‘’Goodbye Slovenia,’’ I thought to myself as I felt the plane take off, the houses and trees getting smaller and smaller through the window. The connected flight to Frankfurt wasn’t very long, mind you. Only two turbulences later, and I was already at the Frankfurt Airport, waiting for the next plane to Dublin, which proved to be easier said than done as a plane in front of our plane had broken down and could not be removed from the landing strip, so all the passengers and the crew had to patiently wait in the plane headed to Dublin for an hour. If this had gone on for another half an hour, we would have been stranded in Frankfurt as the airport closes down at 11 pm.
Luckily, the guys at the Frankfurt airport managed to remove the broken down plane from the landing strip, so we were free to fly off to Dublin. Two hours later, I was roaming like a lost little lamb around the Dublin airport, looking for a shuttle to Cork. Turns out that due to the plane delay, I had missed it and had to wait until 12.30 am for the very last shuttle to Cork, which was one more hour of waiting. It felt more like five! I just collapsed into the nearest chair and waited patiently, caught somewhere between sleep and awake.
And one hour later, I was in the bus to Cork, sound asleep. Three more hours later, I was in the middle of Cork which at 4 am, was completely abandoned. I guess all those rumors about the Irish being party animals weren’t so true after all. I was half expecting the streets to be swarmed with drunk university students, or people undertaking the walk of shame or… something.
Instead, the streets were eerily quiet and so was the hostel I was staying at. I basically just collapsed into my new bed and got high quality sleep for good four hours.
After that, I couldn’t sleep anymore, as the hostel guests had slammed the doors of their rooms so many times it would take a miracle to fall asleep again.
Oh well, I was ready for Cork, anyway, but first – I had to find some grub. Luckily, right next to my hostel, there was a really cute café called the Buttercup, so I ordered a huuuuge sandwich and a huuuuge cup of Americano and I was good to go.
With no particular plan in my mind, just sheer curiosity, my first stop was the Cork Opera, just for the fun of it. Turns out, there was an opening night that very evening for the Hairspray Musical, so the tickets were cheaper. Did I get them? You bet!
After that, I was roaming the streets of Cork, just like that, stopping at whatever I found interesting, and that’s how I came across the Kilkenny Shop, which held the latest collection of Orla Kiely bags. If you’re ever in Ireland, make sure you treat yourself to an Orla Kiely bag, they are a bit pricy, but well worth the purchase as they are very high quality. I purchased an Orla Kiely backpack mostly due to the practicality factor: I realized that the backpack I had brought with me was way too big and clunky to take on sightseeing. And I really, really liked the new backpack! J Besides, most of the women in Ireland have at least one Orla Kiely bag, so you know… when in Rome… J
The streets of Cork were lively with people, the weather was sunny (!) which was kind of amazing, considering the fact that it’s Ireland! I fell in love with the cute Irish houses, the old streets with pubs, and the relaxed city atmosphere and after a while, I felt right at home in Cork. Just one of the locals.
The River Lee
An Old Sweet Shoppe:)
A Detail on My Way to the Black Rock Castle
The Wall with the Famous Irishmen Graffiti
Then, I had to sit down again, as I had slept for only four hours that night and I needed a new dose of coffee. And that’s how I discovered the Butler Café. They seriously have the best coffee there and the best bit is that is comes with a complementary chocolate! I chose the caramel and salt one, which was a total win! However, the coffee in Ireland in much, much more expensive than in Slovenia. In Ljubljana, which is the capital, a cup of cappuccino costs around 1.50, in Ireland it cost 3.00, so circa 50% more. But on the other hand, everything in Ireland is more expensive than in Slovenia. The food, the drinks, the hostels, you name it.
In the evening, I went to the Hairspray opening night, which was amazing. Mind you, I was a bit worried about the dress code, as in Slovenia and Austria, where I had also lived, there is a strict dress code in the Opera, which means no jeans, no open toe sandals, everybody is really dressed up and then we watch the show in reverend silence, occasionally clapping, even if the show happens to suck. So, I got dressed in the only nice dress I had brought with me, just in case I went somewhere fancy. Turns out, I really needn’t have bothered.
Boy, was I in for a surprise when I got to the Cork Opera. Not only did everybody wear jeans, the Opera was providing snacks, SNACKS, such as ice-cream and popcorn, and other junk food that the Corkonians were happily munching down in large quantities during the performance, as if being in the cinema.
All of this was taking place in the Opera.
In the friggin’ Opera!
This would never happen in Slovenia; the Opera is practically sacred here! The same goes for theater. Can you imagine an actor in the middle of the ‘’to be or not to be’’ monologue and there’s crunching and munching coming from the third row? My point, exactly!
It was an amazing performance though, and I had such a ball!
I feel asleep with ‘’Good morning, Baltimore’’ stuck in my ear.
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