It's 8 am and we just docked at Cobh, the port for the city of Cork. Pulling into port the panorama was exactly what you would expect Ireland to look like: Green hillsides dotted with small houses. Absolutely lovely.
On Wednesday we were in Belfast where we decided to tour on our own visiting Queen's College and just admiring the Victorian buildings. Donegall Square at the center of town had wonderful shopping, and we "trekked" the Golden Mile to see the older city.
Dublin followed Belfast, and although we started on a tour beginning at Trinity College, we quickly ditched it (tour guide thought he was auditioning for a night at the Improv - really bad) and ventured out to see the Book of Kells. So impressive and the library above the exhibit was breathtaking. On to Parliament House, the National Gallery, and Christchurch Cathedral. Good shopping, too!
Yesterday was Liverpool, home of the Beatles and some creature called the Lambanana which symbolizes the city's history as both an import and an export centre. Large Beatles museum (which we passed on) and Beatles memorabilia all over. I was surprised at how beautiful parts of the city were, although the tour map also took us through the "red light" district which was interesting. Dockside offered shops and eateries, as well as amusement areas for kids. I particularly liked the "house boats", kind of like barges. Owners decorate them with flowers and colourful paint jobs.
I can't begin to remember everything I've eaten. The ship has four specialty restaurants: Polo (steak), Red Ginger (Japanese), Toscana (Italian) and Jacques (as in Pepin). There is also the Grand Dining Room and the Terrace Grill. We've eaten at Polo, Red Ginger and Toscana. Only one word: fabulous! We will be at Jacques on our last night. We did hit the Grand Dining room once, but prefer the grill which is set up as the largest buffet ever and you can "graze" your way around the room. Last night I started with a king crab leg, mushroom tart, eggplant rollup and caramelized Asian shrimp. Followed that up with Linguine with a veal and porcini ragu and Cesar salad. Every night is a different carving station, pasta, and specialties but you can always get grilled shrimp or lobster, mahi mahi, swordfish, chicken and steak. The sides change as well as the desserts. I will not eat for at least 2 weeks after getting home!!
Time to visit Cobh and Cork!