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Limerick - 6/28/06

Got off the bus when we just barely had entered Limerick because I wanted to explore around and see how the city was laid out. It was a bad idea.. I was instantly lost, everything looked the same and there were pubs and restaurants mixed in with residential areas and old run down buildings with steel plates over the windows as well as graffiti and garbage everywhere. I must have seen at least six broken bent up bicycles and thousands of bottles and empty cigarette boxes everywhere (which are rather funny because every cigarette box has something printed on it to discourage smoking, like "Smokers Die Young" or "Smoking Kills" or "Smoking will give you lung cancer", no joke, its takes up like half of the box too). It's really not a pleasant place.

I stopped into a little pub to see if I could pick up some internet access, and I found quite a bit of wireless internet connections but all of them were private. I stayed there a bit and sat in the corner listening to all these old men carrying on conversations in which I could hardly understand anything (Everyone I have met so far has a thick Irish accent and most of them are difficult to understand, especially the older ones. But then again, they find me hard to understand too, even though I am speaking slow, clear English.. well it's slow and clear to me at least). After that I explored around, again with no luck and still carrying my big bag mind you. I asked about four people about a place to stay the night and got answers like "I don't know Limerick that well" or "Nothing around here" or I got directions leading me all over the place with no luck. The streets here go everywhere! And everything is very small and similar looking. The directions I get are like "Take the High Road left to the Mid Road and you will get to a  bridge you see, well five signals down you will find a brick building, make a left down the Long Road over the bridge to the Far Road," etc, etc... And I finally found a lady that gave me the name of a B&B named "The Old Quarter" and after asking about two more people, I found it. The front was very tiny and the when I went in the building looked like it was about 15ftx15ft but there was a staircase leading up. My room was 59 but it came with Wireless Internet and Breakfast in the morning. The lady warned me however that it might get a little noisy tonight because we are next to a bar, but that "Wednesday nights usually aren't all that bad". Upstairs was giant, with a restaurant and a maze of hallways leading to rooms. I found my room (which opened with an electronic key they gave me) went inside, took a shower, and now here I am.

Random street, and no, I don't have a clue what its name is or where it is in relation to anything else.

My Room... Ahhhh Internet.

View from my window.

Went out exploring around 6:30pm, Everything was closed.. I've noticed most shops close around 5:30 - 6:00. I finally got a general idea of my surrounding area, And I found a tourist information booth, but it was closed, I think I'll check it out tomorrow morning. Wasn't much to see since everything was closed. I ate at a little Chinese food restaurant called "Z-We Ton" and got a Z-We Ton Soup, which was literally corned beef and cabbage on top of rice noodles, but it was good. Came back to my room and watched TV, I have about 12 channels (I settled on CSI).

At about 10:00pm I went out again, The town seemed even more active then it was in the day. I searched up and down the main street (I believe its called "O'Connell's Street") for a popular place to hang out. I found a little pub called "The White House", It was poetry night, and the place was packed. One half was drinking and laughing loudly, while the other half was packed into another room completely silent listening to an old man read poetry out of a book he wrote. I was there quite a while and after the man was done reading and everyone in that section started getting loud as well. I found a place to sit and soon had two older Irish men sitting on both my left and right, we talked for a while about random things, one was always being negative and the other one was always being positive. We were all laughing and talking fir quite a while. The negative one was writing a book and when he found that I knew how to use a computer he was offering to have me stay the night saying "You would never see me though, I'm out at 7 and back at 7 and I wont give you breakfast neither" the other guy was saying that I should stay in the hostels with the "shamrocks on the front" that they were better then the other places, but the negative guy was saying that they would give me Salmonella and I would be able to "go back and show my people my ribs" to which the positive one said "Well without breakfast he will be showing 'em his ribs too". The negative one was a very nice man though, He took me out to see some of his paintings that he had in his car, one was of a stream and the other of a Manger Scene. At around 12:05am I called it a night and shook his hand, he wished me luck. I think I'll be off to Galway tomorrow, I hope to see the Cliffs of Mohr before I get there though, Ill check with the Tourist booth tomorrow. The place I'm staying said that I need to be out by 11:00am.

A Mexican restaurant in Ireland! They do exist!
"The Mexican, Taste the Passion of Mexico"

O'Connell St.

A back alley near where I am staying.

Some Irish Graffiti.

"The Old Quarter", Where I am staying.

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