"First time in Cork - Make A Wish!" Top 5 Page for this destination Cork by suvanki

Cork Travel Guide: 618 reviews and 1,591 photos

Cork VT Meet October 18th-20th 2008

Ryanairs £1 offers had enticed me to book a weekend in Dublin, a place that I'd been meaning to re-visit for a while. Whilst planning my itinerary, I realised that this was the same weekend of the Cork VT meeting - It wasn't long before I'd re-scheduled my plans - I could fly to Cork from Dublin and back without having to alter the flights, and hopefully arrive in time for the Saturday night meal that Katherine (Ekaterinburg) had booked at Market Lane Restaurant. I was hoping that I'd have a bit of time to explore Dublin on my return journey

So first time in Cork-Make A Wish!
I was waiting for the bus from the airport to Cork City, and got talking to a lady who was born n' bred in Cork, within a few minutes I'd found out her families history (Yup, she'd certainly kissed the Blarney Stone!!) When I mentioned that this was my first visit to Cork, she said that I must make a wish! So I did! What a lovely welcome to Cork!

Cork is Irelands 3rd City, after Dublin and Belfast.
Its Gaelic name is Corcaigh, which means -a marsh. The city originated from an island in the swampy marshland of the estuary of the River Lee in medieval times. It soon became an important seaport.

Saint Finbarr is the founder and patron saint of Cork.
Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral is one of Corks landmarks, it was built on the site of the monastery that the saint founded in the 7th Century.

The people of Cork are known as Corkonians, and have a reputation as being the most talkative of all of Ireland - probably due to the closeness of The Blarney Stone!

Cork has a reputation as the Capital of Cuisine, with a variety of restaurants serving local produce. The annual Taste of Cork Festival in June offers a week to try some of the areas best food.

Music is also a reason to come to Cork, to hear traditional music in the bars and streets each night, or to attend the many festivals including The West Cork Musical Festival, Cork International Choral Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival, Live at the Marquee, Beamish Cork Folk Festival, East Cork Early Music Festival and the Guiness Cork Jazz Festival.

While we were here, some VTers enjoyed a film showing, at the Corona Cork Film Festival, which has been running since 1956.

Cork VT meet October 18th to 20th 2008

After arriving at Cork airport, I caught the airport bus into Cork, checked into my hostel, then headed for Market Lane Restaurant on Oliver Plunkett St. for my 2nd VT meeting.
The restaurant was very busy, but I soon found Ekaterinburg (Katherine) who introduced me to her husband, Dennis (who isn't a VTer-yet!) and some of the other VTers.
The others had enjoyed a Friday night of dog racing and Traditional Irish Music, then Saturday at Kinsale and Cobh. I was a bit envious!

It wasn't long before I was enjoying my first drop of 'The Black Stuff'. Being Cork, Murphys is the local brew (or the sweeter Beamish). Guiness being from Dublin.
I enjoyed my meal, and getting to know everyone. I'm afraid that I didn't get to chat to everyone though.
After our meal, we headed off into the rainy night. Katherine led us into the Cork Opera House, (after pointing out the adjacent Crawford Art Gallery) and arranged for us to enjoy a drink in the bar, with its views. This was one of the venues for the Cork Film Festival.

Dao had come prepared with laminates to re enact a scene from Father Ted (The Passion of Saint Tibulous ) which caused much amusement!

We left here, after making plans for the next day. Gillybob, Nomad7890 and myself had arranged to meet at the bus station for a trip to Blarney.
We were hoping to be back in time to join the others in Luigi Malones.
Gillybob and I had a night cap in the LV Bar.

We had a good time in Blarney, despite the rain, (which had progressed from 'a soft rain' to 'a Wet rain')!
We all kissed the Blarney Stone, and enjoyed our walk around The Rock Close.

All to soon, it was time to say Goodbye to Martha, who had to return to Cork, to catch her plane back to the States.

Gillybob and I headed for the pub, and a traditional meal of bacon, colcannon and parsley sauce . We were joined by Dao.
After visiting the Blarney Woollen Mills, and a walk around the village, we were surprised to see the bus leaving 10 minutes early! So it was back to the pub.
Arriving back in Cork, Katherine had texted the name of the pub that the others were in. Gillybob had to go to the airport, so I headed off to Union Quay and Charlies Bar, where I caught sight of Sachara (Ali) who'd returned to look for her spectacles - if she hadn't I'd have missed them.

Royslaven (John), Songlines (Agnes) and Tripack (Patrick) made up the gang. We headed off to find somewhere to eat, and ended up at Isaacs Hotel. I was still full from my lunch, but enjoyed a plate of Tapas.

After our meal, we all said our goodbyes. Tripacks hostel was near mine, and we stopped off at the LV Bar for a night cap - where I realised that I'd walked off with a menu from the restaurant, so had a quick run back to return it!

I'd just got back to my hostel, when I got a call from Katherine - had I seen Az (Benazer) ? as he'd been missing all day. She texted to say that she'd found him.

Monday, I didn't need to catch my bus until mid day, and I'd not seen much of Cork. I was just trying to decide what to see, when Katherine phoned and arranged to meet me in 40 minutes to show me a bit of Cork.
I had a pleasant couple of hours with Katherine, as we looked around Shandon, one of Corks oldest areas, and the most atmospheric. I particularly enjoyed my spot of bell ringing at Saint Annes Church! We then stopped at the University, which has an attractive quadrangle.
My whistle stop tour ended all too soon. I'd enjoyed seeing this part of the city. I was very touched by Katherines hospitality, especially as she was recovering from a nasty chest infection. After saying our goodbyes, she was off to look for Az.

I headed for the airport for my flight to Dublin. I was hoping to spend some time there before my flight home. I had 3 hours to spare, but the bus journey would be at least 45 minutes each way, and 6 euros each way. I decided not to risk being delayed in the evenings rush hour traffic. Dublin airport has plenty of things to see, and I had a book to read.

A Taste of Cork

So, my first visit to Cork had been quite busy. I'd seen a small part of the city.
I'd like to return again, and use Cork as a base for seeing more of Ireland. Hopefully being there for one of the festivals. Oh, and hopefully being there when it's not raining!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Compact City with character, Handy base for exploring
  • Cons:Come prepared for rain!
  • In a nutshell:A lovely City. Come for the Art, Culture and The Black Stuff!
  • Last visit to Cork: Oct 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (27)

Comments (8)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Hi Sue, fantastic tips about Cork! This was probably the best and most detailed hostel review I ever read, and I laughed about the bell ringing story :-) Great to read that a day trip to Blarney can be done so easily by bus.
    I always wanted to travel to Ireland, and will probably do so next year!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2009 at 5:01 AM

    Nice tips!, looks like it was great time!

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    Great stuff, will come back to read some more!

  • Tripack's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    What a complete Cork page! Good to read all your useful tips especially the local customs. Thanks to your advice I take my medicine almost everyday (a Guinness as usual ;-)

  • dancinbudgie's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    Hi Sue! Love the travelogues and reading about the VT meet! Have yet to attend one...next year in Airlie Beach will be my first...Yay! Glad you liked my Popeye page. Have a great day!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    What a happy meet in Cork & lucky you cheap flights too!! Nice tips Sue I suspect there could be more? A long time has passed since I visited Cork!!

  • Waalewiener's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2008 at 5:33 PM

    Well Sue I agree with Katherine ,this page is excellent ,this is the way to explain how a VT meeting went rain or shine You covered it all everyone is in some picture I can only say a job very well done Sue Hugss

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    What an excellent account of the meeting Sue. You've just been appointed VT's official writer-in-residence at meetings from now on. It was a pleasure spending time with you in Cork :))


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