So, after a combined total of 22hrs in the air, roughly eleven hours in airports, lounges, terminals and passing through customs, and a distance of 17,415 kilometres, I arrived safely in Cork just after 11.30PM local time on the 1st of September.
And, unsurprisingly, went straight to bed!
When I woke up the next morning, rather earlier than I would have liked due to jetlag, my first stop was the local supermarket for supplies (I'm staying in an apartment, so I'm cooking for myself, which means I can eat the kind of food I like and keep the cost down) and then, after a rather delicious breakfast of focaccia topped with tuna, and blueberry yogurt into which I stirred fresh blueberries and raspberries on the side, I went down to the information office and explored Cork City.
Cork is known as The City of Churches and there's plenty of them, although I haven't yet had a chance to visit any, but I was lucky enough to find a tour company that goes out to one of the places I really wanted to visit but wasn't able to find a way to get to under my own steam: The Cliffs of Moher. I'm heading out there on Wednesday for a day trip with Paddywagon Tours, so there'll be plenty of photos coming your way after that.
I wrote postcards yesterday (Wish You Were Here) but post offices in Ireland aren't open on Sunday, so I'll be posting those today once I get back from today's trip out to Cobh (pronounced cove). Cobh is a natural harbour near Cork and is one of the most storied places in a country full of stories. It was the major emigration port for the millions of Irish who left this country searching for a new life, and was also the port where those convicts bound for Australia or the West Indies were shipped off to their lives of servitude, often for crimes such as 'stealing a loaf of bread' or 'stole a length of ribbon from employer' - the root cause of these crimes, of course, was poverty and the appalling conditions people lived under at the time.
My interest in Cobh stems from perhaps the most famous ship to ever set sail from her port: the Titanic. Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic before she set sail on her doomed maiden voyage across the Atlantic. Movingly, Cobh was the last time more than 1500 people would ever see land again. It's also the point where one very lucky crewman absconded from the Titanic - I'm going to be able to stand on the very point where the Titanic set sail from today and I can't wait.
Photos and more blog posts will be coming when I return to my apartment later today. Also, don't forget that you can keep up to date with all my travels on my Instagram @barbelldancer and see the latest posts from my 'Jewels' 27-Day Holiday Challenge'
You don't have to like me. I'm not a Facebook post.
Me With No Apologies.