Oct 21, 2012

Cork, Part I: a tour

I found this in downtown Cork City.  Right on!
Some Irish wisdom, straight from the backs of the sugar packets.
I'm back from Cork, friends!  This weekend trip was packed with things to do and see...but I understand the difference between "good" fatigue and "bad" fatigue, and this soreness along the soles of my feet is of the "good" variety.

As soon as we drove into Cork on Friday, we wandered along streets that all looked more or less like this -

- in our quest to find the Long Valley Bar.

Why, you ask?  Poetry readings.
Paul Casey, poet
Marie Coveney, poet
Meet Billy Ramsell, poet.  He was my favorite - he spoke like he meant the words.
Diarmaid O'Dalaigh, storyteller.  (Truth be told, though, he sounded like a poet to me.)
Now, I appreciate poetry (especially Mary Oliver's.  This is one of my favorites, if you're interested.)  I even wrote a fair bit in high school, but redirected my efforts once they all began to turn into songs.  But unless I have some personal connection to whoever's reading, I'm not one to frequent these sorts of events.  For what it was worth, though, I enjoyed watching these people share their craft.

After the reading, it was time to check into the hostel...

Not bad, as far as hostels go...but I still have the fondest memories of the Dingle B&B.
 ...and explore the city!  Ready for a tour?
Cork, which means "marsh" in Irish, was indeed built over a marsh that lay between two mountain ridges...hence the winding roads and scarily steep inclines.  The streets of Cork map out the path of rivers that used to weave across the landscape!

This is the Lee, the river that cuts through most of Cork City.

This one made me chuckle.
Indians, Indians, everywhere...
This building, which has played many roles over the years but is now the city art gallery, once played host to one Charles Darwin.

St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, the biggest Anglican church in town, pays homage to the patron saint of Cork. 

As we left the church, I almost missed this garden, which is nestled along its side.  Hidden quiet places like this make my heart happy.
The main "quad" area at University College Cork (UCC)

I'll always be partial to Union's campus...but this one was pretty, I guess.
Oh, fine - it was gorgeous.  If our group hadn't been moving so quickly, I would have readily settled underneath one of these trees to get some reading done.

The president's digs.  Not bad!

The tour guide: "There's a college bar in this building - now, there's something you won't find in the States.  Except in Wisconsin."
The creek that runs through UCC's campus.  If I weren't so fond of Union, I'd say that it puts our creek to shame.
That's it for now, friends...but I can't wait to write tomorrow's post, which will be about Cork's harbor town of Cobh and - in my slightly biased opinion - the best museum in Ireland!

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