So the highlight of this day will be hanging out with our friend, Nicole. She’s a singer (check out her website here) and has been a dear friend of Sonja’s for several years so we were both looking forward to hanging out with her and seeing the local side of Cork.
We did some sightseeing and shopping before grabbing lunch at a Arthur Mayne’s. It’s a quirky pub/wine bar/restaurant. It used to be an old chemist and it’s decorated with bric-a-brac that I’m sure has been haphazardly acquired over the years. The waitress was phenomenal and one of the most delightful characters you’d ever hope to meet. She knew all the locals by name and treated us like we were long-lost friends. If you get the chance to go, I’d suggest dining on the patio for some real ambience. (Just beware of the smokers!)
From there I convinced the girls to head over to the Cork City Fire Brigade so I could have a look around and size up the local fire service. While I’m not at all shy about swinging by a fire station, evidently this was a pretty exciting adventure for our host and tour guide. They had a great time chatting up the crew while I geeked out taking pictures of the rigs and bombarding the guy in charge with questions. After lining them all up to take pictures, we excused ourselves and headed off again. We had to say goodbye to Nicole so she could get home but decided to meet up in her small village tomorrow morning for coffee and scones before heading up to Dublin.
Several people had told us to take a drive down to Kinsale and since the sun was still up we decided to hop in the car and drive over. It was only a 30-minute drive from Cork and as we came around the corner into Kinsale we both gasped. Kinsale is a quaint fishing village with stunning views that will quite literally take your breath away.
The town center is lined with shops and restaurants and is bustling with folks on holiday. Most of the shops are filled with unique artisan pieces and it’s a treat for the eyes even if you’re just window shopping. Unfortunately we arrived just as most of the shops were closing so for the most part we were stuck with window shopping. However, we did manage to find a shop with some stunning handbags and we each walked out with one. Kinsale is definitely on the list for our next trip to Ireland.
We reluctantly said goodbye to Kinsale and headed back to Cork. We ate in the hotel restaurant and had the most delicious seafood chowder either of us have ever eaten. My mouth still waters just thinking about it. Dinner was followed by two hours in the lobby sipping our champagne and using our electronic devices since we still didn’t have WiFi.
Tomorrow we’re looking forward to coffee with Nicole, a stop in Kilkenny, then on to Dublin.