Notes from Co. Cork, Ireland

During our one-week stay on the Sheep’s Head peninsula, we encountered ten minutes of dark skies and rain. The rest of the time was sunny, windy, and dry, with regular overnight rain though.

These standing stones were mentioned in the tour guide book, so we took this little walk from our cottage  further up the hill.  With the clouds hanging so low, it made for an eerie feeling.

Standing stone

Old barns gracing the wayside.

barn roof

That’s how peat is sold at grocery stores.

peat

peat

A sign in Kilcrohane advertising Sunday’s carnival got us curious. For some reason, I did not expect a sports competition. One local had mumbled ‘Yeah, they try to outdo each other….’, but I had associated carnival with a parade. It was worth it – alone for the people watching. This little guy on the right (sitting on the pole) was a real fighter.

Irish carnival  Carnival in Kilcrohane

Somewhere along the shore, of which there is plenty. Based on the World Resources Institute, Ireland’s coastline measures 6.437 km.

Maria at the shore

Eating Out in Ireland

Ireland’s restaurants and pubs have their traditional dishes as well as fusion food. At Ma Murphys Pub in Bantry, I enjoyed my first taste of Shepherd’s Pie.

Just found this YouTube clip of Ma Murphy’s Pub. Surprise, surprise. I recognized Mary, the owner, as the lady who had served us. It also featured her best customer, Shaun, sitting in the corner of the pub. He had talked to us on our way in, and out. I just nodded in a friendly way. My Irish comprehension skills are limited unless I have a stout to go with it.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

On our last morning in Ireland, we stayed at a centrally located Bed & Breakfast in Cork. The lady owner from Creedon’s Bed & Breakfast (on tripadvisor) hugged us before we said goodbye. A nice young man named Finbar kissed me on the street. The Irish are a warmhearted folk. And their breakfast warms my palate too.

Irish breakfast

Irish breakfast

My husband, a Marylander, can’t get enough of seafood. Here we had lunch at The Waterfront (a.k.a. Chez Youen) in Baltimore, Co. Cork. It seemed this restaurant, along with two other adjoining ones, form the center of town, from where you have a great view. All in all though, I was a bit disappointed by this seaside village, because it is mostly residential. At least, we had a good lunch .

Seafood platter in Baltimore, Ireland

Seafood platter in Baltimore, Ireland

 

Here we are at the Elbow Lane in Cork, where my husband had this tasting tray for € 9,50.

Beer tasting tray at the Elbow Lane in Cork

Beer tasting tray at the Elbow Lane in Cork

The restaurant is often fully booked and many hungry folks had to be turned away or told to wait at least an hour. We are sturdy, so we decided to have a seat outside and brave the possible rain. We were rewarded, these were some of the best back ribs I’ve ever had. And the rain stayed away.

spare ribs

Decided to have a go at the kimchi salad, and it was delicious. Fusion food at its best.

kimchi salad

Ireland is the best place to turn an abandoned church into a place to feed the hungry. This Church Restaurant stands in Skibbereen.

Church Restaurant in Skibbereen, Ireland

Church Restaurant in Skibbereen, Ireland

When we travel, we like to explore the culinary side of the country. The selection of food, as well as language usage, offer a good mirror image of its people. That’s hearty and kind for the Irish.

Bantry House and Garden in West Cork, Ireland

The Bantry House and Garden is located in Co. Cork along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The second Earl of Bantry and Mary, his wife, traveled to the continent with notebooks and sketchbooks to bring home ideas for recreating their own palazzo by the water.

Standing there and overlooking the Bantry Bay (a deep-water gulf extending for 30 km to the west), it really had a Mediterranean feel to it. Add the sunshine, and the breeze from the water, and your mind might easily get transported to a more southern location.

Bantry House Park

This is the back door of the manor. Behind these big windows is a beautiful library.

Bantry House back

The dining room at the Bantry House.

Bantry House dining room

The photo was taken behind the gate to the staples. No matter where, the southern feeling was always there.

Bantry House gate

The Bantry Manor Garden is splendid and well cared for.

Bantry House hedges

We climbed the famous Hundred Steps (there are 103 steps) to the top of the seven terraces. The house itself sits on the third terrace.

Bantry House steps

The euro 11  adult entrance ticket was really worth it.

Sheep’s Head Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland

We stayed in Kilcrohane for our holiday, so driving to the Sheep’s Head was the first place to explore.

Where to go on the Sheep's Head Peninsula

Where to go on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula

This trail leads all the way to the lighthouse. It is not advisable for small children as there are bogs and free roaming cattle along the way.

Sheep's Head trail in West Cork

Sheep’s Head trail in West Cork

Beautiful views and very few hikers.

Sheep's Head view

And yes, we passed some sheep.

Sheep on Sheep's Head

Where to find Ocean Glass in West Cork, Ireland

On each trip to the sea, I always look for ocean glass (a.k.a. sea glass, Mermaids’ Tears). In County Cork, I got lucky in the town of Schull.

Schull, Ireland

Schull, Ireland

Right next to the ferry port, there is a tiny beach area, and there was a lot of ocean glass among the rocks and pebbles.

A large group of Spaniards, I suppose they were students of English, were lounging around. Then one of the young men helped me in my search. He brought me a new glass shard – he probably thought I was cleaning up the beach area. I politely accepted it.

Ocean glass from Schull, Ireland

Ocean glass from Schull, Ireland

This was the only place, where I could find any ocean glass in West Cork.

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