9.13.2013

Top three ways to put a Cork in it.

When you go to Ireland, you will either love or hate Dublin, probably depending on whether you love or hate Guinness. Or big cities. If you get tired of big cities, it is a good idea to check out smaller cities. Yes, you are welcome for that wisdom.
I decided to base myself in Cork, for a few days. It is much smaller than Dublin, but still big enough to find plenty of shopping and bars with live music. I took a couple daytrips to elsewhere, as explained below. But Cork does have its own attractions. Like...

1. The Butter Museum!
Just think what you can learn here! The options are limitless! How is butter made? What impact has it had on the Irish economy? Why did you just spend three euros on this when you could have bought a beer?
I know these are historical butter churns, 
but I am pretty sure that that one is a dalek
2. Visit the Church of St. Anne (Shandon)

You can set your watch by the four-faced-liar. Then reset it when you see that the time on the next side is different. And the next side. And the next side. Actually, none of the clock faces are accurate. But that doesn't matter.

What matters is that you can climb the belltower and play songs with the bells to annoy the neighbors. They provide you with papers so you can easily play a complex arrangement like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or "My Country Tis of Thee" and deafen the other people climbing the tower if they forget to wear their headphones.

AND when I went into the church, there was a rainbow memorial.
AND not far outside the church is a memorial to Mother Jones.

Not pictured: the fish weather vane on top.
Really the best part.


3. See Saint Finn Barre's Cathedral

I went to this church only because I climbed the bell tower and took a picture of a pretty building. Then I walked around asking Corkers what the hell this building was and how could I get there. A couple of people shook their heads and asked if I was sure that I wasn't showing them a picture from Dublin. Spoiler: I wasn't.
Not pictured: Evidence that the church also has a front. 

4. Very long Daytrip to the Cliffs of Moher. 

While I would really recommend you actually take the time to go to the coast and stay in some smaller villages, you might find yourself pressed for time. I know I did. But could I go to Ireland without seeing the Cliffs of Insanity? Nope. My shameless movie tourist side prevailed, and I took a tour bus for expedience.

The bus takes you through may stops of minimal interest, including some old Druidic locations.  You get to stop and see some rocks that dissolved.
Rocks, formerly unholy. Now holy.  
And then you get to the cliffs and get to take tourist pictures.

Visual evidence I am in Europe and/or have no legs

And you get a couple hours to walk along the cliffs and sigh at the beauty. And read all of the signs that say things like "Need to talk? Call this number." I don't know what the jumping stats are, or how many tourists are blown off the edge while trying to take jumping pictures. But I do know that the cliffs are huge.
See that castle on top? Yeah.


5. Daytrip to the Dingle Peninsula.

I don't actually recommend taking a bus to this. Apparently the bus trip to Ring of Kerry is very good. But this was way too much time on a bus, and very little time to actually interact with the beautiful nature. Many stops in small villages that seem to cater heavily to tourists.

But the Dingle Peninsula does have some strikingly beautiful natural formations.
I want to be those people.


6. Blarney Castle

You're in Cork? Dude, you gotta go to Blarney Castle. Then you can kiss the Blarney stone, and get the gift of gab. Which is to say, you'll be blessed with eloquence for the rest of your days.
This is why I talk good.


The castle has a lot of little areas to walk around and explore. It's also a good place to relax.
Visual evidence I was in Europe and/or near a tree. 


AND you can see the Witch's stone, which kind of looks like those other dissolved stones, except vertical.
and contains a face

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