The morning came early as I was hungry, having skipped dinner the night before. I waited until The Bookshelf Coffee House opened at 7,30 and walked across the street. I ordered a flat white, a croissant, and a fruit scone. No cream was available this morning so I settled for a little butter but skipped the packaged jam.
I wasn't sure when I would eat again and was hesitant to give another restaurant a try at a vegetarian meal. Vegetable soup would have been my option for lunch but one where I could actually see the vegetables. I wondered why the Irish insist on pureeing their soups.
The last day in Cork was spent waiting. Waiting to check out of the hotel, waiting to board the first train. Then the second. Then the third. Waiting out the rain in pubs. Simply waiting.
Initially I thought there was much more to do and see in Cork and thus booked the 15,20h train so I could have more time to explore the second largest city in Ireland. It turned out I had seen as much as possible by foot around city centre and not much more was left to be seen - especially in the cold rain. I wondered how to pass the time. Thoughts ran through my mind, as they often do when left with not much to do.
I thought how I should have seen the Cliffs of Moher this summer when I was in Ireland. When the sun was shining and the air was warm. As I looked up the two-week forecast today for the area, I noticed a high percentage of rain is expected. 80-100 percent for the next 14 days. Seeing the cliffs was out of the question.
I thought about my disappointment with many aspects of Cork. The city is not as impressive as guide books suggest. I'm sure the countryside outside of Cork is beautiful but one needs a car and a driver in order to explore Ireland the proper way. The risk I would take in renting a car and driving on the opposite side of the road in the rain was too great to take. I've already seen Blarney Castle and Dublin on my first trip to Ireland last November when I took a day tour with the bus.
The Imperial Hotel in Cork was another disappointment. Photographs online portrayed a place of glamour. Fancy chandeliers, beautifully dressed guests, inviting food choices. Once in the room, I was able to see all is not as it appears.
The bed was the most uncomfortable bed I've ever slept on whilst traveling. Soft to the point of my not being able to sleep as my back was aching. I felt as though I was sinking in the middle. As I looked at the painted wall across the room, I noticed it used to be wallpapered but the paper was not removed and pieces of it were sticking out in random areas. The food was another story. Tasteless to the point of being inedible. For such a 'luxury' hotel, one would think food would be of utmost importance.
Thoughts continued to run through my mind, and I started to feel weary of travel as I have been on the road nearly three weeks. I miss my bed, my small kitchen, and preparing my own meals. I miss my empty living room which is awaiting delivery - hopefully next week - of the replacement daybed I will be using as a couch. I miss the routine of my 'not-so-normal' daily life and look forward to continuing my job search next week. Mostly, I miss my two younger ones who have not seen me in three weeks - my Cinnamon and my Sage.