Sat 13 Mar 2010
We hopped on a bus at 8:50 this morning headed west towards Cork. It's about a 2 hour trip to the second largest city in Ireland, and we used it as an opportunity to nap a for a little bit. We pulled into the bus station, grabbed a map and a bus schedule and headed out into the city.
The station is very conveniently located in the middle of the city, so it was no time at all before we were walking along the busy streets. We were all tempted by the shops and restaurants that surrounded us. We window shopped, and did some real shopping, down St. Patrick's street until we saw a church down one of the side streets. It seemed impossible that a church that large was hidden away between the buildings.
We continued to wander around the city until we stumbled upon a St. Patrick's festival. There was live music, and stands set up along the street. We got sausage sandwiches (basically hot dogs) for lunch, and followed with delicious pastries for dessert.
We went to explore one of the huge cathedrals, but it wasn't open. We had fun taking pictures outside though!
After that, some of our group decided it was time to head back to Dungarvan, but Monica and I still had one more place we wanted to explore. We headed off in the direction of a bell tower that we had seen earlier in the day. It took us out of the main part of the city, and up the side of a hill. We made our way through the streets, and figured that as long as we kept going up we would eventually each the tower. We went a little too far though, because it somehow ended up behind us!
We finally made it to the church that housed the bells, and paid the five Euros that it cost to climb to the top. On the next floor we got to actually ring the eight bells that were at the top of the tower. There were even little cards with songs that you could play that told you what ropes to pull. Further up we found the pendulum, and then the machine that worked the clock. Here there were headphones to protect your ears around the bells. We didn't realize how necessary these were until we got to the next floor. At the top of the stairs were the eight giant bells. in order to get to the next floor we had to climb up through the rafters to get the the stairs. We made it up to the top and went out where we could see the entire city of Cork.