Sunday, 18 September 2011

Drive to Cork

Cork from a distance

The very pretty city of Cork or Corcaigh, meaning swamp in Irish, is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. A major seaport built on the River Lee, Corkonians staunchly lay claim to it being the 'real capital of Ireland'.

River Lee, the green end

The River Lee divides into two channels forming an island on which the city is built. This glistening body of water meanders along spanned by many bridges...

Bridges over the River Lee
. . . and casting interesting reflections from its banks.
The English Market
The English Market, made even more famous by the state visit of HH Queen Elizabeth II in May 2011, proudly displays photographs of Her Majesty visiting individual stalls and mingling with the crowds. 

Brown Thomas on Patrick Street
In summer the shopping streets are bustling with tourists, seemingly Spanish-speaking in the main, making one wonder about the credibility of the acronym, PIGS, related to the recent financial upheavals in the EU.

A leprachaun prowling the narrow streets of Cork
looking for the pot of gold?
Colourful shop frontages

Steeples vs geometric lines
The mix of old and new is striking and pleasing to the eye. Take the River Lee Hotel. It sits on the river bank and is basically a layered glass box exploiting every inch of the vistas it is surrounded by.

A transparent hotel by the River Lee

By night, the Prussian blue sky cloaks the city, glowing ambers seen in the horizon.

Cork by night

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