Kinsale by the Sea

Allowing ourselves to sleep in until 8:30 was a rare treat. Breakfast was included in this hotel stay; we could fortify our bodies for an endurance test in shopping with some sightseeing added in. In addition to a standard buffet including choices of cereals, pastries, and juices, another option was for a full ‘traditional’ Irish breakfast.
It is a wonder the Irish don’t have a short life expectancy. The full deal is an egg, bacon, and a slice of ham, sausage links, black and white pudding, sautéed mushrooms, and a half a fried tomato. Sounded good to me for a once a vacation meal, but I could not do it every day. Before accepting the black and white pudding, being of a suspicious nature, I questioned the ingredients. From the waitresses description it sounded like they used the results of a pig’s D & C (Dilation and Curettage) for the main ingredients. I love the cryptic names these types of foods are labeled with: black and white pudding, head cheese, chitterlings, Rocky Mountain oysters, haggis, scrapple (Bet this one really makes board game companies angry).
Of course, being with Mr. Map (A.K.A. If I don’t have a map in my hand, I am not a happy camper), a stop at the tourism office is a mandate. At the hotel we picked up a copy of “What to do in Kinsale”. Second on the list of our things to do right after book shopping were the ferret races that is espoused in the booklet. It has been a full lifetime since I have been to a ferret race, so this was a ‘must see’. Wouldn’t you know it? “They discontinued them a year ago and never updated the booklet. They said something about having problems finding suitable jockeys.
I had forgotten how much fun it was to browse whole bookstores where ninety-nine percent of the books were in English and new at the same time. There are no used bookstores in this little town. I had also forgotten how expensive new books were. My trick was to write down the name and author of all books that looked interesting, which were not on any list I previously created. When we return to Dublin, I can check the other bookstores for second hand copies or sales.
At one point along a road through a residential section, Ron wanted to climb a lengthy flight of stairs between two homes, leading to an upper road. He took the high road and l took the low road, but hey, that is Scottish, not Irish. Anyway, the homes I passed has some themes like the Mermaids Haven and the Red Apple Place. Imagine the way the exterior was decorated based on their names and then imagine being their neighbors.
Eventually, Mr. Map and I found each other and went to an exhibition of craftspeople from around the county. Porcelain, glass, fiber, wood, crafts of all materials were used to create glamorous and stunning pieces of art: both functional and non-functional. Across the street, we visited an old church and graveyard dating back to the 14th century. I should look so good.
Two coffee stops were needed to warm up from the damp cold air from the sea when the sunshine was not doing its best at warming, but also for a save the back rest. Lunch was at Cucina (motto “Eat, Drink and Sleepover”), a delicious lunch at bargain prices, highly recommended for the next time you are in Kinsale. Our IrishRail person picked us up at 5 pm to drive us the fifty minutes to Cork to catch the 6:55 pm train back to Dublin.
Ryan’s pub shouted out our names when we returned; it is so very close to the train station, but the ride was close to 3 hours and we were encumbered with carry-on suitcases. Another time Ryan, I will remember your name. Did I happen to mention that President Clinton made a stop here? He drank, but never swallowed.
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