I just know these weeks are going to fly by! Here's what I did last week. These probably won't be quite as exciting after this week since I'll start my job and I'll be on more of a schedule.
Monday 03 Mar: Another bus ride today. I walked to the train station and bought a ticket to Doolin. The small village is the town next to the Cliffs of Moher and earned its own bus stop, but really the town is one street long and doesn't have too much to offer -- especially off season, which is when I'm here. This is the first ride I had where I thought I was going to get sick. I hadn't had much to eat, which is usually when I get motion sickness and we were on narrow curvy roads most of the time. I did make it without losing my breakfast and I checked into the hostel. I felt the need for some exercise, so I wandered the two kilometers to the Doolin Pier and sat and watched the waves for about an hour. They were breaking high and then pummeling into the cliffs. What a sight. Due to the fact that Doolin is in its off season, I couldn't find any place for lunch (although I found out after the fact that one pub was open), so I was quite hungry when I headed to O'Connors Pub around 7pm. I sat at the bar and had dinner with a gal I met at the hostel named Christine. She's from Germany and also traveling on her own. We sat and chatted for a while, before heading back to the hostel where I immediately crashed. The other girls in my room didn't come in until later and one of them wasn't having the best night when I heard her being sick in the bathroom... great. Luckily I just woke for a little bit and then fell back to sleep.
Tuesday, 04 Mar: Today I went to the Cliffs of Moher and it turned out to be the perfect day for it. While it started out rainy, my friend from Germany, Christine, (who I met at the hostel in Doolin) and I set out for an 8km Coastal Cliff Walk to see the famous cliffs and the sun burnt off the clouds and we had a glorious day. We had a nice walk and it was nice to have the company. We were initially going to take the bus back, but decided we couldn't pass up the weather and walked back. My pedometer said more than 20,000 steps! We were spent! We ran to the store and got some stuff for dinner and then headed to the pub for a pint. We were joined by a young German couple, Sam and Jenny, who had walked 30km! They looked absolutely exhausted! It was a beautiful day and I was very glad about the walk, the weather, and the companionship.
Wednesday, 05 Mar: I left Doolin around 12:30 for Limerick. The bus ride was uneventful, but my afternoon wasn't the best of days. I had booked a room at a guesthouse after finding Limerick had very few cheap lodging options. I wasn't exactly sure of the location, and the bus driver wasn't sure either. He dropped me off at a stop that after I looked at my map I thought was the incorrect stop. My map was showing I still have 1.3 miles to go. Great. I started walking, dragging my suitcase behind me. My phone was of course on its last battery bar and eventually went dead. Another great. But I looked at the map before it died and I was slowly heading in the right direction. The problem was that I was heading out of town! I ended up walking that mile, part of which was essentially the shoulder of a motorway! I was quite the sight. I ended up stopping at the nearest business (after the sidewalk reappeared and I was off the motorway) and asked the man inside. He did a quick google search and yep, I was about a mile off. I had been walking in the wrong direction. Great #3. He called a taxi and sure enough, the guesthouse was about three blocks from the bus stop I had initially been dropped off at. Seriously?! Well, I got my exercise! The guesthouse wasn't great and my room was freezing cold. I asked for another space heater before I left for the evening -- I thought my nose was going to fall off! I could see my breath in the hallway, it was that cold! I met up with Julie, a friend of a friend, and we grabbed a beer while chatting. It was nice to have some more quality conversation and she was lovely to meet.
Thursday, 06 Mar: I woke up somewhat thawed out from the extra space heater that was placed in my room and went down the hall to a lovely breakfast. The owner of the guest house was headed into town, so he was kind enough to drop me off at the main bus terminal. I grabbed the bus to Killarney and (after having to get another taxi because again I'd been walking in the wrong direction!! Ugh!!) I connected with Christine again as she was spending her last night there before heading back to Germany. My roommate for the night was Micki, a super sweet German gal (I keep meeting Germans!), and we hit it off right away. We went down to meet up with Christine and Sam and Jenny -- it was a Doolin reunion in Killarney! Sam and Jenny were the young couple who had done the 30km walk around the Cliffs. We had a nice time at dinner and called in for an early night.
Friday, 07 Mar: Micki had rented a car and was headed to Cork, so we decided to just drive together. It saved me a train fare, and it saved her having to drive by herself. We met up with Sam and Jenny again in the morning and did a short walk in Killarney National Park. I've decided this is one of my favorite places on earth. It's so crazy beautiful and to drive through it on the winding roads and see glimpses of mountains, lakes, sheep, and just general natural beauty is something I could never get sick of (although getting motion sick is always a possibility as the roads are very, very curvy). Micki and I turned around before Sam and Jenny so we could hit the road, so we said goodbye to them and made our way back to the car. We decided to take the long way to Cork along the coast line. We were on the Ring of Kerry for a bit and again enjoyed the beautiful landscape of Killarney National Park. We stopped several times to take it in. The ride was really nice -- Micki and I got along great and it was lovely to have a few quality laughs as well. We got into a rousing game of "Audi spotting" where we had to be the first to hit the roof when we saw an Audi on the road. We arrived in Cork around 5:30 and decided to meet up again for a pub crawl at 8pm. The pub crawl was pretty low key and I met a few new people. It supposedly ended at a club, but neither Micki nor I are the club goers, so we bailed after the third pub. We walked back to our hostels and called it a night.
Saturday, 08 Mar: I met up with Micki again and we did one of the lamest bus tours ever. Unfortunately we didn't know that when we paid the 14EU! It was raining so at least we were out of the rain. We got off near the city centre and walked into the English Market, which kind of reminded me of Pike Place. We then wandered around a little more, finding ourselves in Penneys, which will be a very dangerous store as it's cheap and cute (not to be confused with JC Penney). We stopped by a Thai place--something I'd been craving!--for lunch and then headed back to the hostel. I had to say goodbye to her as she was heading to Dublin for a flight to Scotland. Sad to say goodbye as we had a nice time together. I had a low key afternoon, then I walked around a little more and went grocery shopping for dinner. I made pasta with pesto and some spicy italian sausage that I picked up at the English Market. I was super tired from the busyness--and people time--of the last couple days, so I was in bed asleep by 10pm.
Sunday, 09 Mar: The church I went to was only a three minute walk from my hostel. It was small and quaint, but the worship was nice, the sermon was solid, and the people were friendly. I chatted with a few gals after the service and I think I'd like to go back next week. After I left, I sought out some lunch and had a nice sandwich and salad at a local tea room. I'm slowly getting used to eating alone and now I don't find it super awkward. I grabbed a paper and read that while I ate. I then wandered for a long time -- I'm getting really good at that! And I got a bit turned around -- something I'm getting really good at! I ended up on some sort of hill in the opposite direction than I hoped. Eventually I found my way back and treated myself to a pastry for the effort. I had a late video chat date with Carly, so I stayed around the hostel and caught up on email and watched some Netflix. The wifi ended up being kind of sketchy, so Carly and I ended up just texting -- I'll take what I can get I suppose. I fell asleep about midnight and was very much ready for the next day when my hostel living was coming to an end!