Thursday, September 28, 2006

Honeymoon: Cork to Cobh to Kinsale

We landed in Cork to a brilliant sunset, seemingly boding well for cycling, yes? We had a lovely stay with a German expat named Marion, via and met her Dubliner friend, Emma, and another couchsurfer from Australia, Amber. Late night chat and good food. Next morning the sun greeted us as we packed up and made our way into Cork, a vibrant sprawling town. We polished off some errands and some delicious lunch from the English Market (an indoor market of many vendors) and made haste to leave town due to some weather moving in.

Val at James Fort, Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland (edited)

We zipped 15 miles to Cobh (pronounced Cove) and though a bit damp and wind whipped, found an affordable B&B right on the harbor. A light dinner at Mimmo's restaurant and a walk along the harbor. Cobh was the main point of millions of Irish leave from the time before the British imposed-famine (1840s) until 1970. Today there is a decent museum we visited tracing the history.

Kinsale harbor near sunset

From Cobh we headed into a rainy gale 20 miles to Kinsale and the welcoming confines of Mary Minihane, a charming Irish woman who is a serious raw-foodist. After a day of beautiful though windy cycling, she fixed us up with tea and a light supper and tales of Ireland and raw foods. We finished the evening watching the light film "Michael Collins".

Village across from Kinsale harbor

That brings us to today, with a day off to explore the chic town of Kinsale full of boutiques and wine bars and such. At a bookstore we found a fine book on wild plants of Ireland which we bought for our kind host (our attempt to proselytize her raw food sensibilities). We took several walks, including out to James Fort, built in the late 1680s when former King James the 2nd mounted an uprising against the British in Ireland. It failed, unfortunately. Another walk found us into The Spanish Pub for a half-pint of Murphy's the local Guiness of sorts. Live music and laughs (and no smoke, forbidden in all pubs!). Hundreds of years ago the British navy destroyed a Spanish armada, the remnants found their way into Kinsale and never left. Part of the reason why folks in south are called "Black Irish".

Mark in front of James Fort


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just googled my name and found this so I am saying Hi to you both and I hope that you are well and happy. Mary Minihane, Kinsale.

3:41 AM  

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