Part of my blog was inspired by lots of travel blogs I began to read last year, including the sassy as ever Liz from Young Adventuress. Since I embark on my study abroad adventure next month I thought I would share a little snippet from a short trip I took at the beginning of this year. In all honesty it marked a new beginning for me. It was a milestone in my independence and a trip that really pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged in preparation for things to come. Now, there is a little bit of a back story so grab a cuppa while you have the chance. Don’t say I didn’t worn you…
So when I moved into my flat at university last year I met an Aussie girl who I accidentally christened by the name of Sydney. Nope, she’s not even from Sydney if that’s what your thinking. It was hilarious and something so stupid that only I could ever have said. But unfortunately for her, it stuck. (I’m pretty sure she hated me for it for a while ha). Anyway, somewhere along the line we got chatting about Ireland. How she had relatives near Dublin, how my Nan and Grandad were Irish, born in County Cork and so on. So we decided to go and take a break over there in the new year as I’d always wanted to visit where my Grandparents had lived.
At this point I didn’t even own a passport since I hadn’t left the country since 2007. After I’d filled in the forms and sent off for it, we booked our flights and hostels and train tickets from Cork to Dublin. January rolled around and eventually we made it through security (which was not as bad as I imagined in my head) and boarded our flight from Liverpool to Cork. Poor Sydney did her best to distract me when the plane took off but still I had a little silent cry. Partly through nerves and partly because I couldn’t believe I was brave enough to get on the plane in the first place! I remember looking out the window and the lights looking so pretty in the winter darkness. My sister actually bought me a travel scrapbook from Paperchase and so I kept all the tickets and so on as souvenirs. I’m quite a nostalgic person so I thought this would be nice to keep.
Cork City had such an atmosphere about it that I can’t really explain. It was much edgier than Dublin I thought. The photographs in my scrapbook below were from Blarney Castle, a scenic and historic attraction that we wandered around.
And we kissed the famous stone which I must warn you *SPOILER ALERT*, you need to be flexible for. You sit down and bend backwards, hold onto the rail and kiss the stone at the bottom of the wall. Hygiene definitely crossed by OCD mind. But hey, Winston Churchill did it.
After Blarney we decided toambitiously walk from Cork City bus station, up many a hill to Cork Gaol. Which, typically was closed to public that day. The lady was really nice though and quickly let us pop into the front part of the Gaol and have a nose. It seemed pretty creepy, I’d love to go back and maybe see if they do a night time Ghost tour!
Sadly, I never got to go and visit the town and house where my Nana lived as it is quite rural/difficult to get to without a car. We did pass through Mallow on the train to Dublin though so I had a little moment. I’m glad I went to Cork, I’m only sorry I never got the chance to go with my Grandparents. They never did go back to visit after they moved to England. Probably because they had my Dad and five other children to look after haha!
That’s it for part 1 of my Ireland adventures…
Have you ever been to Cork? Or are you from Cork?!