By the time I arrived at my last destination before going to Dublin for the TBEX conference I’d slept in a variety of beds and places, from the cold benches of Barcelona airport; to my friend, Wendy’s, elegant and comfy guestroom bed in France; to couchsurfing with my son, and with my dad in England, and with a friend in Ireland; plus a couple of hotels…quite a variety. I’m blessed with the ability to sleep anywhere, and also an addiction to diversity, so all were ok by me.
Still, I was looking forward to the sort of privacy you can only find in a big hotel by the time I arrived at the Montenotte Hotel in Cork. It seems to be that accommodation is a matter of compromise much of the time. If you want luxury and privacy, then you sacrifice the friendliness you find in smaller accommodations. Some travellers swear by the camaraderie of hostels, and feel uncomfortable in hotels. Others, who can afford it, like the comfort and anonymity of hotels.
In Ireland I found that it’s possible to have both, and this hotel was the key to my discovery.
My abiding memory of Ireland isn’t the landscapes, though they took my breath away; and it isn’t the history, at least not directly; it isn’t even the wonderful food and drink I sampled – and all of those things were beyond compare – it was the friendliness of the people…..which began with my short stay at the Montenotte.