Center city Cork shopping district

Blog for Friday Mar. 28th from Cork, Ireland – We were going to do the Hop on Hop Off tour of Cork today but our plans were thwarted…we went to the Paddywagon tours office and booked three day trip tours instead. So tomorrow we go to the Ring of Kerry which will take all day and they only go on the weekends.We understand the Ring of Kerry is an absolute must-do, extraordinary landscape photo ops. Tuesday we go to Blarney and Colb for about five hours and next Friday we go to the Dingle Peninsula. So since the Hop On/Off tour is for two consecutive days we will make it Sunday and Monday for that..Hope to rest on next Saturday and Sunday! Woody is a little better each day with the cold and cough. The rest of the day today we walked around center city Cork. There is a huge shopping district there. We stopped at McDonalds for lunch and a lady came to sit at our table and started talking to us. She was from a city at the end of a peninsula in West Cork which is fairly far away from Cork city. She started telling us how life was like in the old days. Her father was involved in the struggle against the British trying to take over Ireland. They came to the family home and took their father out and beat him severely and broke his legs. Her and the twelve other kids had to do a lot because the father was so sick after that. They used to have to use the peat bog to cook with and heat the house up. The whole history of Ireland is pretty tragic. We were in the library for awhile today and there were lots of books on the history of the Irish Revolution on 1916. A book by Patrick Pearse, (can’t remember the title) one of the leaders of the Revolution was very interesting. He wanted Ireland to be self ruling and the Gaelic language to be the primary language. He was executed for participating in the uprising. The rest of the day we spent exploring and taking photos. We did go through The English Market where there were all kinds of fresh food stands and little shops. It was fairly cold and rainy but we got through the day and were glad to get home to our warm apartment.
Peace and Love,
Norma and Woody

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Planning our out of town day trips

Blog from Cork, Ireland for March 27, 2014 – Woody was still not feeling well today so Norma went out after breakfast to get some groceries, cold Meds and tourist information. The day started off sunny and cool but by noon the clouds rolled in and soon the rain. Cork is an old city and not as big as Dublin. The river Lee runs through the city and our apartment is right on the river. The tourist information office is a few blocks away and they were quite helpful. We want to go to Waterford and Colb for day trips.In Waterford we plan on touring the Waterford Crystal plant. Colb was the last port that the Titanic sailed from. There is a Titanic museum there. The tourist office said we should also do the Ring of Kerry and The Dingle peninsula. Armed with all the brochures Norma returned to the apartment to plan with Woody the schedule for the next ten days here. We settled on alternating a day tour and an in-town tour for our entire stay.
Tomorrow we will do a hop on hop off tour of Cork and set up some of our day tours.
Peace and Love
Norma and Woody

Moving from Dublin to Cork, Ireland

March, 26, 2014 Moving from Dublin to Cork, Ireland – Our train ride to Cork was very nice although it was rocking side to side a bit. It took two and a half hours to get there. The Dublin train station is not very big so it’s easy to get to the right train. As we went south from Dublin we saw lots of green rolling hills and sheep farms. It was cloudy and a little rainy most of the way. There were also a lot of dairy farms which may be why Cork is famous for its butter production, there is even a butter museum in town. We passed through the city of Limerick which we would like to go back and explore. As we got closer to Cork, the sun came out from under the cloud cover as it was getting near sunset. The views from the train were spectacular. Cork’s train station is really tiny. We were hoping to find a restaurant there. We found only a coffee stand with sandwiches and a newspaper stand-type store so decided to get the sandwiches and eat before taking the taxi to our new digs.

Peace and love
Norma and Woody

Last day in Dublin, Ireland

Today we stayed home so Woody can nurse his new cold and cough. Our host Paul came in to say goodbye as we are leaving tomorrow. We were still having breakfast in our pj’s so we asked him to get with us later for photos. Norma went into Dublin to get some cough syrup, groceries and a refund on our bus cards. When she returned, our host Paul came in and we took photos with him and said our goodbyes. Tomorrow we move to Cork for eleven days. Packing tonight!

Peace and Love

Norma and Woody

Dublin City History

Blog from Dublin, Ireland for March 24, 2014 – Today’s weather was unbelievably windy. It was cold and rainy too. We thought about not going out but then braved it to go see the Dublin City Hall which is a museum. The building has been restored and is beautiful inside and out. We learned about the establishment of Dublin in medieval times, Georgian times and modern times. The monasteries were the first to be here then the Vikings. After that it gets complicated. We closed the place down as usual. Next we went looking for The Temple Bar. We thought we found it and went in for a late lunch. When we left and kept walking down the street we found the real Temple Bar. From there we caught the bus back home on this still rainy,chilly night.
Peace and Love,
Norma and Woody

Guinness St. James Gate Brewery Tour in Dublin, Ireland

Blog from Dublin for Mar. 23, 2014 – Today we toured the Guinness St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. It was quite an interesting and very educational place. Mr. Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on the property in 1759. We learned how their famous beer is made and we used many interactive displays to learn beer facts. They gave us a taste testing and taught us how to drink Guinness properly for the maximum enjoyment. At the end of it we went to the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor where we had a spectacular view of the city and took many photos. We had some more free Guinness while watching the sunset over the city. We left the building feeling pretty good and caught the bus back to center city for dinner.
Peace and Love,
Norma and Woody

Day trip to the Wicklow area south of Dublin

Mar. 22, 2014 Day Trip to the Wicklow area south of Dublin on Tour Bus – Our journey south of Dublin began early. We caught the 7:45 bus into town and had breakfast there to save time. The tour bus was a large Greyhound style bus. It was full but still comfortable. We drove through Dublin and all the while the driver was commentating on what we were seeing. We passed by the area where Bono (of U2) and actor Daniel Day Lewis live. It was a secluded area south of Dublin. The coast of Dublin came next and we stopped at the Blackpool area which is very scenic so we could take photos however the winds were very strong and cold so we did not get out. Along the rest of the way we stopped in a beautiful store/restaurant/garden center, a few mountaintop vistas, some valley towns, and a monastery (where Saint Kevin resided, in Glendalough). Our bus driver/tour guide served everyone shots of Jameson Whiskey (Ireland’s favorite whiskey) before we started our drive back to Dublin. The tour lasted all day so on the way back we were able to take a nap. We went to the 6 pm mass at the cathedral then caught the bus home. The temperature was 42 degrees, rainy and windy for our walk home! Glad to get in to the warm apartment.
Peace and Love,
Norma and Woody