TRAVEL NOTES::DAY 16 | JOURNEY TO CORK

limerick junction

The journey today was a train ride from Ennis to Cork on the Irish Railway system. It would seem to be a simple ride on one train. Not the case in Ireland. No, the trip required two changes - one in Limerick and the other at Limerick Junction 25 minutes away.

The station in Limerick Junction was in the middle of nowhere and looked to be deserted. I was hoping to find some Riesen candy at the station since none could be found at the Limerick station. However, there was simply a waiting area. No food of any kind available for purchase.

Departure was at 11,43 this morning on a commuter-type train. I was expecting a 'real' train, as the one I took five years ago in Germany to Lübeck. The type of trains one typically sees in a Jason Bourne movie. This train looked to me more like a subway train albeit the train from Limerick Junction - which was late ten minutes - had larger tables in between seats. Still, not exactly what I had in mind when I pictured a train ride.

Rarely does a day go by without some kind of adventure. One adventure today was a guy sitting in front of my reserved seat. I was commenting out loud on how inconsiderate people are to leave their garbage - half consumed cup of coffee, a Kit Kat wrapper, and other wrappers - sitting on the fold-down tray table in my seat. I had to gather the garbage and find someplace to dispose of it.

As I was cleaning up my seating area, the strange guy in front of me asked me if I am American. He also sounded to be American but had apparently been living in Ireland for a while. He then started talking about the election and mentioned Hillary. Being polite, I started to converse with him only to have an old woman in the opposite aisle wave her hands to signal me to not start up a conversation with this strange man.

Not sure what to do and feeling a bit uncomfortable as he went on about something or other, I walked away with the garbage in my hand. When I returned, I moved two seats in front of him. I could still hear him talking minutes later. And he kept talking as I kept trying to read my new book. I gave up reading and then he stopped talking.

Once in Cork, the next adventure was to find the hotel. The attendant at the train station said something about 'two lefts and two rights'. Those are the only words I heard and eventually found the hotel after a 15-minute walk.

For dinner I dared to try fajitas. I should have played it safe and had vegetable soup and fries instead. The vegetable fajitas were not fajitas at all. It looked more like some sort of stew on a hot skillet - firm vegetables with a jalapeno tomato sauce. I ate some of it but was still hungry.

Curious as to the coffee at The Bookshelf Coffee House - which was next door to the hotel - I ordered a cappuccino. I also ordered a scone. I sat on the brown couch at the bottom of the stairs and looked around this unique place.

I noticed old books, posters, scales, and chairs upholstered in various fabrics. There is even an upstairs area which I would like to explore tomorrow. An old typewriter sat on a desk next to me. Alongside the typewriter were two books. I picked up the one on top and started reading the first few pages.

The book was titled 'A Man Named Seraphin' by Rene Ray. The story is of a father and daughter moving to a new place after the death of the wife and of a crazy lady with eight cross-eyed black cats. I got as far as four pages into the story until I put it down to finish my coffee and scone.

The coffee house closed at 18.00h. I looked at the time and realised it was 15 minutes later. The next adventure was the search for the location of the English Market. Its location was revealed after an inquiry to its whereabouts at The Roundy - an interesting and unique café and bar.

Tomorrow the adventure continues with a visit to the English Market and a return to the coffee house with much walking about - and photographing.