September 7, 2014

The silent, vibrant streets of Cork

My last stop on my Irish train (or as it had it my Bus Éiraen, which is a real crackin' way to see the Irish countryside, if you ask me) was Cork, down towards the south of the isle. A beauty of a little city, a bit like Dublin, Cork was full of site seeing. The site seeing was a lucky turn, considering I didn't realize I'd planned my trip there on a bank holiday, which unlike in the US, actually means that the whole city is shut down. 

So, in true Kenna form, I spent my entire day aimlessly wandering for miles and miles around the city. Sticking to my tradition of college seeing, I began with University College Cork.   

The college is a bit of a fairytale land, which was only emphasized in otherworldliness by the complete desertion. 

I was only joined on my walk around the ground by what I choose to believe were just creepy statues and not deteriorating Weeping Angels. Either way, awfully sinister looking fellows.

Whilst walking the grounds, I was left asking myself: why don't I go to school in a full fledge castle? I have obviously made some life mistakes.

Tearing myself away from the slightly menacing campus I skipped down along the river and back out into the city. 

Cork is a strange place; one moment you're at a grassy timeworn University, and the next you're tromping along a quaint and colorful avenue.  

Then you turn another corner (or two or three) and you're back to the far more ancient architecture of the St. Fin Barre Cathedral

The Cathedral sits atop a precipice visible from all ranges across the city. 

Entering the city center, the architecture again takes on a whimsical vibrancy of coloration. 

To add to the oddity of my day, on top of it being a bank holiday, the Cork City Marathon, which apparently is a nationwide event, was going on that very same day. So not only was everything shut down, but there were also people dashing about the main throughway all day long. It was inconvenient, because I don't think I got any kind of real feel for the city itself, but also kind of fun. It was nice to see a country that can actually just shut down, hang out, cheer on their marathoners and not worry about making a dime all day long. 

The only people who seemed to mind at all were the slightly dazed (and hungry) folks like myself, who were unprepared for a city-wide closure. 

Once I eventually found a little food stand set-up, I became a much happier camper and continued on my trek. I crossed over the river to see if there was any fuss over yonder, but really only found more quiet streets (with a few Irish anomalies). 

The first was the Cork Old Folks Friendly Association. Though I'm not sure entirely what this Association is, I am under the impression it's a social club of some sort...but in any case, the name takes the cake. 

Then not soon after, I stumbled upon the Cork Butter Museum, which after being asked if I want butter on my sandwich at the Dublin airport, I can concede is a truly Irish staple. 

My time in Cork was short, so while I had lots of time to explore, I didn't quite fit it in the schedule to go see kiss the world famous, Blarney Stone. I did, however, make it to Blarney Street, which I can attest to be a very long street, since I got stuck in between houses on it for around a mile (luckily, I was able to veer off before I walked myself all the way to the castle). 

I eventually circled my way back to my funky little hostel on the far end of town, and stayed in that evening to mingle with the many foreigners who, like me, had made their way to Cork, unbeknownst to the happenings of the day. My time in the town may have not been exactly what I was anticipating, but in any case it was another day of seeing new things, and with that one can never really complain. 

Yours, Kenna 

P.S. I may not have complained (much) about my day in Cork, but the next day there may have been some slight grumbles from me about leaving Ireland all together. Then again, it was time for another adventure, this time with two mischievous rugrats...stay tuned. 

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