Thursday Jan 4, 2018, we’re on a bus headed to Cork. As has been typical with our Ireland trips we left the house in darkness and rain. This morning we walked to the Gallops LUAS stop near our house and road the LUAS to O’Connell street station in Dublin city center. From there we walked a few blocks to the bus depot and waited at terminal 16 for our bus. – Terminal 16 is outside of the station on the street, we played a guessing game trying to work out if this was our bus as each bus, stoped to drop people off then left.
We made it to the Bus station with 20 minutes to spare. We planned for more but missed the 7am LUAS from our house and had to wait 14 minutes. Maddex and I ran a few blocks to a Supervalue to pick up some snacks. The bus ride is three hours long and I figure the kids are going to need some food by the time we reach Cork. Almond bars, Hunky Dorys ,apples, and a club orange with real bits are what we came back with. Not the best, not the worst snack; should be enough to hold us over until we make it to Cork and find a proper lunch near our hotel.
We arrived at the Cork bus station around noon. The station is near the main shopping area, but we skipped shopping and walked 3k along the river to our hotel; It’s no fun exploring a city lugging around luggage. We checked into the hotel and dropped off all of our stuff then caught a bus back to the bus station to explore the nearby area. Front desk lad at the Clayton hotel told us to check out the English market in town; added to the list.
The small no car roads lined with shops we’ve found in the larger towns in Dublin are entertaining to explore. First stop, an impressive cooking shop were we picked up a unicorn cookie cutter. The cooking shop called the cook shop, is part a bigger food cooking supply company called Brennan & Co. The shop we visited claims to be the oldest in Ireland founded in 1872. After the cook shop, we wonder around more untill we found our English market. We walked the market and resisted buying sausages to eat. Instead we ended up at a donut shop called sticky fingers. The kids were amazing on the bus and walking around and needed a reward to encourage the good behavior
Mila and Khaleesi had strawberry creme filled donuts with marsh mellow snow men on top, Maddex has a 99 donut with vanilla creme, Roxi has a blue Cookie Monster donut with a cookie in the middle, Michelle has a yellow beauty and the beast donut with a bow on it, and I had a caramel creme donut with caramel topping. Oh ya Michelle had some coffee with her donut. After the donut we walked about some more then decided to takes Wes’s advice and check out the butter museum across the river.
Before the butter museum we stopped into a Dunes and bought Maddex some 4€ gloves. He left his gloves in the hotel thinking he would not need any; he was wrong. We found the Butter museum, but sadly it’s not open on week days during the winter months. It was next to the bells Michelle wanted to ring so we walked to the bells. We were not able to work out where to go to ring the bells, so we walked to a near by church and took their Self guided tour. By now Maddex needs a bathroom and Roxi needs a diaper change.
We high tailed it back to the shopping zone and hit up the toilets in a small mall around a Tesco. 20 cents needs to go into the door to unlock the bathrooms. I don’t have 20 cents with me. Lucikly someone came out of the wash room as I making sure we had to change. Made it in just in time for Maddex was now dancing. After the toilets we went to Tesco for food. Picked up cereal and fruits and yogurt. On the walk back to catch a bus home for the night we stopped in to chipper called Abbra Kebabra and picked up an order of chips to share and a doner kebab for me to eat later.
Back at the hotel around 6, it’s dark out and the kids are tired. We ate some dinner, yelled at the kids to be quite a bit then watched teen wolf on the surface. The tv was about 20″ square with no HDMI input and a slimy remote that did not work, so we watched it directly on the surface. Maddex enjoyed the movie. Not sure about the girls they could not sit still.
We bought enough food to have breakfast and a snack. However the hotel room did not have a fridge to keep our drinks and Milk cold. No worries dad has a plan. We put our milk and yogurt outside on the window ledge to stay cool over night. Smart thinking.
Day 2 castle
Across the river from our hotel is a castle we want to tour. The bridge we planned to walk across to get there is actually a tunnel and it does not allow foot traffic. To get to the castle we need to go back to town near the bus station, cross the river, then walk back along the river towards our hotel. Bummer. We’re going to take the train home, we hope to be able to stash luggage there while we make the walk to the castle – lots of walking today.
Maddex was up about 445 this morning. He and I laid in bed on our phones until about 6 when Roxi woke up. Then we all woke up and had some breakfast. The Tescos custard donuts were not all that great but the milk and yogurt were nice and cold in the window fridge over night. I’m updating here while everyone is getting dressed, and fedding their faces to be ready for the day. It’s 0730 now and the sun is not up yet. Should be up by the time we’re ready to go. The plan was to see a castle today, but by the time we checked out of the hotel and stashed some luggage at the train station we didn’t figure we had enough time.
While we were waiting for the sun to come out we explored the hotel grounds a bit. There’s a large convention center behind the hotel we toured. While we were exploring we chatted with the lead event planner and found out more about the hotel and event center and where they store the massive 8 foot tall Christmas statues.
From the hotel we walked along the loud busy road and the river for a half an hour untill we made it to the Train station. The Train station does not have a left luggage option. Unless that is you sweet talk the gal at the ticket counter who took Michelle’s backpack for her!. Occasionally it pays to have 4 kids and look disheveled and over encumbered. After the Train station we made the call to walk around town more and skip the Castle because we didn’t want to feel rushed.
By 10 o’clock it was about 3 degrees out and everyone was getting a bit chilled. To warm up we walked in and out of a few small malls, and a tourist shop. Then we started hunting for some lunch before our Train ride home. We found one place that opened at 11:30 vs noon and we headed that way; place is called Sliced. For lunch we had 2 “american style” wood oven cooked pepperoni pizzas, some chips, and a steak wrap for me. The kids loved the pizza and ate every slice of it – Sure is nice when they eat something.
Sliced is about a 10 minute walk from the train station, train station is about a 3 hour ride back to Dublin, then we had about 35 minutes of ride on a cramped LUAS during rush hour, followed by a 6 minute walk home. The kids were great on this trip. Can’t wait for week after next when we head to Barcelona. Will be grand to be somewhere we don’t have to bundle up.
Some more Pictures