Sightseeing While Philip Studies


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Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Cork
June 30th 2016
Published: June 25th 2017
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Yesterday, Phil went to class in the morning then we both went on the group field trip in the afternoon. The trip was to Cobh (pronounced Cove) and Midleton. We started with a thirty-minute drive to the Cobh Heritage Centre, and there received a welcome from the centre's administrator who gave us a brief orientation to the centre and some historical background on the town. Cobh was the last port of the Titanic and the exhibition does a good job of describing what it would have been like to be a passenger on the ship. With your admission ticket, you are assigned an actual person's story to follow throughout the exhibition. You might be rich or poor, male or female, traveler or crew, but each person's journey is described and their outcomes after they left Cobh on the Titanic or another ship is explained. It was a fun way to see a museum with a more personal interest.

Next, we got back in the bus to drive to an alternate location for the second stop on the trip. We had originally planned to go to Spike Island, but the weather for the ferry did not look promising in the morning. Since a decision for the group had to be made early, that portion of the field trip was canceled. As it turned out, we had a beautiful sunny afternoon. We did go to Midleton to see the Jameson Experience. We toured the distillery, and at the end when our guide asked for volunteers to participate in the tasting, Philip put his hand up quickly and got to take part. Rather than tasting all the different offerings of Jameson as I expected, the comparing was between a Kentucky bourbon, a Scotch whisky, and the Jameson Irish whiskey.

For dinner last night we went to Fenn's Quay Restaurant and had a particularly nice meal with fine food and good service. It is a few blocks from the apartment down a street that we hadn't seen before.

Today, Phil went to some lectures that promised to be interesting and helpful, and I spent the day sightseeing in Cork. It was raining early in the morning but stopped by the time I was ready to leave the apartment at 10 a.m. I first walked to the Butter Museum in the Shandon district. The production and exportation of Irish butter helped bring Ireland economic stability during the mid and late 20th century. The museum is small, but covers an important piece of Irish history. It is listed by IrishCentral as one of Ireland's most unusual tourist attractions.

Philip teased me a little about my selection of attractions to visit, but I am certain he would have liked hearing how a marketing plan brought about new economic growth for the nation. In the 1960s, the dairy industry was floundering so much so that they had to give away or dump some of the products. Someone came up with the idea to market the butter internationally. They started in western England first and now sell in more than one hundred countries under the brand name Kerrygold.

Next, I walked into the city center to visit the English Market which claims to be one of the best food markets in all of Europe. Typical meat markets, vegetable stands, and bakeries filled most of the aisles. Only a couple of souvenir/trinket stalls were open in the mix. I saw a butcher pushing a cart laden with two slabs of beef ribs out the door to a waiting truck. I bought our lunch for today to take back to
the apartment. Phil met me there to share sandwiches and tarts. We also tried the Irish gooseberries, but found them too tart. The sales clerk who sold them to me said that they were ripe and ready to eat.

In the afternoon, he went back for more lectures, and I went for a tour of the campus. The tour guide was friendly and animated, a drama student, and happened to be named Allen. He claimed to have no relatives with the last name Allen though, so I didn't find a cousin. We saw the Aula Maxima, the Honan Chapel, the quad with its three (yes, only three) surrounding buildings, and the Crawford Observatory during the hour and a half walk. Tomorrow they offer a tour about George Boole which I may go to.

Dinner tonight was at Holy Smoke, a smoked meat joint that we noticed yesterday on the way to another restaurant for dinner. It was okay, but everything was just a bit odd, and they used a lot of cilantro in most every dish. We did have great service from a waiter who seemed to be taking care of way too many tables for one person.



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