Cork to Dublin – Day 3
Note to self, always purchase tickets the night before you intend to go somewhere. Online purchases get on the bus first. Say it with me again, online purchases get on the bus first.
So, check out is at 10:30, the first bus to Cork is at 11:00. We crush through breakfast after a very “Meh” sleep. Slowly the line behind us at the Westmorland Street bus stop grows and silently I think we’re all congratulating ourselves on how early we are.
Then the bus arrives.
“First, all online ticket purchases.”
My heart sinks.
“Next, all who were given tickets by the last driver due to no room.”
Turn out my heart can sink upwards into my throat. Who knew.
“Next, all others.”
Last 3 seats, boom, we win. John said it best the night before. “We may as well get there for the one before we want just in case we can make it.”
We did. Somehow.
The bus ride to Cork itself is uneventful, which is exactly what you want. The bus driver, who will never see this, was amazing. To the tune of if you want the perfect example of someone doing their job at 100%, this was it.
Slowly we pass the final toll and start pulling into the city. I’m seated to the left side of the bus and get the river/coastal entrance side of the city. We pass an amazing castle ruins as we pull in and it’s strange to have something I have absolutely no connection with make me smile in amazing wonder.
Our hotel is about 150 metres from the bus stop (The Internet told me that, that’s not part of my impeccable sense of direction). Checking in was a group wide breath of fresh air. The last hostel was good, but it has nothing on an actual hotel. There’s a bathroom in our room, I’ll leave it at that.
It’s nothing more than a “look how awesome our room is!” before we’re out the door and exploring Cork. I can’t say enough about the sheer beauty of this little city. We round a corner from the riverfront and enter into this astoundingly beautiful pedestrian area. Full on pedestrian shopping. We wander through, and while passing a side alley decide random alleys are our best bet. As a side note side streets are great for finding the best pubs off the beaten path, although I’ll concede that side streets can also seem like a weird, unsafe suggestion.
While randomly walking we find a couple of little coffee joints stuck in the middle of these pedestrian walk ways that are just fantastic. We found a “Three Fools Coffee” that almost screamed for a picture.
Also, side note of internal clarity: Liz is the photographizer. You are not. It’s apparent, we’ve all seen it. You just have longer arms.
We continue our wandering meandering through a nice little park, with 2 guys feeding about 50 pigeons, which is amazing, hilarious, and mildly frightening. Coming out of the park we decide one thing: we should find a place for a bite to eat since it’s now the middle of the afternoon.
Hitting a stop light Liz decides to let fate determine our path. First walk sign is our direction. Both walk signals go at once, but Liz had already decided left is our path, so onwards!
Around the corner, across from the courthouse, Liz finds the amazing hole in the wall pub. We stepped in to see if they were open (you really couldn’t tell from the outside, it kinda looked like they were in between breakfast and dinner service) and they were, kinda.
We stopped in for a quick soup and sandwich combo, and stayed for the entire afternoon. Liz pointed out that our server (who was great) looked like he was straight out of a sitcom and that stuck with us the entire time. When we decided to move from mid afternoon coffees to mid afternoon beers he told Liz all about this amazing Franciscan Well Rebel Red, a beer she had on our first night, which it turns out they didn’t serve at the pub and further fed into Liz’s view of him as a sitcom character.
All in, the soup and sandwich was amazing. I had the Spicy Crab, I think the pub was the James Street…something, Liz drew a picture of it while we were there. The picture is amazing.
Secondary side note for internal clarity: Compliment your wife on those sketches more. If you spent 1000 hours at it you’d still pale in comparison.
While Liz was sketching John and I spent the afternoon watching and deciphering the rules of Gaelic Football. It was Dublin versus Kerry in the Semis, winner going to the All-Ireland finals versus Mayo.
For quick reference: It looks like you have to dribble once ever 5 steps. Through the uprights is 1 point, by the keeper is 3 points. Getting crushed is a regular occurrence.
Dublin wins with no time left. It was amazing to watch. I know I didn’t spend much time on it but it was so much fun to just sit and read the newspaper while watching the game.
After that it was back to the hotel, after some wandering, to just relax a little and give the (stinky) feet a temporary rest.
Our lazy night turned into 4 hours of drinking at the hotel bar.
Like responsible adults.
I guess this is the best way to end day three because technically it also goes into day four. Since I’m writing this I can tell you that day four starts with someone having a headache, but I won’t spoil the reveal just yet!