Famine and feast

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What I did
Bantry House & Garden
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Skibbereen Heritage Centre
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Ireland  , County Cork,
Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another calm, sunny dawn drew us out of bed to explore the Goat's track on Sheepshead peninsula - dairy farms and pretty fishing villages. The sunny weather has been going on for so long now (2 weeks), that there are all sorts of health warnings being issued like "Don't swim in quarries", "If you're going to drink ale, make sure you drink some water as well". Locals have varying opinions on how unusual the weather is, ranging from "Oh we haven't seen the sun:- a) since April; b) for months c) for years or d) since my childhood. Followed by assurances of "You think we're joking, but we're not!". Visited the Skibbereen Heritage Centre for the Famine exhibit - very well done and informative. Found a few adult Crowleys (John and Patrick), in a list of deaths from the local workhouse. Dad's great-grandmother Ellen was born in the second year of the famine (1848), which goes to prove there are some tough genes in the pool. Prior to the famine, it seemed that people literally subsisted on potatoes alone, with the average family eating about 25kg of tatties a day (6kg per adult and 2.5kg per child).
Stopped in the seaside village of Kinsale for lunch - should have had a tattie, but went with a wrap instead, before perusing the galleries and shops. Kinsale's town flower baskets were planted out with begonias - all looking bright and beautiful in the midday sun. Arrived at our accomodation to what can only be described as a circus. A wedding party had arrived for their reception at the same time that Bruce Springsteen was trying to exit the building to go to his concert in Cork. So there we were with the bright blue triumph stag convertible adorned with wedding ribbon, people from the wedding milling about in their gladrags having a fag, with kids on bikes, the hotel staff and us all trying to see "The Boss". Bruce's convoy of 8 black vans with fully tinted windows and 2 Garda were all lined up ready to go and we were stuck in the traffic jam backed up to the lake. So quick as a flash, the decoy group comes out of the hotel and everyone gets confused because they don't look like him, while Bruce slips around to the offside of the vans and away they go. No one saw a thing, but as the locals say, "It was brilliant crack!". So now the hotel is gripped in an enormous game of I Spy which consists of everyone looking at everyone else as they walk past a door in case it's "Him". Very disconcerting - I keep getting the feeling that I've inadvertently tucked my dress into my undies or something.
The Beckster is having a great time in Oxford - swapped her subjects for a day to try film-making and philosophy and enjoyed them immensely. 
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Tanya on

Enjoy that sun while it lasts, cause there ain't none here!!

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