Cork is the second largest City in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region.
We spend 3 nights there in the Bru Bar hostel. As the name says it’s a hostel and a bar.
It wasn’t to noisy so we didn’t have problems with sleeping.
Also you get a discount in the bar if you stay in the hostel.
Only thing that wasn’t so good for me was the room. We were in the 6 dorm room and it was very small.
No place for nothing and too close to the other bed.
But I have looked at they web page recently and they made some changes
and one of the changes was taking 2 beds from some 6 dorm rooms (probably the one we were in) 😉
because they had some complaints about the size of the room.
That is good news, because the hostel is really OK and it’s close to the center and to the bus station.
We got settled in our room and went to the city.
When we got to Cork we found the Tourist Office and went there to ask for the direction to the hostel.
The girl working there was just explaining to a guy that came before us what to see in Cork
and that she lives near St. Anne’s Church, where you can ring the world-famous Shandon Bells.
She said that everybody do that and how the bells ring all day long so it isn’t nice to live so close to the Church like she does.
So we went to see the Church, but we didn’t ring the bell, the bells were ringing anyway 🙂 .
The entrance to the Church is free, but if you want to ring the bell it will cost you 5 €.
After that we took a walk to the Elizabeth Fort. It was built as a defensive fortification on high-ground outside the city walls.
Then we got back to the center and found an English market.
We went to see it and after that went to get something for dinner.
We went to the Cliffs of Moher with Galway tour company. It was the whole day tour.
First we took a ride through Burren. Burren is a national park.
There we visited the Poulnabrone dolmen – a portal tomb.
We were driving through beautiful nature. Some places looked like you are on another planet.
We stopped in Doolin to have a lunch. We did that in O’Connors pub.
I really liked Doolin. It’s a cute little village. If I ever go back to Ireland (and I hope I will) I will definitely stay there for a few days.
You can walk from Doolin to the Cliffs. If you like walking like I do, because it takes about 1,5-2 hours.
I know that to some people 20 minute walk is too long.
When I was in Liverpool and I asked for direction, a girl told me to take a taxi because it is very far. When I asked how far, she said 30 min.
I walked 🙂
After lunch and some photos we went to the Cliffs of Moher.
The cliffs are among the top visited tourist sites in Ireland and receive almost one million visitors a year.
The cliffs have appeared in several films like Harry Potter and Leap Year.
The highest point of the Cliffs is 214 m high.
They are beautiful. I’m just sorry that we didn’t spend as much time as would like there.
So if you like the nature and want to spend more than 1-2 hours there you can take the bus.
Bus Eireann operates up to 5 services a day in the summer each way every day between Ennis and Galway.
We enjoyed our time there and made lots of photos.
We got back to Galway around 7 PM and went again to McDonagh’s for a dinner. My husband tried the haggis.
I took some from him, but it’s not really my kind of food.
Although it is similar to something we eat in my country. I had some salmon.
We went for a pint of Guinness and then to bed.
We were very happy to see that we have some new roommates, 4 French girls.
And they were quiet so we all had a good night sleep . 🙂
That was our last night in Galway.
I’m sitting in the bus heading west to Galway – my next destination.
You have to love Irish buses. They have WiFi and electrical plugs so you can charge your phone.
That was very convenient so I send some e-mails to my friends and family. With beautiful pictures of Ireland.
We switched buses in Dublin and we got in Galway around 3 P.M.
We had reservation in Barnacles hostel which is in the city center. It was a 8-dorm room,
en-suite , very big and clean. I was very satisfied with the room.
With roommates not so much. First night we were in the room with 3 guys and 1 girl.
Two of the guys were twins, and the other two were a couple.
They came few minutes after us so we talked a little and then went our separate ways.
We took a map of the city on the reception and went for a walk around the city.
We visited the Galway Cathedral – Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas.
It’s a Roman – Catholic Cathedral and one of the largest buildings in the City.
After we just walked around city center until we got hungry. So we went to Mc Donagh’s for some fish&chips.
This restaurant is always full of people and it’s hard to get a seat. We got a fresh fish and very good chips.
After our meal we were thirsty so we went back to the city to find a pub which we passed by and my husband liked.
The pub is called Sally Long’s. If you like Hard Rock then you will love Sally Long’s. It’s very nice pub, playing rock and hard rock music.
We met some locals there, even the cousin of Gary Moore. We talked about our trip in Ireland and where we are going next.
And I realized that I was pronouncing the name of one city that we are visiting next wrong.
We laughed because Brigh – the girl we met didn’t understand which city that is.
So we had some beer, tried some new raspberry cider and then went back to hostel to get some sleep.
When we got to our room it was empty.
Just when we fell asleep the door opens and one of the twins drunk as hell comes in and start shouting – “No one is in the room, where are they?” (thinking of the friends he came with).
Then he shuts the door and goes away.
About hour later there comes the couple. Girl was OK, guy drunk and boring.
They went on and on about one hour – He telling her that he want’s to sleep in her bad ( he went from his to her bed and fell once on the floor)
and she telling him to be quiet and to go to his bed. As they finally went to sleep the twins returned to the room.
I really don’t know when we fall asleep.
And we had to get up at 8 A.M. because we were going to Cliffs of Moher.
If I had to pick Top 10 places to visit in Norther Ireland, Giant’s Causeway would definitely be first on my list.
There are people who think that causeway is beautiful and there are others who think that they are just rocks.
The day we went to our trip to Giant’s Causeway was one of the best days I have spent in Ireland.
Again it was the free tour that we got from the hostel.
We got on the bus at 8 A.M. Our driver/guide name was Troy.
We had another pleasure of having a very funny driver, but in Ireland they mostly are great and funny.
First we went to Derry.
There we went on a tour around the city with a very nice man from Derry who told us everything about the history of the city, about Bloody Sunday and showed us the murals with explanation for every one we saw.
It was both interesting and sad at the same time.
After our tour around Derry we were on our way to Giant’s Causeway.
It started raining pretty hard, so when we got there we decided to have lunch first. I really wanted to try Irish coffee so I ordered one.
Troy saw what I ordered and then he came to our table and said: Good choice!
We ordered Irish stew and some sandwiches for lunch.
After lunch we put our rain coats and we headed down to causeway.
You can go down with a bus or you can walk. It takes you 15-20 minutes to get down by foot.
Although it was pouring rain we went for a walk. It was great.
We were stepping on the stones, taking photos and enjoyed the rain. The causeway is really beautiful.
There is of course a legend about the stones. It’s about giants.
One was Irish and his name was Finn and the other was from Scotland and his name was Benandonner.
Benandonner challenged Finn to a fight (some say he wanted his wife).
Finn built a causeway across North Channel so they could meet.
But when he saw how big Benandonner is he got scared and he hide.
When Benandonner came to fight him, Finn’s wife Oonagh disguised Finn as her baby.
When Benandonner saw the baby he got scared that Finn must be huge when his baby so big is.
So he run back to Scotland and destroys the causeway so Finn couldn’t follow him.
There are identical columns in Scotland on the Isle of Staffa.
There are some other legends, but I liked this one.
We went back to the restaurant to warm up a little and get dry so we decided to get a drink.
When we first got to Ireland my husband tried their cider and really liked it so he ordered Bulmers and I ordered Guinness.
And there comes Troy again. He saw what we were drinking so he started to explain to us how in Ireland girls drink the cider and boys drink the beer. We laughed.
Before we went back to bus, my husband said that we could try a Northern whiskey while we are here so we ordered a Bushmills – one to share.
And just when I took the glass there comes Troy and says: Oh my God! Whiskey? I’m not gonna carry you to the bus!
And then my husband said to him: Don’t worry, she can take it, she’s Croatian.
And so we laughed again 🙂
Belfast, here we come!
We checked out of our hostel in Dublin and went to the bus station to catch the bus for Belfast.
We got to Belfast around 1 PM and went for a search for our hostel.
We found the street where it should be but couldn’t find the building. So we waited for someone to pass by so we can ask for the direction.
Finally after few minutes we found someone who knew where is the hostel.
They didn’t have any sign on the building and no number. No indication that could be the hostel.
We checked in .
Again we stayed in Paddy’s hostel for the free one day tour to Giant’s Causeway.
Hostel wasn’t in very good condition and our room was pretty bad, but I heard that they recently renovated so I hope that now is much better.
We were there for only 2 night’s so I survived 😉
We were in 6 dorm room, we left our luggage there and went to the City.
We took a walk to the Belfast City Hall, it is located in Donegall Square.
It is a very beautiful building and the grounds of City Hall are popular for relaxation during the summer.
So we also sit down for a little and relaxed and enjoyed the great sunny weather (which is rareness in Ireland).
After a while we went to see some murals. Murals have become symbols of Northern Ireland.
Belfast and Derry contains the most famous political murals in the country.
They have been painted throughout the last century and display all important historic as well as political developments.
Then we went to the Botanic gardens. They are located on Stranmillis Road in Queen’s Quarter near the Queen’s University.
Before getting back to the hostel we went to the pub and had a beer 😉
Glendalough, Wicklow and Kilkenny tour
On our third day we waked up at 7:30 AM and went to our hostels common room
to meet with all those who went to a one day tour.
It was the free tour that we got from the hostel for staying there more than 2 nights.
The tour was to Glendalough, Wicklow mountains and Kilkenny.
Our driver/guide picked us up at 8:00 AM. His name was J.J.
He was very friendly and very funny and he made this trip interesting.
When we got in the bus it rained heavily and J.J. told us not to worry
because we gonna have a great time
and that rain in Ireland only falls on Monday and Tuesday. Of course on Wednesday .
Also on Thursday and Friday. Almost always on Saturday. And of course on Sunday too. 🙂
Our first destination was Glendalough. We visited the Cemetery and the Saint Kevin’s Church.
We took some pictures of The Round Tower and we walked to the lake.
After the tour, we continued driving towards Kilkenny through the beautiful Wicklow.
We stopped on the way to see the Brownshill Dolmen, a megalithic portal tomb.
It has the reputation to be the heaviest in Europe. The tomb is a National Monument.
Rain stopped and we were on our way to Kilkenny.
In the bus, J.J. told us some jokes. Like, did you know what GOLF means?
Gentleman’s Only Ladies Forbbiden
Also he told us the story when he went with his family to Spain for a vacation
and he wanted to teach his kids some Spanish. At least how to say Thank you!
So he explained to them that the best way to remember it is to remember
when they sit on the wet grass they get a grassy ass and that is Thank you in Spain – Gracias.
He was hilarious. We laughed the hole time on the bus.
When we got in Kilkenny the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day,
lots of people walking around or sitting on the grass.
First we went to see the Kilkenny Castle, it is really beautiful. Big gray Castle surrounded with beautiful green grass.
So we sat little on the grass trying to get a grassy ass 😉
After that we got some sandwiches and went to the pub to have a pint of Kilkenny of course.
That was all for the day, we got on the bus and with J.J. singing to us we were on our way back to Dublin…
We got up around 9 AM and went to the City.
We’ve bought us some sandwiches for breakfast and went to our first destination for today: Jameson distillery.
We bought the tickets for the tour online on they website: www.jamesonwhiskey.com
The tour started with a short film and our tour guide James asked for volunteers for Whiskey tasting at the end of the tour.
My husband applied and I’m a little sorry I didn’t too.
Then James took us through factory showing us how the whiskey is made and making us laugh. He explained everything and we had good time.
At the end of the tour we got to choose a drink: pure whiskey, whiskey with cola, ginger or cranberry juice.
I took Jameson with cranberry juice, it was very good.
Then all the volunteers had the whiskey tasting and we were watching.
They got 3 whiskeys in little transparent glasses and they had to try one by one and try to guess what they drink and tell how was it.
They were tasting Johnny Walker, Jack Daniels and Jameson. It was interesting and very funny.
They all received diplomas . My husband is now certified Whiskey taster 🙂 It is a nice souvenir.
After spending a morning in Jameson, we went to the Trinity college.
We took a tour around college with a student and after that went to visit the Library and see the Book of Kells.
After that we got something to eat and went back to the hostel.
Behind our hostel was the bus station so we went there to check when we have bus to Belfast and maybe buy tickets.
That was interesting because when you have to buy bus tickets in my country, usually you have to do it few days before you travel.
Especially if you travel in summer.
When we got to the bus station in Dublin it sounded something like that:
Me: Hello, can you help me, please?
Guy: Yes, what do you need?
Me: I would like to buy bus tickets to Belfast
Guy: When do you want to go?
Me: Tuesday, 1 PM
Guy: Today is Sunday
Me: OK, I want to go to Belfast at Tuesday, 1 PM
Guy: Then you come at Tuesday and buy tickets then
Me: But, what if they sell all the tickets for 1 PM?
Guy: Then you buy tickets for 2 PM, or 3 PM, or 4 PM, you have buses every hour for Belfast
Me: Great, thank you!
Guy: You are welcome!
And we bought our tickets at Tuesday. At 1 PM we were on the bus to Belfast. 🙂
We got in Dublin at 1 PM and when we took our luggage we went to the parking near the airport.
At 2 pm there came the Van of our hostel that took us to the hostel. We took a 6 dorm room in Paddy’s Palace for 3 nights.
We took this Hostel because they had (I don’t know if they still do) great offer that if you stay in theirs hostels in Dublin or Belfast for at least 2 nights,
you get a one day tour with their travel agency for free. And they also have free transfer from and to Airport.
That was for me the first time to stay in the hostel.
When we got in our room there was only one guy there from Texas.
It was little weird to sleep with someone else in the room that you don’t know but after a while I got used to it.
Next day came two girls from Germany to our room, and the last night we were alone in the room.
Hostel was ok, not very fancy, but it was pretty clean, we had shared bathroom, there were 2 on our floor and there was no crowd.
Also it was very cheap so I don’t have any complaints on the hostel.
Breakfast was included in price (typical hostel breakfast – toast, tea, butter, jam…)
We left our things in the room, took our camera and went for a walk in the city.
We just wandered around the center for a while and then decided to go for a beer.
Our first beer in Dublin was of course Guinness and we had it in Temple bar in Farringtons pub.
After enjoying the cold pint we went for a walk a little more.
Then I needed to go to bathroom so we got in the next pub, for another beer 😉
There were two guys just preparing to start the gig so we decided to wait and enjoy the music for some time.
There were really great, playing and singing good old songs.
Our best friend has a friend that lives in Dublin, so we decided to meet her for a drink.
She called us when we were in the pub so we told here that we are in Peadar’s Kearneys pub.
She came with her friend from Israel so we had another drink with them and then she wanted to take us in her favorite pub.
So we went to Porterhouse. We talked, enjoyed the music and drink beers of course . It was around 1 AM when we went back to the hostel.
Our friend point us where to go and we went, and we got a little lost.
We have not turned in the right street so we walked by the river hoping to find someone to help us.
After a while there were two guys walking toward us so we asked them for the direction but it didn’t help us much,
then we asked another person and still didn’t find the hostel.
After some time we did find it, we were around it all the time, very close.
I believe we had too much beers that evening . 🙂
We got to our room and went to sleep. That was our first day in Dublin.