Monday, February 20, 2017

My Time in Ireland - Cork City

So, I said in my last post, that this next time I would talk about Ireland.  Just to give some back ground information, I studied abroad in Ireland when I was in college.  I spent 4 months over there back in 2012 and I can honestly saw it was the best four months of my life.  Ireland is a beautiful country filled with amazing people.  I lived in Cork, the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland, in the southern part of the country.  I attended the University of College Cork, which has one of the most gorgeous campuses I've ever been to.



The top picture is the quad and the bottom is the Honan Chapel right in the middle of campus.  Here is a picture of the gate and the path I got to walk every single day.


Yet there is much more to Cork than just the campus.  I got to go grocery shopping at the English Market in the city center.  There, you can purchase fresh meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, amongst other things.  I would usually go in through the door where the fruit was and, since it was the season, the smell of fresh apples was mouth watering and amazing.



Cork had many other interesting places to explore.  There are many churches in the city such as St. Finbarr's Cathedral, which is actually an Anglican church.



Basically, you can't throw a stone in the city without hitting a church.  My personal favorite and the one I attended while I was there, was the church of Sts. Peter and Paul.



Besides churches, there are many other things to do in Cork.  They have the Crawford Art Gallery, which I sadly never went to, but often walked by it.


There is a Butter Museum which shows how butter was made long ago and the great impact the dairy industry has on Ireland.  In my opinion, Kerrygold is the best butter and Ireland's dairy products give my home state of Wisconsin a run for its money.


A little bit of a hike from the city center is Cork City Gaol, or jail as its spelled in America.  It looks like a medieval castle from far away but once inside, it has an eeriness to it that lets you imagine a little bit of how a prisoner felt in this jail.



Off to more pleasant diversions.  In the city center, there is large fountain and near by is a monument commemorating the various rebellions in Ireland.



If you're looking for a little bit more nature, you can always visit Fitzgerald Park and maybe on the way back, check out the Cork Public Museum.



The River Lee runs through the city of Cork.  In the picture below, the tower on the left is Shandon Bells, which you can climb up and ring the bells.  My apartment was at the top of the pink building next to the orange building, in the far right corner of the picture.


This was the view from my apartment and I'm so thankful I got to look at this every day for the entire time I was there.  You could also smell the peat moss burning in the mornings when I would open my windows and I want to get my own peat moss to burn at home now!





The river also runs through campus and some of the most beautiful trails I've ever walked have been beside that river through the campus.


Finally, there's no better way to end a day in Cork then in a pub and the city has a plethora of them to choose from.  These were just two of many I visited while I was there.  Pubs over there are different than bars here.  Everyone of all ages goes there to socialize and spend time with their friends and family.  They mingle, tell hilarious jokes, and enjoy each others company.  I've never encountered anything else like it before or since.



Well folks, I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my beloved Cork.  There is so much more to see and talk about but I figured I had rambled enough.  Another time, I'll show you some of the other awesome places I visited in Ireland and the other countries I visited while over in Europe.  I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures of the city of Cork, taken right outside my apartment building on Thanksgiving.


May the sound of happy music, and the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.

Slainte,
M.

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