Weekend adventures in Ireland

With reading week on the horizon you’re hedging your bets on whether or not to book them pre-Christmas-Market flights to Krakow, sit by the baths in Budapest or to relish a taste of currywurst by the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. All enticing considerations, but perhaps with the current Ryanair fiasco, or ‘pantomime’ as some are calling it, maybe now is the chance to look a little closer to home for that much needed weekend away.

Iarnród Éireann have taken care of what they’re calling your ‘dream trip’; with student fares as low as €11.49 from Dublin to Galway, one way, and advance booking up to 60 days prior to travelling. Here are four more ways Iarnród Éireann travel surpasses air travel and them ‘ready for take-off’ snaps. (Yes Mary, we presumed after the inflight safety demonstration we partook via ‘your story’ that take-off was imminent.)

  1. If your plans change or you’re running late you can travel on an earlier or later train that day.
  2. Flexibility exists between train operator and customer. One can freely cancel or amend their booking online up to 90 minutes before you travel, honestly; life getting in the way suffers no extra cost.
  3. They offer free seat reservation leaving no more smug priority boarders.
  4. And free Wi-Fi! There’ll be no live snaps from Mary 35,000 feet in the air…


Convinced of train travel the only question now is where to go? With the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival in its fortieth year running, there’s no better place to be than Cork City. The festival kicks off October 27th-30th  and is hosted by the Metropole Hotel; overlooking the River Lee and only a stone’s throw from Cork City’s world renowned food market. An added bonus for the newly converted train travellers, the hotel is only a ten minute walk from Cork (Kent) train station and trains leave Dublin every hour from 6:20am.

The weekend’s entertainment taps into a myriad of genres including swing, funk, groove and blues, opening your mind and ears to a potential new favourite Spotify playlist. (If you’re the concert goer or music lover who prefers to be primed fear not; www.guinnessjazzfestival.com  have compiled a playlist of some ‘musical gems’ so you can ‘slide’ into the weekend’s blowout.)

This year’s score features an exclusive linkage with what is regarded as the world’s most famous jazz club – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club from London’s Soho; ‘presenting the finest jazz since 1959.’ A full itinerary of the weekend’s soundtrack can be found at www.guinnessjazzfestival.com, with tickets for the gathering available for purchase online at The Metropole Hotel Cork website. Tickets are required to attend Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th  evening jazz sessions for a mere €25.00 each, plus booking fee. Admission is free on all days, to all afternoon sessions within the hotel and there is no charge to attend evening sessions of Friday 27th & Monday 30th October.

The festival is regarded as Europe’s biggest jazz party and with a multitude of diverse acts and events taking place across the city there is no doubt it’ll be a crackin’ long weekend. So immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of the city, snap away without the trepidation of incurring data roaming charges and while you’re at it have a sip of the ‘giggle water’!


Méabh Riordan

Image Credit: Cork Jazz Festival