Ireland Pt. 9 - the most exciting night ever!
DAY 9 - CORK - TRALEE - DINGLE
Journey to Dingle
Yes, the name sounds dinky, but Dingle is awesome! We woke up extremely early, as I mentioned and took a bus from Cork to Tralee. I've taken quite a few pics through a bus window, but hey, they aren't letting us off to do it otherwise!! The ride took quite a bit of time...so much for that 2 1/2 hour theory they seem to have. It's so true that the Irish bus system is extensive, but infrequent. We arrived in Tralee and then had to wait for a bus to Dingle.
The bus ride to Dingle from Tralee was around 1h and 10 minutes or so, which was quite faster, but with all the twists and turns it seemed longer. The way there was beautiful and we passed by different ranges of mountains. We've seen quite a few students here, and let me tell you that their kilts are at a way more decent length than the girls I went to school with at St. Joe's haha.
Best Customer Service EVER in Ireland
Upon arriving in Dingle, Barbara (owner of the B&B we were staying at) told me to call the B&B and Michael (her husband), would meet us in the town. We called and he asked me that he would be there shortly and how could he recognize us. I told him Pat's luggage was purple and mine was blue (Pat keeps telling me it's gray, but I see blue in it...) anyway...just to be sure, I told him I was Filipino and Pat laughed at me. Well, I can say that yes, I've seen some Asians on this trip, but not a whole lot!
Anyway, Michael picked us up and was very apologetic that he only had a two seater. He could drive one of us and the luggage and come for the other, or, one of us could get in the back with the luggage. I chose to sit with the luggage hahaha...reminded me of when I was young and travelling with my cousins. I was just sitting cross legged behind the two front seats. Michael said that they lived 1km from the town, but he drove us around the town to show us the good places to eat and great pubs to visit. Then, he drove us to the B&B. Let me tell you that their B&B is beautiful! The scenery is gorgeous!! I will show you pictures later of my view from our room. Truly beautiful. Once Michael brought up our luggage, he gave us time to rest and then said he'd meet us downstairs to recommend some places for us to visit.
Michael made us tea and coffee and his SUPERAWESOME soda bread. It is the best I've ever tasted! Irish butter is wickedawesome too, if you haven't had it before. After we ate a bit, he gave us a free doublesided map. One was a map of the town with all the great restaurants and pubs highlighted and numbered. The other side was a map of the dingle peninsula, which highlighted all the historic/archaeolgical sites to see. He went through both maps with us and answered our questions. He was so nice and helpful. If you ever go to Dingle, stay at this place! We only paid 35 euros a night and it was well worth it and more.
Michael offered to drive us back to the town, but we decided to walk there ourselves. We took pics of the scenery and I got us on a bit of a detour but we got back to the town. (Turns out later, that the detour would have taken us there anyway, but oh well haha) We shopped around a bit and had a light lunch of clam chowder and bread at John B. Moriarty's , as we were still stuffed from Michael's soda bread. We headed back to rest a bit before venturing down for dinner and music at night.
Goat St. Cafe
Later on, after resting a bit, we decided to check out the Goat St. Cafe, which was high on the list of Michael's recommendations. He saw us on our way out and offered to give us a lift there. His wife Barbara was out golfing and was returning the next day. He dropped us off, taking the detour route I had led us on earlier and we went in. Goat St. Cafe had wonderful food. I decided to spoil myself...why not?...I'm on vacation afterall...so I ordered half a lobster. I took a picture of it. I love good food. Sitting beside us was a couple from South Carolina and they talked to us. We had some good conversations with them while we ate and enjoyed our food. One of the waitresses talked to us as well. She was American, but she just couldn't stay away from Dingle and finally quit her job and moved to Dingle. I can see why she'd be pulled there. It's a seaside town...more geared to tourism now, but it's beautiful and the scenery is incredible.
The Small Bridge
After eating, we went to a pub for music, atmosphere and drinking. Michael recommended Small Bridge...It's actually called something else..it has a Gaelic name, but all I can remember from it is An Drom...... Beag. We bumped into Ralph and Jan again, the American couple who was eating beside us. They've been married for 50 years and have been driving all around Ireland for three weeks. We really got along well with them. Ralph and I agreed that Rick Steve's travel guide is like an Irish Bible (in that it is the best reference to Ireland when travelling as a tourist). We were drinking pints of Murphy's, while Jan and Pat drank Heineken. The traditional music started soon after. A man was playing guitar and the woman played fiddle and flute. Upon looking closer at the man, he looked familiar somehow...GEORGE CLOONEY?!?!?! We swear that he looked very much like George Clooney. And no, we did not ask for his autograph. People from Toronto don't do that...we more like stare...and not say anything to them. Who would have guessed that George Clooney moonlights as a guitar player in the Dingle, when he isn't acting in movies!! I did have the guts to take pictures though...keep an eye out for them!
To Dance with an Irish Man
While we were enjoying the music, a jolly Irish man in I would say in his mid-20s - early 30s walks up to us and asks if any of us could play the accordian behind us. Does Pat not tell him that "she can" pointing at me... she laughs her head off and I give her this look that tells her, the next time she walks near water I'm going to help her take a dip. I laugh and tell him, that I can't. He says, "why the feck not? Play us a song!!" Yes, you can imagine what feck means... He talks really loud and fast - I think most of the time, the rest of them couldn't understand what he was saying. He really tries to convince me to try playing the accordian, but alas, I don't think I could wing it.
He switches to trying to convince Pat to dance with him. "Can ya dance?", he asks her. Pat tells him no and grips her glass of Heinekein. Well the fellow is persistent, as he tries to get one of us to take her glass and then even tries to take it himself. Hahaha...I couldn't stop laughing, nor stop myself from reassuring him that Pat CAN INDEED DANCE!! HAHAHA...an eye for an eye! I couldn't stop laughing! She looked to me for help and I told her that was why I chose the corner seat, so I would be protected by her and Jan. The man finally gave up, as Pat made it obvious, she would not dance. He announced that he would go for a pint and come back to dance.
After he left, to Pat's relief, the music started again and we continued to enjoy George and his music. A bit later on, Mr. Lord of the Dance returned. This time he decided that I knew how to dance. He took my hand and tried to drag me to the dance floor. Pat just laughed...oh that Pat! I told him I didn't know how to dance and he said that he couldn't fecking either! I told him over and over that I couldn't dance (who knows what kind of moves he'd make trying to dance!...he proudly told us himself that he had been drinking all day long). I told him that I'd like to see him dance. I told him that he could dance and we'd watch him. I found, however, for a milisecond I thought, why the heck not, I'm on vacation and it would be a heck of a story... then I thought about it again and thought no wayyy ahahahah. He eventually gave up, saying he'd drink some more and be back for us. He tried convincing another lady to dance, but she said.."if I didn't have that surgery..." hahaha poor lad just wants to dance with someone...
The Rhubarb Farmer
What an exciting night it had become. That wasn't enough, however, the night was still young...plenty more opportunities to be entertained. We found, as the night went on, that more and more people came and blocked our view. One particular lad was swaying and dancing to the music and would occasionally turn to look at us. Jan was convinced that he was checking us out. The man then started greeting women who walked by him, like he knew them very well. After a while, we realized that he was just hitting on any woman who walked by him. Didn't matter the age, the look, whether she had a guy with her... it was hilarious. The women here, really know how to handle guys like this. They'd kind of just play along and then leave. Soon, we found ourselves, kind of routing for him ahah.
At some point, a lady took his hand and led him outside and then a minute later he came back...ahhhh poor lad. He finally started talking to us. He asked Ralph if they were Americans and Ralph said they were Germans. The man then decided to tell anyone who walked by that we were his German friends. kekeke. He told us he loved Johnny Cash and Ring of Fire. We asked him to sing and he kept singing the same thing. He eventually told us that he was a rhubarb farmer. He grew rhubarb. We were welcome to visit his farm. He continued to try to pick up women, including a German woman who was two times his size and could probably kick a hole into him..hahaha...and she had a boyfriend...the look she gave him was priceless! He continued to volley back and forth from trying to score and talking to us. He asked both Pat and I to come with him and have a good time...right, sure...that was high on my list of things to do. It was pretty entertaining watching him. The night went on and we left...leaving our opportunities to dance with an Irish man and become a rhubarb farmer's wife... We said goodbye to Ralph and Jan and promised to send them pictures of George.
We give this night the award for Most Entertaining Night in Ireland! It was a lot of fun and I think we had not laughed so hard in a long time!
Still searching for my charming Irish man,