Could it be that I would desire such an attribute?…maybe one that I have already been attested to possess? When conversing with a quad of Irish lads on Friday[the previous evening], the gift of gab according to their Guinness heads entails you’ll speak twice as fast as your normal speak with the ability to always engage in meaningful conversation; how do you obtain this magical gift you ask?
Before venturing to this Emerald Isle I currently reside on, the Blarney Castle was number one on my list of ‘must see’ sights knowing that those who kiss the infamous stone located somewhere within the Castle grounds receive this attribute; not much to lose except maybe a few friends if my voice speeds into an accelerated jumble of words and phrases.
Though I must mention despite my ample excitement to venture to this neck of County Cork, the luck of the Irish surely was in my vicinity on this particular day for I was fortunate to even have made it on the bus! Waking up to the voices of my flatmates at 8:45am, I stumbled out of bed and poked my head out of my room~”Give me two minutes!” Scrambling to slather some complexion onto my face with my trusty Clinique foundation, and quickly find a sweater, maxi skirt, and my rip-off Dr. Marten’s, I barely managed to place a tea bag in my Starbucks thermos and hastily walk out of Robin 59 to make the early 9:00am call time. Phew!
Once comfortably seated with our adopted roommate Cam on the transportation, my contagious wave of slumber fell over those on the moving vehicle attempting to catch some power before an anticipated long day.
First stop: Blarney Castle!…right? As I looked out into the chilled air, our massive bus had halted underneath a hammock of towering trees somewhere along the cement road. Following suit to everyone exiting their seats, I wearily swung my should bag over my shoulder and conformed to the rest of the group. While walking over a sparkling creek gently rushing in the opposite direction, a comforting arrow entered my line of vision.
Channeling my inner Scarecrow, we followed the directional arrow never imagining the sheer beauty this landscape would have to offer. As a proud photographer utilizing my iPhone 5 as the chosen documentation of the trip, we happily stumbled upon a Pride & Prejudice esk land not skimping on lush greenery, softly moving water beds, and blooming wild flowers(which mind you smelled unbelievably fragrant). Let’s take a break from these lengthy copies of text I seem to routinely provide you all with, and take a gander through my photos(tirelessly edited with the app Afterglow)
So unfortunately when you hand off your phone/camera to creatively lacking individuals, my head is cut off, a mammoth of sky takes over the photo, or I’m shot from an unattractive angle. Expecting the worst capture of my lip lock with the Blarney Stone, upon retrieving my device to discover my fate, I was subject to a video which actually only shows me about to kiss the stone[they stopped it upon realizing it wasn’t a still capture. Way to go.] In conclusion, I don’t have proof I actually submitted myself to this adventure, but I promise, it happened! In other news, this happened.
Following our exit down the turning stone stairs, our crew beelined toward the picturesque Gardens basking in the wispy coloring of the setting and accompanied weather.
I actually only made it to the beginning of the never ending acres, but when gazing across the moss covered tunnels, crunchy winter leaves scattered across the ground, and vintagally designed black benches, I couldn’t ignore my intense desire to do Tyra proud. Vogue my number is…
When venturing on these Saturday day-trip tours, we are a bit strapped for time and typically cannot indulge in every aspect of the sight, however if we had traveled further into the Garden, I’m sure we never would have made it to the next must see attractions planned for our pleasure. Not to mention upon noting the obnoxious growls from our stomachs, we all shared the same thought. LUNCH.
Participating in the ‘steal’ of the day, the bus dropped us off at a roadside restaurant providing our hungry mentalities with salvation. The choices were an Irish Beef Stew, a creamy Chicken pasta, or Fish & chips. Seeing that I am Pescatarian, guess this had to be the place where I would finally consume what everyone seems to rave about from every corner of Ireland.
Staring at this hefty plate of what my California washed brain finds inedible, my flatmate Yves had a few laughs as I tailored it to fit my taste. Removing the batter[I’m sure that is a sin somewhere], and discovering a few tubes of English style mustard, I drenched the fish expecting the comforting taste of Heinz mustard from this particular British style of the condiment. Let me tell you, this stuff has a bite to it akin to wasabi. Maybe not quite as spicy on the tongue, but when the flavor is hiked upwards into your nose, there is no one way back to a pleasant dining experience. Moving on to the fries on my plate, I regretfully ate almost every piece, not knowing when we would have another opportunity for food again.
Before leaving the restaurant to head in the direction of Cobn’s Harbour, a few of us ladies discovered the lengthy line of the restroom and figured since no men were in line for their specified WC, we could go ahead and use it. Sofia was the first to venture instead and my friend Niki and I embodied the tough persona of guards. Of course our friend Yhannes would want to come use the facilities, and after sharing a laugh when we wouldn’t let him in, he attempted to again proceed but without luck. No, but really, you can’t come in. Poor Yhannes. At least one of us was able to utilize it before more gents showed up.
Once on the road again, a food coma definitely resided in our bodies silencing the bus for the next half an hour. Only for so long could we keep our mouths shut, for when we entered the city of Cobn(pronounced Cove), a wave of air sailed through my gawking mouth at the wonderfully colorful and Euro style town. I think I will one day live here for a season.
Casually strolling the town, our nostrils picked up the sweet home style smells of warm pancakes and mapled french toast. Though the origin of these confections never was discovered, another sight just as grand fulfilled this void. St. Coleman’s cathedral sits above the entire town looking out over the habour which was the last port of call for the Titanic just over 100 years ago. Incredible architecture featuring ceilings touching the sky, stained glass windows on every wall, and intricate tile patterns beneath the rows of mahogany benches. I wouldn’t mind calling this cathedral my local hub for religious services.
To finalize our day around the County of Cork, we were dropped off at the heart of the city and given freedom to roam freely among the shops, and energy of the young population. Similar to the Limerick shopping district, several familiar clothing lines dotted the street intriguing our fancy, yet after shopping so often, dare I say it, I was shopped out. Without a featured ‘sight’ to really see, our group wandered around aimlessly while still enjoying the colorful city structures.
Sure it may have been a Saturday, but as the dimming clouds of night cascaded over the shutdown city(shops close incredibly early typically around 7:00pm) energy that had once bounded through our systems had taken a leave of absence. The leaned chairs on the bus home were calling our name as well as my bed. I guess the bustling night life flocking the rambunctious students of UL would have to go on without me; Sunday was fast approaching exploding my procrastination walls and entering with a pile of homework. Oh goody.