was also all over all of their papers and magazines. I couldn't believe that "Man in the Mirror" went to the top of the UK charts in like two days time.

Once in Cork, we checked into the Kinlay House where we were staying. The room was small, but it was clean and plenty nice for just crashing in for two nights. We headed out to find some lunch at a local market before we started exploring Cork.

We flew through the first few things we had planned, but that wasn't intentional. We found the Christ Church of Cork... and it was not impressive like most Christ Churches tend to be. Then, we found the Beamish Brewery that we planned to tour, but it had been completely shut down.

Instead, we wandered through the city and checked out a free museum on the history of Cork. I'm not really a history person, so I didn't really retain much. However, the park surrounding the museum was absolutely gorgeous. We climbed up a hill past the park and found the old jail. I really enjoyed touring it, despite the cheesy wax figures throughout the jail. I can't imagine living there back in the early 1900's, but it was cool to see.

We also wandered around the campus of the University of Cork before finding some dinner and calling it a night.

On Saturday, we did a 10-mile long run... my first official long run of my Chicago marathon training cycle. It was fairly uneventful, but it was still kind of neat to be running around in Ireland.

We took a free bus from our hotel to the Blarney Castle. The castle itself was certainly the most impressive castle we saw in Ireland, but most of the floors and ceilings were gone. You had to kind of imagine what the rooms would have looked like back in the day. We worked our way to the top and kissed the Blarney Stone in the hopes of getting the "gift of gab." Feel free to just Google all of that if you're interested.

The grounds were super pretty, and after doing some exploring we took the bus back to our hotel. There was a street festival going on next to our hotel, so it seemed like the perfect spot to grab lunch. I totally ate a Nutella crepe for my lunch, justifying it by the fact that I ran 10 miles and then climbed 100 stairs to kiss a rock.

We checked out some of the entertainment, including the Lords of Strut. Basically, these 2 guys did a bunch of goofy acrobatic stuff for 30 minutes. I have to say, it was actually pretty entertaining.

We found the Cork Butter Museum nearby and decided to spend the 2 euros to check it out. Cork was apparently once the butter capital of Ireland. It was kind of interesting to tour.

It ended up that we had done everything we wanted to do in Cork by like 6pm, and most things other than pubs are closed by that time anyways. We ended up going to see The Hangover to pass some time and give our legs a break before grabbing some dinner and visiting a pub to round out our visit to Cork.

Here are a few of my favorite Cork pictures.

A river runs through Cork

Yummy quiche that I got for lunch at the English Market

The Beamish Brewery that ended up being closed

Pretty view from the park

Cork City Jail

Cork City Jail

University of Cork campus

In the middle of a 10-mile run

In front of Blarney Castle

Kissing the Blarney Stone

Lords of Strut at the street festival


d.a.r. said...

Fabulous pictures!!!

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Love the photos! Glad you had fun!

Nicole said...

LOVE the pics girl! :)