Weekend In Cork

30 Jan
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The Sun Rising in Kinsale

This weekend a few of the other American students and I took a trip out to the city of Cork. Cork is a beautiful city, being the second largest city in Ireland after Dublin. It is named after the marshland that surrounds the country side on the outskirts of the main city and is known for its delicious fish due to it being so close to the coast. During our weekend we saw three major places in Cork: The town of Cobh, The Blarney Castle, and The village of Kinsale.

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The Titanic Memorial

Cobh is a seaport town that is famous for being the last place The Titanic docked before its departure and infamous sinking. “At Queenstown (now Cobh) she picked up mail and 123 passengers. On Board were 2228 passengers and crew when the Titanic left Queenstown at 1:30 pm on the afternoon of Thursday April 11th 1912 steaming west out into the Atlantic bound for New York (http://www.titanicexperiencecobh.ie/titanic-history-maiden-voyage/).” There is a small monument in the town to remember those who perished as well as a museum on The Titanic. The town is also known as the place where around half (2.5 million) of the Irish citizens who left Ireland to start a new life in the United States departed from. The town has many colourful buildings and St. Colman Cathedral can be seen towering above the shops from anywhere in the area.

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Blarney Castle

The Blarney Castle was probably my favorite aspect of Cork. The Castle was built in the early 12th century and according to the story told to us by our tour guide it got its name from when Queen Elizabeth requested ownership of the castle as an oath of loyalty from Cormac McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, he would always change the subject and subtly avoid the topic of surrendering the castle. After many years of back and forth on the subject only to be diverted each conversation, The Queen proclaimed that McCarthy was giving her “a load of blarney”. The Blarney Castle is famous for the Blarney Stone which is said that if one kisses it they will be granted with “the gift of gab” or in layman’s terms the ability to speak flawlessly and confidently. Kissing it however is not an easy task, one must first climb all the way to the top of the castle and then be lowered down and bent over backwards to reach it. It was very exciting and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Kinsale is a fisherman village and although has no spectacular monuments such as The Titanic Memorial or The Blarney Stone is special none the less. We went early in the morning and seeing the sun rise and glisten over the water is a sight I will never forget. The pastures we passed on the way into the town were what I imagined Ireland being like, green as can be. The town is littered with small cafes and places to get Fish and Chips, a popular dish everywhere in Ireland but I can’t imagine anywhere having a better tasting version then fish straight from the sea onto your plate.
Cork was an amazing experience with so many diverse places to go and so much history in every place we stepped foot in.

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– Spencer Oliveira

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