Cork, Ireland is one of those small cities that you could move to tomorrow. Located on the water and the home of a very large seaport, Cork appears to have everything going for it. While we were not physically docked in Cork there are three cities and villages that run together in this area making it hard to distinguish which municipality you are really in. Cork is also a county and when one talks about Cork, they are referring to the county rather than the city.
Cork is now home to all Apple installations outside of the United States, and is the home of several of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Viagra we learned is manufactured just off the harbour in Cork, for example. With Information Technology and Pharmaceuticals being the two largest industries in Cork (and Ireland, for that matter) the standard of living is very high and the homes very modern, very new and all within a community that has all the needed amenities for professionals. Not surprising, a major import of the harbour is automobiles.
Cork is also home to a large assortment of pleasure boats that ply the very protected waters and the long harbour that runs in from the sea. The area boasts the oldest yacht club in the world and when you see the waterway this is no surprise. At the same time within minutes one is out of the city and into the hills, valleys, mountains and coastal inlets that make this an outdoor enthusiasts’ dreamland. As an aside we learned that Johnny Cash when he toured this area in the fifties wrote a song that he called “Forty Shades of Green” He couldn’t believe the colours of the fields and hills as he travelled through the land. Naturally we had to find a copy on the internet and for 99 cents we downloaded it.
During our time here we travelled to a small villlage on the coast called Kinsale where you have never seen such a collection of neat and tidy shops ringing the harbour and boasting the best in Irish knitting. It was not unusual to see at least one new hand knit Irish sweater at dinner the following night. It didn’t matter that the dining room was warm enough for shirt sleeves, those that bought felt they needed to wear their purchases.
Kinsale marks the start of the Wild Atlantic Way – a 2500 km touring route of magnificent Atlantic coastline. It is also off the inlet to Kinsale that the Cunard luxury liner, the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk on May 17, 1915. Almost 2000 passengers and crew perished with the wreck now sitting in 90 metres of water.
As with the last post, pictures will have to wait a better internet signal. Tomorrow we are around the corner and anchored in Bantry Bay before we start the trip back across the Atlantic.