Ireland Part I: Exploring Cork

Ireland 2014 005
St. Fin Barre Cathedral, Cork Ireland

Lucas and I left for Ireland Friday morning, taking the train to the airport.  (LOVE the public transportation here, it is absolutely awesome to leave your car in the driveway and walk to a train that goes directly to the airport…)  This was our first Ryanair experience, and having heard interesting and terrible things about the airline I was a little anxious about the flight.  It wasn’t bad. The seats did seem a bit smaller than other airlines, but it was less than an hour of flying time, so that was doable.  No free beverage/food service, which was to be expected, but you could also buy reading materials and scratch tickets on board.   Not a terrible experience overall, especially considering how in expensive the flights are.

After landing and going through passport control, we picked up our tiny rental car and headed south to Cork.  We arrived at Garnish House a few hours later.  Later than anticipated due to rush hour/excessive roundabout traffic.  We’d called to let them know we would be late, and they had afternoon tea waiting for us when we arrived-tea, scones and sweets.  Delicious. (Also, can anyone help an American out with the difference between afternoon tea, high tea, low tea and when tea means dinner?  Different people seem to use the terms differently…)  The room was big and reasonably priced, and the breakfast (as we were hoping from reading so many epic reviews) was awesome.  Full Irish breakfast plus scones and sweets and breads… awesome.

Garnish House and surrounding neighborhood

The first night in Cork we made the 10 minute walk downtown, I didn’t realize this before, but downtown Cork is on an Island in the middle of a river.  We sampled the local night life and some local beer, and grabbed dinner at a chip shop.

We spent Saturday wandering Cork, visiting St. Fin Barre’s cathedral, which is a beautiful and impressive sight and the Cork English Market.  If you find yourself in Cork, do yourself a favor and visit it.  It is a feast for the eyes and the stomach.  And was unfortunately too crowded for me to get any good pictures.  But I did get a cup of melted chocolate among other things.

While we were there, the Cork Film Festival was on, so we decided to take in a few short films, mostly about/by Irish film makers.  The films were interesting, and it was my first film festival experience.  Not sure I would go all the time, but it did provide a little more insight into the culture in this case.

A delicious dinner at a restaurant that sources local food wrapped up our culinary experience in Cork.  Definitely a worthy stop on any trip to Ireland.  It is a great city, easily walkable with lots of shopping and eating.  There aren’t many major attractions, although it is close to the Jamison Distillery and Blarney castle, which we visited on our way to Waterford.

Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle

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