Ireland - Cork
October 17 - 26, 2002


Just the next day after arriving home from the Kentville, Nova Scotia GWA meeting, I was on my way to Cork, Ireland with my Mother. Mom had wanted to go years back but then eye surgery prevented her from going and nothing more was said about it until just a few weeks before us leaving. It was a stressful few weeks though because she didn’t have a passport and after having all of this ready and getting to the passport office, we found out her birth certificate was not legal identification anymore from the province of Quebec. After phoning and going through the whole birth certificate thing, we finally got back to the passport office the Thursday before we were to leave the next Tuesday!

Tight all right – but it happened, both governments came through and we were ready. In fact the lady at the passport office knew me before I knew her…she was familiar with the website and was a member of our garden club!

We had a good flight over to London, then the transfer to Cork and then to our bed and breakfast. This trip was very different from my other trips. The only things we had arranged were the flights and b & b….everything else we just did as the next day and when we felt like it.

I also used this time to scout out a few places for our upcoming tour next August to Cork…the first three pictures are the Jury’s Inn where we will be staying. Mom and I had the opportunity of having dinner there one evening and it was very good so I think everyone will be pleased with this hotel. It’s right on Western Road, close to a lot of pubs and very close to the Market and lots of shopping and other sites. The beautiful St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral looks down over us.

The pink building there was really quite a wonderful little building…what intrigued me about it was it looked that it had a built in dovecote. This was on the site of the Cork Public Museum. Wonderful history inside the main building too, plus a full mock layout of Cork when it was just a walled village many, many years ago. Fitzgerald park, where the museum is located is a beautiful tranquil place to walk, right by the waters edge where you will see lots of birds.

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The first three pictures are of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral – St. Fin Barre is believed to have been the founder of the City of Cork. The present Cathedral was consecrated in 1870 and stands on perhaps the older site in Cork. According to tradition, a monastery was founded here in the 7th century by St. Fin Barre. A settlement grew up around the monastery and successive churches served the community. There has been continuous worship on this site for over 1000 years. You can just get a glimpse of Cork’s Golden Angel.

This area is really the oldest and walking around it was easy to spot houses that were built in the 1600’s. The stone wall that you see is actually inside a fort. I also took a picture looking through one of the grated windows. Another of a narrow street with many old buildings and still more of old walls, streets and plantings in the stone.

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I headed over to the University of Cork, which was just down the road from us to visit this beautiful old university. There was an old observatory there – built in 1880, some other very beautiful old buildings as you can see, windows laced with Virginia creeper turning colour, an old gate, the canal running all along the edge of the university. A wonderful place to go to school. I couldn’t resist taking that picture of the daisy plant growing in the rock.

Mom and I took the train out to Cobh (Cove) one day – it was very special as a lot of our ancestors probably took this same rail out to leave Ireland. This was the rail line that took everyone out to Cobh to board the ships that would take them to other countries. We arrived to the original rail station that had been changed into a museum now to preserve this history of the Titanic and the Lusitania. Very moving….

What I noticed about Cobh, is how Victorian it looked. That could have been the influence that Queen Victoria had when she visited in 1849. Cobh was renamed in her honour to Queenstown, so Cobh has three names. It remained Queenstown until 1920. I loved walking the streets, listening to the people chat and then I went down a short little pier that dropped off into the water and put my hand in the water.

I caught sight of the Guinness truck in front of the pubs and had to take that picture. They rolled them along the sidewalk and plopped them in front of each pub.

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