Friday July 1
Did you know that I have never been on a legitimate train before? One that is used for actual, long distance travel and not just to get around a zoo or amusement park of some sort. (Or, if I ever was, I was far too little to actually remember anything of it. So I'm going to say that I've never traveled on a train.)
After a 3 and a half hour bus ride from Derry to Dublin, I boarded a train to Cork. Here is the train station. In the distance, down the little walkway on the right, is where my toe was broken. I'll just explain this. So, I've never been on a train. I got in the door and went "Wow. Where do I put my luggage." So I asked some kindly looking lady, who told me to follow her and she exited the door I came through to go through the far door of the carriage. So I backed up out of the door, but on my way down I bumped into someone. Lost hold of my luggage, which I was pulling out of the train and the step was two feet up. So the luggage, all 40 or so pounds of it, came falling those two feet to land on my pinky toe. Not only did the luggage land on my toe, but the wheel is what smashed that toe. Then there was pain. And I made a horrible face, the lady leading me was a bit freaked out and I limped behind her. Thanked her for showing me where big luggage goes, got to my seat, and sat. I could feel my foot swelling inside of my slightly restrictive boots, but then it went numb. Which was appreciated. By the end of the 2.5 hour train ride it wasn't numb anymore. Got a taxi, went to the Gresham, checked in, called people, then took about a two hour bubble bath. It was great.
Saturday July 2
I slept in! Got up at 11am, decided it would be a good day to spend at Cobh. Took a train from Cork to Cobh, walked along the beach while eating an ice cream, saw the monuments to the Titanic and Lusitania, and walked past a booth for a ferry ride to tour Spike Island. It was leaving in 6 minutes, and I decided, "Why not?" I bought a ticket and went over to the island.
There's an image of the island where I spent much of my day, but the image is of when I was leaving it. Spike Island is really very interesting, and has a great history in religion, naval, and detainment. Plus the star shaped fort on it is pretty cool. However, I don't feel like waxing poetic about this historical place (The Hill of Tara post was enough waxing poetics for a bit) so you could always look it up if you want to.
Ate dinner at a small restaurant right on the coast. I got a bit sun burnt and realized that walking tours are not the friend of your broken toe. Oh well.
Sunday July 3
Despite what the cab driver told me, I did go to Blarney estate. I'm a tourist. I had to go to Blarney. Went there and explored the castle, and kissed the Blarney stone. The kind old man I asked to take a photo for me was a bit late getting it done (but the people running the kissing thing are very rushed people, you have barely any time anyway) but here is a photo of me as I got back up from leaning back to kiss the stone.
I do have many other pictures of the castle and estate, but I don't feel like uploading them all.
After the castle I walked the grounds, including the Poison Garden. I noticed, belatedly, one of the plants they had fenced in was poison ivy. I was not amused.
Most of the other plants were all poisonous or used before in potions and have theoretical magical properties, which were all listed.
I closed my eyes and walked up then back down the wishing steps while thinking only of a wish I would like to come true in the next year. Then, today (the 7th of July) I realized I did it in the wrong order. The plaque had said to walk down then up the steps. I hope that doesn't adversely affect my wish.
Then I ended my trip to Blarney by chilling out in the Druid's Cave.
Also? It was now Sunday night at midnight and my toe was still swollen to twice the usual size and the bruises were a nice black color.
Monday, July 4
Happy Birthday to America!
I spent the birthday traveling. Got to Galway, met up at an American 50s Styled diner. Walked around the city.
Tuesday, July 5
Um. In class we met with Mary O'Malley. That was neat. Walked around the city some more.
Wednesday, July 6
Met with Thomas Conway, the literary manager of the Druid Theater Company. That was great, and he had some very interesting insights into Synge. The rest of the day I finished my final paper. Go me.
It's strange, since it seems like I've done so much less here than in the other places, but Galway is my favorite place out of everywhere we stayed, even despite the prison-esque lodging. (Really. Ask me about it later. I'll tell you all about them.)
Today: Thursday, July 7
We went to Inishmor, one of the Aran Islands. Expect a much more detailed post about this tomorrow, because today was awesome, but it's 11:45pm and I have class at 8:30am so need to do more productive things. I'll leave you with these photos: