Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5/10/14 Day 114 Cork City

We got a free ride to Cork so we are spending the weekend in the city before we head down to Bandon for our next WorkAway program. Cork city is beautiful with two canals running parallel to each other bordering the city and 22 bridges connecting between. Cork is the second city in Ireland with a population of 120,000, (only one tenth of the population comprised within Dublin). For being a little-big city Cork is a winner when it comes to charm, with adorable brightly colored shops lining the canals and a beautiful Cathedral looming over the city. The tallest building in Ireland is found here towering at a gigantuan 88 meters (266 feet) and is a residential/office building. We managed a Couchsurfer host for Saturday and Sunday nights, but were still without a place to stay Friday night. Luckily for us the weekly Couchsurfer meeting is at 8:00 at Bier Haus. The diversity at the meeting is incredible with people from India, Austria, Germany, Italy and many other countrie enjoying beers and conversation. Right from the start we meet Peter, originally for Hungary who is very intelligent and provides us with some interesting conversation about organic food production. He offers to take us in for the night and after a long day of exploring with our packs on and our bellies full of beer and pizza we head back to his place on the East side of town. 
First thing the next morning Peter cooks us a pot of porridge drizzled in the honey the Matuschka's generously gifted us. And were off, to Blackrock Castle, just up the canal 3 kilometers or so. A beautiful restored fortress that has been modified into an observatory complete with a planetarium. From here Ciaran picked us up and we spent the rest of the indecisively rainy day getting to know him and his roommates. Very fun and relaxed guys, we even got to watch Eurovision with them, delighting in the agony that is this tacky European singing contest that has been running for half a century!

Cork City is technically an island as it is surrounded by canals

The English market, full of delicious sausages, fresh produce and baked goodies galore

The old rail lines have been transformed into a popular biking/running path, great usage of space and beautiful stroll

Mirror tree in Fitzgerald Park

This is the essence of weather in Ireland, dark grey stormy rainy cloud....followed by a beautiful blue sky. It can literally be raining in one acre patches and you walk through it, and a city block later it is sunny. 

A great system for ensuring shopping carts are neatly put away, you put a euro coin in, and when you reattach the cart you get your deposit back. 
Pretty much the only tea you will ever drink here
Look familiar, like Lays? The rebranding is so strange, there is also a store called TK Maxx, the interior even is organized just like TJ Maxx. 
Blackrock Castle

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