We have been getting back to our “normal” Irish lives lately with no guests in town. Mostly sticking closer to town and enjoying our time here. Last weekend we rode our bikes to Cobh for a blues music festival. We took the ferry over.
There was a pretty great band out in the gazebo.
We had a very nice dinner there after the music and then had a nice ride home with a great sunset on the harbor.
This weekend we started off by going to the Cork City Football game. It was a close game and we ended up winning 2-1. Near the end of the game our goalie saved a penalty kick which was about to happen in this photo. It was great!
Saturday we got up and headed the round about way (~35mi) for Kinsale on our bikes
It was a nice day and we picked a pretty scenic route including Roberts Cove.
At the next beach a guy just gave us two tall boys because we were on our bikes. He had a case of them and was very persistent. We enjoyed them at the end of the ride.
We stayed the night in Kinsale, watched the all Ireland hurling replay final, and a Tottenham Hotspur game, had a great dinner and called it an early night. This morning we wandered around town and took some arty photos then rode the 16 miles back to Cork.
All in all, the perfect weekend…
Emily and I went for a 38 mile bike ride today to see a local waterfall and forest park.
The forest park was pretty nice. Lots of picnic tables, a nice view of the river and a fenced off area with some pretty cool deer.
There were also some spectacular views along the way.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about this place. Seems like bad things could happen with a name like that.
Quite the distinction for this little town.
Lauren and Ed came to visit and we had a great time. We went to a Cork City Football (soccer) match, visited the old Cork City jail and hung out at some local watering holes. It also meant that I got to go mountain biking with Lauren in the Ballyhoura Mountains.
They had very well marked and well groomed trails.
We rented some pretty sweet bikes as well, my first time on full suspension!
Lots and lots of single track.
On another note, before Lauren and Ed got here, we went to our first hurling match… what a bizarre game.
Took advantage of the nice weather today and went for a bike ride to Crosshaven. We stopped at a local market for yummy breakfast burritos on the way. Crosshaven is a nice village on the opening to Cork Harbor. It was originally a Viking settlement and has five beaches within a 2 mile radius. We walked around a bit, had a coffee and walked out to the point.
Great ride today down to Kinsale. Quite a bit of elevation, but overall a good ride.
Today we went for a short bike ride, mostly on a multipurpose path. Lots of people out, partly a function of the sun coming out a bit today.
One, that hill is much steeper than it looks…
Two, there was a car trying to pass me and Bret was in the middle of the road trying to take my picture…
Three, I didn’t want to lose any speed because there was another steep hill…
And then it started to rain, so we cut our trip to Bandon, Ireland, sister city to Bandon, Oregon, short. For another time…
Just kidding. Bret is against kissing the Blarney Stone for hygienic reasons and we didn’t even actually go into the castle, but we did ride our bikes up to Blarney.
you can see all of Bret’s pictures from the ride here:
The ride was really nice. We had a lovely morning to start and a large hill to climb getting out of Cork. Bret took this picture looking back at St. Finbar’s cathedral (our next door neighbor) from the start of the climb.
Our rest stop was the Blarney Woolen Mills. Currently, the woolen mills remind me of an outlet mall. There is the Irish shop (largest in the world), a kitchen goods shop, a cafeteria-style restaurant, a pub, and a hotel. Historically, the site had been a woolen mill since the 1750s! The original mill burned down and the current structure was rebuilt in the late 1800s. The wool market took a big plunge in the 1960s because of the rise of synthetic materials and the mill shut down in 1973. It was reopened in its current incarnation in 1977 by a man who had worked in the mill as a child. We had a cup of coffee and bought Irish sweaters. Bret took this picture of us at the wool mills with our new sweaters!
We then popped by the Blarney Castle for a peek, but did not go inside, and headed back to Cork on a quiet country road with amazing views.
my pictures from the parking lot at Blarney Castle
And Bret’s picture from one of the lovely vistas on the ride home:
We got new bikes and decided to take them out for a short spin out to Cobh (pronounced Cove, as far as I can tell). I have never seen the movie or read anything about the Titanic, but apparently, that is where the fateful journey last saw land. The ride started well enough, mostly on a nice bike path. It was quite windy, but we are tough. We took a quick ferry across the west passage and rode into town. We visited the Titanic experience (although, we didn’t actually go into the exhibit) then grabbed a coffee to warm up in town. Getting out of town was a little more harrowing. The streets are very narrow and steep getting out of Cobh and they progressively got busier and busier in conjunction with the weather getting worse and worse.
It was a good starter trip. Looking forward to many more bike adventures. We love the new bikes.
You can see all Bret’s pics at:
before the last 3-4 miles of riding on the double-carriage way (aka- highway) in the rain.
after riding in the rain on a double-carriage way
If I thought that driving in Ireland was terrifying… Riding a bike on the highway in the rain gave me a whole new appreciation for the safety of golf-cart sized cars.