After Kenmare, we headed a little more east to the biggest city of our trip, Cork. Cork is Ireland’s 2nd or 3rd biggest city and really seems like any big city.
This is the main section where all the department stores and business stuff was. Mostly the same stores you see in the US, actually, except for some with a European counterpart:
I don’t know why this made me laugh every time I saw it. We never did go in there and I love shopping the Maxx!
Cork is split by the river Lee.
The cathedral in this picture I think is St. Finn Barre’s. It’s hard to keep track of all the churches and cathedrals in Ireland. We stayed in the historic part of Cork near the butter market museum. They have a whole museum dedicated to butter. It was a huge industry in Cork. Our B&B was very quaint and the owner was a wonderful storyteller. He told us all the mythology behind places like the rock of Cashel, the Blarney stone and fairy trees. He was great. Our room was really tiny, though. Here is a peek out of our window since I couldn’t get a shot of our room in the camera frame because it was too small LOL!
That round building is Firkin Crane, which really sounds like swear words to me, but it used to be the butter hub in the area where all the butter went through. Firkin is the name of the butter barrels and Crane is the name of the scale they were weighed on.
We were only a couple blocks from St. Anne’s Cathedral:
Lots of nice architecture in Cork.
The city layout was a little confusing with curved streets and tiny alleys.
You really could book your whole vacation in Cork. We only scratched the surface here. There are museums and some are free!
Then there is the famous English Market:
This market has been around since 1788! It’s a foodie’s dream, too.
We picked up some lunch at one of the stalls and the worker there was having trouble with our order. He then apologized and said it was his first day. We said it was our first day in Cork, so no worries!
This sign also gave me the giggles:
I’m not sure if it is meant to be humorous or not, but I found it to be.
We found some good coffee in Cork. One place roasted their own:
That is a serious espresso machine right there. It made this:
One day from Cork, we took a train to Cobh. Now that is pronounced Cove, not Cob (like I kept accidentally doing even though I knew it was not). Cobh is a port city. If you have any ancestors that came from Ireland, most likely they left from Cobh.
Two other points of interest about Cobh. It was the last port of call for the Titanic before it sunk. There is some attraction there called the Titanic Experience or something like that, but we didn’t do it. Instead, we went to the Queenstown Story in Cobh Heritage Center.
It covers the story of Irish emigration and also the other point of interest for Cobh, which is that after the Lusitania was sunk, Cobh was the port survivors and injured were brought to and taken care of. When you pay admission to see the exhibits, you are given tickets, each with a name of an actual passenger on the Lusitania:
Then you can find out whether you lived or died at sea. Eeek! We actually both lived.
Cobh was definitely a neat place to visit.
I do wish we had more time in Cork. When you only go to Ireland for a week, there’s a lot you can’t fit in!
One last shot of Cork at night and the river Lee: