Ireland, Jordan style.
The tour over, we rolled into Dublin on a Friday evening, said our goodbyes and got ready to cheer on Australia in their game against Germany. I waited in line for nearly an hour to get into an Aussie pub to watch our first match of the World Cup, which, if I was any sort of 'football' fan whatsoever, would have resulted in bitter disappointment and frustration. As it was, I commiserated over our terrible game with some new American friends who were with us all the way, left all the sulking Australians and cheering Germans and went out to experience Dublin nightlife.
The next day it was back down to Cork for a few days of couchsurfing with locals. The first Irishman I stayed with was quite infatuated with sport, so I went and watched while he played a game of tag rugby, then afterwards sat in the pub with his team-mates to dissect the game and talk shop. If this was Australia I probably would have fallen asleep from boredom, but the Irish country accents and quirks of conversation more than made up for the dull discussion.
Day one in Cork, exploring on my own...I visited a 60's style American diner (of the sort I was actually hoping to find in New York, but apprently they are too cool for that), I was drawn into a vintage shop as I passed it, I got my cultural fix wandering around the city trying to find an art gallery, then did actually find it (it was tiny and barely worth the walk), I satisfied my ridiculous girly side with a terrible romantic comedy at the cinema, then I met my CS host and we went to a local pub full of character (and characters) to watch an indoor street performance show, with some very clever acts, some very impressive acts, and some kind of awkward and terrible acts. We finished up the night dancing to the live music of an old Western singer who did an excellent cover of Lily Allen's 'Not Fair'. A very well rounded day.
Day two in Cork I met another couple of Irishmen...one was a redheaded bundle of insane energy and the other was quite relaxed and easygoing. Opposites really must attract. This stay was the usual Irish drink, dance and be merry. Although I did go swimming, fully clothed, in the North Atlantic Ocean. That's something you don't do everyday.
The next evening it was back on the bus and back to Dublin for my final day in the land of the leprechaun before my journey back to fair Britain. I had a day and two nights in Dublin, but as I had spent every night in Ireland so far out drinking and dancing til the wee hours of the morning, I was using this time to rest before my next adventure. For my one day in the most expensive city in Ireland I experienced free entertainment at the Street Performance World Championships, which involved me doing nothing but sitting in a park, laughing, clapping and eating. Wonderful.