Monday, 26 August 2019

#703 Riverpoint, Lower Mallow Street (Limerick, Ireland)

I’m leaving my 4th stop in Ireland today and traveling to stop #5, Cork. I’m going to miss my views from this flat. I get a little homesick for my former condo in Portland where I enjoyed a panorama of Portland’s west hills for nearly 10 years. My next flat in Cork will be on a hill but I don’t expect much of a view.

I did a count yesterday of the number of Airbnb flats I’ve rented: 60 places over the last 3+ years, which works out to about 20 per year and two per month. Looking at it that way it doesn’t seem so much I guess. Still, going through the same routine every time I leave a place I go through basically the same process. The same is true when I enter a flat for the first time as well. Hotels are by far much easier.

My efforts to leave a place in good condition has been noticed by my hosts and I often receive excellent reviews, like the one recently posted by Madeline and John, my hosts in Sligo: “Philip was a wonderful guest. He was kind and very friendly. Philip is great company and a great communicator. He left the house in immaculate condition. I would highly recommend Philip as a guest and I hope we have the pleasure of Philip’s company again sometime in the future.”

After I was sure that I had everything packed I left the flat at about the time I expected to leave (11:30 am). On the way out of the building I dropped off my garbage in the bins that were located in the parking garage. Glad I used something to keep the door open while I dropped of the trash, the door locks from the inside if closed and I would have had no way to get to my suitcase which was on the other side.

I phoned for a taxi and waited outside the building for the car to arrive. I was dropped off at the bus depot and had about 30 minutes before my bus to Cork would arrive. I used the time to grab a snack for the bus and to withdraw money from a nearby ATM.

Along the way to Cork I sat next to two young people who I think were drama students from what I could hear of their conversation. They talked pretty much the whole way to Cork with the young man doing most of the talking and the young woman politely listening. Meanwhile I was playing my usual game of Hearts on my phone and doing travel research as well. I also ate s scone that I picked up at the bus depot. The scone came with a tab of butter and a small jar of strawberry jam. (I posted a picture on Instagram.)

When I got off the bus in Cork I made a beeline to the men’s room. Even though there was a small restroom on the bus, I’ll only use it in case of an emergency. Next was to find a grocery store before hailing a taxi. Google said there was one about 250 meters away and so I wheeled my suitcase in that direction. On the way I saw a tour office that I remember receiving a good recommendation so I decided to walk over there first before grocery shopping.

The fellow behind the counter was very helpful and we ended up talking about education and learned he was a teacher during the school year. We got into quite a discussion about school funding and was interested on how it works in the U.S. Eventually I decided on a tour to the Ring of Kerry for Wednesday. We said our goodbyes and I walked to the nearby grocery.

At the store I found that you had to pay for a shopping cart. It cost one Euro to rent a trolley (shopping cart). I had my suitcase and another bag that I was also carrying (mostly leftover food from my last stop). I eventually found everything I needed (from a prepared list I had on my phone) and after checking out it was now time to hail a taxi.

Fortunately there was a taxi rank outside the store and I made arrangements with the driver in the lead car to take me to the Airbnb flat. He was very chatty and I enjoyed my ride up (steep hill) to my Cork home. I just gave him the post code and he was able to find the building where my flat was located. (The U.K. and Ireland have post codes that are so detailed that you really don’t need a street address. My post code here is: T23 XY32.)

Once through the door I started my routine for getting settled in. First I read any instructions from the host, look around the place, look in the refrigerator, check out the bathroom (especially to see how the shower works since it can vary significantly from place to place), and then put away any food that needs to go in the refrigerator. Next I get my phone and laptop hooked up to the flat’s wifi and look for a place to open my suitcase. Today I opened up a beer and ate the sandwich I purchased at the Limerick bus depot. Next was to take a nap.

After I finish with this blog post I plan to continue watching Harry Potter. I’m planning to watch all of the Harry Potter films over the next week or so. At some point I’ll fix something for dinner since I ate a late lunch.

Tomorrow I’ll walk down the hill into Cork and tour some of the sites in the city. Maybe I’ll find a driver who will take me around. I will be in Cork for four nights so I’ll have an extra day for another excursion somewhere. Most likely Blarney Castle. (I have no plans on kissing the stone.)

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