Monday, August 31, 2009

"Explorking" Cork

Crampton & Edwards rock the 80’s on church bells…

We only have one day in Cork, so we made the most of it. Cork is a lovely city, situated between two splits of the River Lee and, once again, has many pubs, cathedrals and great people. We caught a shuttle from the airport to the Grand Parade (for those of you familiar with the area) and walked to the English Market where vendors pedal fresh meats, produce and other local goods (definitely stop at The Sandwich Stall – I had a wonderful smoked chicken, brie, red onion and cranberry sauce baguette).

We "explorked" (a term I engineered to describe exploring Cork) for most of the day, visiting the beautiful cathedrals around the city. The most memorable was St. Anne’s cathedral; not because of its beauty, but because we paid 5 Euro to climb the bell tower and play our own concert for Cork City on the church bells.

The set list:

  1. The Final Countdown – Europe
  2. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Jefferson Starship
  3. Waltzing Matilda
  4. National Welsh Hymn
  5. Amazing Grace

Afterwards, we climbed to the top (see title photo), enjoyed the 360 views of the city and continued on. Our next goal, which would prove very difficult, was to find affordable food that we could all agree on. We spent the next two and a half hours "explorking" for somewhere to eat. All I wanted was a mince meat pie (which I later got from good ol’ Centra), but we ended up at some Chinese restaurant because they had an “everning” special.

UBERFAIL. Not only was it expensive, but we waited over an hour to get our food – and we were the only ones there. Who’s idea was that anyway?? (Crampton.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Travel mishaps...

We arrived in Dublin without our baggage. But at least we got to sprint through Chicago O’Hare like we were the McCallisters. Oh well.

Our first stop of the trip is Dublin, Ireland; to paraphrase Dumb and Dumber, Dublin is a land where people instinctively flock to the pubs like the salmon of Capestrano. It's a very beautiful place sitting on the River Liffey with a long history, beautiful churches and great people.

We kicked off our first day in Europe by walking all over Dublin. We started in from our base camp at Barnacles Hostel in the Temple Bar area and visited (unfortunately, I lost all of my pictures from the first two days):

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A train fight in Dublin...

During our stay in Dublin, we enjoyed some good craic in the pubs, often during a "trad session" of traditional Irish folk music. Wikipedia defines this Irish term as "fun, enjoyment, abandonment or lighthearted mischief; often in the context of drinking or music."

On one such occasion, we had taken the train to the nearby area of Malahide, a small town featuring Malahide Castle, the place where the Talbot family had lived for 800 years until recently.

After stopping at the castle (just after it closed - we hopped a fence and explored for ourselves anyway...) we headed back into town in search of a bite to eat. Of course, we ended up at the pub - James Gibney and Sons. And, as it often happens in Ireland, though we intended to stay for a short meal, we ended up there for 5 hours enjoying the good craic, the football matches and meeting new friends. (Side story - Somehow, Ryan and I were set to face off to see who could finish a half-pint first. This ended very quickly as I won, but because Ryan couldn't get it down, he spit his drink all over my face, much to the amusement of everyone else in the pub...)

We left only to catch the last train for Dublin and met some new mates on the platform. Little did we know, the night was going to be more memorable than a simple train ride home. We hopped in the car with our new friends (see picture for a few of them) and a shady group of lads followed shortly after. Once the train got moving, the other fellows started an argument and before anyone knew what was going on fists were thrown, glass bottles were whizzing at people's heads and blood and liquids spew about. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured (Ryan took a full beer to the face) and the troublemakers were greeted by some large policemen at the next platform...We were assured that this was the first time they'd seen anything like this - What a welcome to Europe!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And so it begins...

The Beginning of a Great Adventure

Greetings and salutations dearest readers,

It's official - I'm addicted to traveling. In the past four years, I've traveled to Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and I've visited 33 of the states in America making the best memories of my life. Now I'm off to what could be my biggest adventure yet: Europe.

I'll be visiting from August to January (or longer..) while studying abroad at Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy. (I've packed my next six months into these two bags!)

Before that, I will be traveling for a few weeks throughout Ireland, Scotland, England and France. Please check back for updates and check out my facebook profile for pictures!


The Itinerary
  • August 18th-19th: Dublin, Ireland
  • August 20th: Cork, Ireland
  • August 21st-23rd: Dingle, Ireland
  • August 23rd-26th: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • August 27th-28th: Bath, England, Stonehenge & English Countryside
  • August 28th-30th: London, England
  • August 30th-September 2nd: Paris, France
  • September 2nd: Move to Florence!