9 Dec

This past weekend I had the unique opportunity to visit Cork. Cork is a city located in the south of Ireland in Munster. We first visited the Blarney castle near Cork in Ireland. We thoroughly explored the ancient ruins. We crawled through the dungeon and climbed to the top of the castle where I was told to sit on my back, with my head off the edge of the castle and allowed to kiss the Blarney stone ( otherwise known as the stone of eloquence). According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab (great skill at flattery).

After we explored the castle we headed down to the city. University College Cork was right next to our bed and breakfast and I found the architecture to be quite stunning as it had an interesting mix of new and old architecture. Classical buildings had these modern glass walls and I found this particularly extraordinary as there many cases were such mixtures have visually failed and this was certainly not one of those cases. I noticed a common theme in Irish cities in that most of them are built around rivers. Dublin has The Liffey, Belfast has The River Lagan, Galway has the River Corrib and Cork has The River Lee. This is similar to my hometown, Dubai, as it is also built along a creek. The architecture along the rivers is also very similar among Irish cities with one way traffic on either sides of the River.

The next morning we went to we left for Cove, or An Cobh, in Irish, and also known as Queenstown. We visited the Heritage center where we learned a great deal of History regarding Ships, Emigration and The Titanic which had made its last Port of call in the town before its infamous end. An interesting fact that I had not previously known was that as emigrants left the country their loved ones would hold wakes as for all intents and purposes the emigrating individual would be dead due to the fact that they would probably never see them again.

My Trip to Cork was Both Entertaining and educational. It is definitely not an experience I will  forget any time soon. – Saeed Faghihi


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