After leaving Dingle, Ireland we headed to Cork to catch our flight to Germany for a few weeks. We discovered that we had a couple of extra days, so we decided to spend 3 nights in a hotel in Cork which gave us only a couple of days to explore Cork. This was our first hotel stay of our trip. The old beautiful hotel in Cork was excellent, but after our independent living for several months in apartments and home rentals, we had a little adjustment to make. We survived quiet nicely I might add.
After being in Cork for a couple of days we realized we had made the first (but hopefully the last) mistake of our trip. Cork was awesome! We should have stayed longer. There were great restaurants, pubs, live music, and hiking around the area. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to hike because of the short time there, but learned a lot about hiking in the nearby areas at the Cork Visitor Center. We would encourage anyone going to Ireland not to forget about Cork! It is a foodie place for sure – from local pubs to gourmet restaurants that fill the city with delicious smells.
Being in Ireland for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 rebellion we decided that we needed to be more educated about the uprising so we headed to a museum in Cork totally dedicated to the 1916 rebellion. St. Peters Church was chosen as the site for aligning with the National Program of “remembering, reconciling, presenting, imagining and celebrating”. Below is a copy of the 1916 declaration on the wall at St. Peters Church annex.
We spent hours there and learned so much about the rebellion. Toward the end we met a wonderful Irishman who upon finding out we were Americans, went out of his way to give us additional information. He kept stressing that the organizers of the rebellion were a band of “poets, Irish language enthusiasts, former British soldiers, and a revolutionary Marxist”. Interesting to Clay and me was the fact that all this happened while Great Britain was mired in WWI with tens of thousand Irishmen fighting for Britain. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the irony of all of this.
As with any Irishmen who has found two good listeners – he also launched into the current events of the day – Brixit. He shared his concerns that there is so much to work through, and he held no expectations that Northern Ireland and Ireland might reunite as a result of this. He also fascinated us with his knowledge of American history. When he mentioned that he even had learned the state capitals of all 50 states. I said “may I challenge you?” giving him a way out so he went for it. A lot of people assume or guess that Birmingham is the capital of Alabama, but he quickly without hesitation said -“Montgomery of course”. I was impressed.
This casual meeting with the Irishman with a love of American history is the true purpose of traveling to me. No check lists for us. We leave lots of time for really talking to people. I still believe that you cut your “to do” list in half for a trip and give yourself more time to really communicate with the locals. We are learning so much about the people of Ireland! It’s good!
Before we headed to the museum we had walked through their farmers market called The English Market. As a foodie myself I gave it an A+. They even have a cafe and restaurant upstairs that get their food directly from the downstairs market. Clay and I agreed that the best meal that we have had in Ireland was at the Farmers Restaurant. From the fish main course to the dessert we were in foodie paradise. Cod was on the left in the photo, and potatoes on the right. We shared the delicious greens and fresh peas as our side. When the dessert arrived we scarfed it down before we remembered to take a photo. Sorry.
The visit to Cork was too short folks! The blame is mine (Maggie), but don’t you make the same mistake and consider Cork on your Ireland itinerary . Saturday morning came to quickly, but our flight to Cologne was departing, and off we went to begin the next phase of our adventure in Germany.