On the train to Cork I sat with a retired businessman , Noel, who lost his sight seven months ago. He was travelling to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind training center in Cork for training in how to get around. He wasn’t sure that he wanted a guide dog because of the additional responsibilities that entails, but was open-minded about it. His daughter, who escorted him to his seat in Dublin, asked me to help him off the train in Cork. She is the former Ireland women’s water ski champion and is married to the former men’s champion. Noel and his wife have eight grandchildren, all living in the area around Dublin.
I haven’t stayed at bed and breakfast places on this trip and decided to try one in Cork, since I was only going to be there one night. The one I picked more or less at random is on Lower Glanmire Road just down the street from the train station. It is an old townhouse run by a woman named Ellen. I lugged my overweight bag up the steep narrow stairs and kept banging my fool head in doorways while looking down to keep from tripping over the irregular sills. The room, which included a tiny bath, sloped radically from street window to door, dropping a good foot or more.
To get to a laundry required walking straight up a steep hill to a shop across from a military barracks. I was annoyed that the first laundry recommended to me was closed on Mondays and had to tramp around to find a second. Ireland doesn’t favor self-service launderettes and I have not had good results asking the locals for directions. You have to step carefully on the residential Cork sidewalks as they are used by residents for dog toilets.
I ate at Isaacs, and enjoyed a dish of three separate curries with rice and excellent homemade chutney. That and the dessert undid any physical benefit from my earlier mountaineering on the merde-encrusted sidewalks of Cork. I left the next morning for Killarney on the train, changing at Mallow.