A week-end in Cork

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
Trip End Jul 14, 2012

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Flag of Ireland  , County Cork,
Friday, April 20, 2012

Because we visited already 2 times the Connemara with Guillaume, we decided during one week-end to go to the south of Ireland and to discover Cork, the capital city of Munster province. It was in April and I booked an hostel which was good because they had their own bar, it was really well located and in addition the breakfast was included. The name is Bru Hostel if you are interested in an hostel in Cork. The funny story with the hostel is that I meet there a guy from my business school…the world is very small!!

We arrived the Friday evening at Cork by coach (City Link). It is approximately 3 hours from Galway to reach Cork, there is no motor way and the road is really zigzag so don't expect to sleep in the coach…We went to a bar the Friday night and we quickly realized that we were in Munster by seeing all the Munster Rugby flag on the pubs front.

The Saturday we explored the city which is the second largest in Ireland after Dublin (120 000 inhabitants). The city center and all its shopping streets are nice to visit. You can also stop at English Market which is known to be the place to buy good food. By the way, Cork and its surroundings are known to be the area for good and traditional food in Ireland. One interesting place to visit is also Cork City Gaol (jail). During the visit you can really realized that people in the 19th century were put in jail just because they were poor and they needed to stole food to stay alive. What is good in that museum is that there are lots of statues representing the prisoners, the warders…etc. and there is for each of them on the audio guide a real story about their life in the jail, or the reasons why they were here, so it is much more captivating than a usual visit. Thanks to this visit, I learned a lot about the history of Ireland with the famines and the emigration.

The afternoon, we meet another friend of us, Sebastien, and as he had lived in Cork before, he brought us to some other good places. We went walking around the Cork University (UCC – University College Cork) whose main building is really beautiful (it apparently appeared in an episode of the Big Bang Theory). After we went to one of the best pub/café of Cork named the Bodega. It was built in a factory. The day it is like a café/restaurant where you can read the newspaper and have a good coffee and the night it become more a pub/club. The evening, Sebastien showed us some good pubs to go and we went after with Guillaume to other clubs in the city center. There are lots in Cork and it seems to be a good city for partying.

I was a little disappointed of the Sunday because we realized that the morning and the midday, there was not a lot of life in the city (all the shops were closed and there wasn’t a lot of people on the street). A good tips for having food at cheap price is to go at the University cafeteria. We went there to have lunch before coming back to Galway by coach in the afternoon.

To conclude, I would say that Cork is a great and beautiful city and I really enjoy that week-end. What I can blame is that the number of spots to visit are limited so you visit the city very quickly. Nevertheless, a lot of places are located in the surroundings of Cork and you need the car to access it (and we didn’t have it). Personally, I prefer Galway as the attractions on the city seems more concentrated than in Cork and it allows you more to do everything just by walking.
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