Spring Break: Kinsale, Republic of Ireland

12 April 2010 | 1 Comment

Kinsale (Cheann t-Sáile)

At the suggestion of the nice old lady on the Burren/Cliffs tour, Erin and I decided to go to Kinsale. It was Erin's birthday, so it was nice to get out of Cork for one final Irish getaway. Before we left, I quickly printed my boarding pass for the next day, when I would be flying to the Netherlands. Kinsale was a 40-minute ride from Cork, to the south. The weather could not have been any better: cloudless and in the 70s (degrees Fahrenheit) all day. (Looking back at my pictures of Kinsale, I cannot spot one cloud in any of them.) Since it was a Sunday, the visitor centre and the majority of shops and restaurants were closed, but we decided to walk outside first anyway.
James Fort, Kinsale, Ireland

James Fort, Kinsale, Ireland

James Fort, Kinsale, Ireland

James Fort, Kinsale, Ireland

After surveying a map, we decided to walk to one of the two forts in Kinsale: James Fort (Dún Rí Sheamuis). The other one was Charles Fort. James Fort is on a peninsula that juts out in the River Bandon as it bends out into the Celtic Sea. The walk was long, partly because there was only one visible, quite a ways down the river, but the nice weather made it enjoyable. The peninsula and surrounding land was GREEN. This was Ireland. At least the Ireland I always imagined before actually going there. (Be sure to watch my brief video of the noontime bells chiming in Kinsale while I was standing on the James Fort peninsula.) We spent a good while soaking up the experience before heading back down the peninsula, first stopping at the beach side of the spit of land. We stepped into the water and watched a rowing team exercise on the sand. We headed back into town for lunch. Salvi's Den offered cheap all-day breakfasts, so I had a full Irish breakfast. It was like the full English breakfast, but with chips (fries) and black pudding. I had had black pudding in Belfast, and I actually like it, even though it disgusts a lot of Americans when you describe what it is.
James Fort peninsula and the River Bandon going out to the Celtic Sea

James Fort peninsula and the River Bandon going out to the Celtic Sea

Horse pasture in Kinsale

Horse pasture in Kinsale

I bought my first souvenir in Ireland at Boland's: a silver ornament for my mom to put on the Christmas tree. My mom loves Christmas ornaments. I couldn't carry much, but the small green box was perfect for sticking in my backpack till I got back to York. (I had already given Mary my souvenirs from Italy to take back to England.)
"Neon" violet flowers in Kinsale

"Neon" violet flowers in Kinsale

We celebrated Erin's birthday with ice cream sundaes at a place called, appropriately, Sunday's. It was such a lovely way to end our Irish adventure. I was glad to have Erin along. She was not only a great friend, but she also knew more about Ireland and its history than anyone on our semester abroad. Not to mention, her name is Erin, which means Ireland! ... I got a text from my aunt and uncle in the Netherlands, reminding me that the next day I'd be there, with them, in the Netherlands! I had some pretty great times with Erin, but soon it was time to move on.
Colorful Kinsale and the Milk Market Cafe

Colorful Kinsale and the Milk Market Cafe

We took the bus back into Cork. I spent the night re-packing my backpack. It had gotten quite disorganized as I zig-zagged across Ireland. Erin and I picked up a quick dinner on the MacCurtain Street Lennox's. This was not the same fish and chips Lennox's. This was a fast food joint. We topped off the night with a Guinness each. I went to bed early, knowing I'd be waking up super early to make my flight to Amsterdam. I said goodnight to Erin, knowing that's the last I would see her before we were all back in York in just over a week. Alarm clock set: 2:30 AM.
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