Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Limerick City Kiiid

Anyone that knows me, knows that I develop the odd obsession now and then, such as my bizarre obsession with Halloween, my complete and utter obsession with Kings Of Leon and my well not so bizarre obsession with Conor Murray, but what many people don't know about is my obsession with cities in particular Limerick City. 
I always have a dilemma with Limerick, there's always so much I want to do there and one day just isn't enough, even with this I don't think one blog is enough to fit everything in. 
 For those of you reading who are not familiar with Limerick, it's the home of Munster rugby. A city located in the South West of Ireland.
City of Culture 2014, home to Conor Murray and I kid you not my favourite place on earth. 

I'll go from the start  and tell you about what initially drew my attraction to Limerick and yup you've guessed it, it draws me straight back to rugby playing scrum half Conor Murray. I swear I didn't actually think of anything else as a sixteen year old!! 
My first trip to Limerick, There we were
standing outside the Milk Market like
complete tourists!!
Anyway, I knew of Limerick but had never been there, I mean everyone in Ireland has heard of Limerick and it's awful reputation as 'stab city' but after I got into Munster rugby it wasn't long until I realised everything rugby related goes on in Limerick, it genuinely is the home to Munster rugby.
I remember it well, 3rd December 2012, my first trip to Limerick. I had dragged my two friends along, and you know being sixteen we weren't aloud wander around a strange city by ourselves my mother came along.. I know what you're thinking.. how can you go on the creep with the mother cramping your style, but we managed.
 It was eventful to say the least.. of course we all had the stereotype of Limerick the 'well we're going to die anyway so..'
We got on the bus and these thugs got on a few stops into the journey, well we sh*t ourselves and it wasn't long until we had good reason to, they were throwing chocolate down the bus at us, what could we say only 'well what do you expect we're going to Limerick' .. except the little gurriers got off before we even reached Limmers!! Slightly awkward...
Anyway, we wandered off down to the main street called 'O'Connell street' when we heard police sirens go off all around the city 'Well that's that now, someone been murdered we're all going to die'.. it wasn't long until the stereotypical faces were slapped off us when we realised the sirens were a bunch of policemen dressed up as Santa driving down the street.. and that was it, that was the very moment that Limerick pulled on my heart strings and I knew I'd have an attachment to this place forever. 
There is so much that I'd love to tell you about Limerick, such as the atmosphere on match day, the milk market early on a Saturday morning, the sun setting on the Shannon, wandering around UL, or stumbling *randomly* into the rugby team training, there's so much to say but when I go on my trips to Limerick they do tend to follow a certain path..
It can go one of three ways: 
1) I'm up for no reason other to stalk the Munster Rugby team whilst they train in UL. Many a morning's have been started on the 7am train to Limerick. 
These days are unreal!!.. not just because I get to see the rugby players but because I'm back in my second home.  
Realistically I've dragged about ten of my friends through this event.
The morning starts, for me at around 5.30am (I know, crazy!! but trust me I'm no good to anyone without my tea and relaxation time in the morning) so once we board the train we're off to Limerick Junction, only to wait there in the freezing cold (and rain) for about half an hour before boarding a train that will actually bring us to Limerick.
When we do finally arrive it's usually before 11am and I love it, the cities barely awake and there's never many people around. When we get to William street then it's another 'inner city' bus. These fascinate me!! small little buses driving around the city..so cool!! 
Anyway, when we finally reach UL we head to the sports bar for ehm, tea..I really love my tea. 
After watching training it's usually just back into town, McDonald's and then rush to get the train back home. Okay Okay.. it doesn't sound like the best day ever, but trust me..it is.
Tourist picture outside the Clarion. 

2) The second reason why I come to Limerick is for absolutely no reason, and I love this reason. It can be for anything.. just them random shopping weekends away which I love... okay it happened like twice but it's so much fun.
I become a total tourist in Limerick every time this happens, I get to stay in my favourite hotel 'The Clarion' it's the best hotel in Limerick, guaranteed. 
I love it, when you have a spare day I'd highly recommend going to Limerick, there's so much to do.
There's nothing I rather more than being in Limerick on a Saturday morning and heading out to the milk market. It's so cute and is packed with amazing speciality foods, crafts and warm and welcoming locals... this is the most popular attraction for my mam, she loves this place and I do myself.
I've visions of myself living in Limerick, married to Conor Murray heading down on a Saturday morning to buy the carrots for the week.. Hey!! a girl can dream can't she!!
But all jokes aside, there's nothing better than just getting up to Limerick just to chill out, many a evenings have been spent people watching or sipping on cocktails..I even bought my debs dress there on a random shopping day, it's the best!!
3) Finally my last, and most favourite reason to be in Limerick... A Munster Match.
*cue my Limerick song* http://youtu.be/P8a4iiOnzsc ... Radical Face- Welcome home, I can't come to Limerick without listening to this song. It just makes my trip!! 
There's nothing more I enjoy doing than coming to Limerick to go see a game of rugby in Thomond Park. As a rugby fan, Thomond is one of the most spectacular stadiums. It's a place where dreams have been crushed, but so many more have been made. 
Arriving in Limerick on a match day is one of those experiences that you will never forget, there's Munster flags everywhere, every second person is in something Munster related and  if you're in the right place at the right time you might even spot some of the players themselves ;-)
Since the games tend to be in the evening times I stay overnight, in the clarion obviously!! The clarion is a special place to me for so many reasons, it is in fact the place I first ever met Conor Murray in the flesh.. but that's a whole different ball game, you can read about that one here http://littlepieceoflynda.blogspot.com/2013/11/5th-may-2012.html?spref=tw but opposed to that it's a magical hotel.
Walking the route to Thomond is honestly the best, the 'Red Army' which is what they call Munster fans usually take to the treck together and then suddenly you're there, you're in Thomond Park and that's just the beginning.... it's the most amazing experience, honestly!!
I wanted to keep this short but there is a million and one other things about Limerick that make it so special. I just hope that sometime soon I can call Limerick my home.

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