Saturday, August 20, 2022

Cork, Ireland

 Another day, another port! This cruise has been work!! A  different port, five days in a row, and I am tired. I cannot believe that tourist-ing for three to four hours a day could wear me out as it has. But to be fair, we have walked 12,000 to 18,000 steps every single day since we left home.

Today we are in Cork, and I can already tell, even before stepping off of the ship, that I will like it better than Dublin. I am sure part of that is the size, I am not a fan of really big cities, except for NYC, of course...and Chicago, and Denver. lol

There is a tiny little town, right where the ship docks, that we thought we would stroll around, but low and behold, right around the corner was Darren Haddock, our taxi driver for the day. He promised to show us many sites and did not disappoint.

We headed out of the little village and into the city center of Cork, where he took us to the University of Cork, which was a beautiful campus, and apparently a less expensive option to attend medical school than that in the states. He told us that the campus used to be a prison.

While walking through the halls, we saw many large rocks with etchings on them, and a legend of what those edgings stood for, apparently it was a way in which people communicated with one another, long, long ago.

He then took us into an old library, filled with very old books behind glass, a beautiful wood floor and ceiling, a fireplace, and stained glass windows. He asked us to look around and see what we noticed, we all said,  "We are the only ones here!" and he said yes, they wouldn't be bringing any other cruise ship passengers up there to the university, and that the reason that he did was that his father in law worked at the school! SCORE!

It was a stunning campus and I felt fortunate to have been able to stroll around and admire the old buildings, windows, and doors. On our way to view the chapel, we were lucky enough to see the end of a charming wedding! The bride was beautiful and the fascinators on the guests' heads were amazing! We loved the little "getaway car" and I secretly wished the bride and groom well!

I would have liked to see more of the mosaic tiles in the church, on the floor, but what are you going to do? Love was in the air!

Next, he took us to a Protestant Church, St. Fin Barre's, and guess what? There was an organ recital going on in that church. Apparently, Fridays are busy days for churches in Cork. We were still able to view the outside, which was ornate and full of gargoyles and statues, probably priests, bishops, and saints. It is always interesting viewing the architecture, and graveyards of churches across the world.

Once we were through at the church, we headed over to Dun Elise; Elizabeth Fort, established in 1626. When the fort was built, Cork was a walled town under English rule. The town needed protection from the Gaelic chieftains still in power in parts of Ireland.

Unfortunately, in two short years, Elizabeth died and James l became king. Seeing an opportunity, the Catholic merchants of Cork joined with other towns and launched an attack on the fort, stole its' guns, and brought them into town. This act of rebellion was quickly suppressed by Lord Mountjoy, who returned the town to order and forced the citizens to rebuild the fort.

It had small depictions of what went on inside the fort, including heads on stakes. Creepy to think how barbaric people were, and can be, there was also a bomb shelter that we walked into, and I imagined being huddled in there, with many other people. and could only imagine just how difficult that would have been.

Once again, I am extremely grateful for my life.

After our visit to the fort, Darren took us to the "Market" which reminded me of the market in Barcelona. It was bustling and full of everything from fresh fish, octopus, and stingrays, to chicken, chocolate, and soap! I absolutely love markets such as these and wish they were more plentiful in the states.

Of course, we shop in bulk at Costco and Trader Joe's. so there probably isn't much of a demand.
After our guided tour through the market and some of the streets of Cork, live with buskers singing and artists peddling their wares, we headed back towards the ship and to a Catholic Church, Saint Colman's Cathedral, where guess what?

Yup! Another wedding going on; Fridays are very, very busy church days here in Cork. The church was ornate and stunning, and I would have loved to have been able to wander around inside, but I was happy to enjoy the outside architecture, gargoyles, and statues.

There was a ramp-type walkway that led down to the seaside sections of town where our ship was moored, and we enjoyed a drink and some music while sitting outside reminiscing about another great day.
I want to be him when I grow up!

Thank goodness for knowledgable taxi drivers who love their cities and towns. It is so much more enjoyable having them show us around their city than it is wandering aimlessly around.

A three-hour cab ride, split four ways 160 pounds, including the tip. That is 40 pounds per person, a savings of a minimum of 60 pounds per person!

We had an enjoyable dinner and are looking forward to a sea day tomorrow!

Night y'all!

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Bricks for the Brave!!