A little wikipedia history:
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city after Dublin and Belfast. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city of the province of Munster. The city has a population of 119,143, while the addition of the suburban areas contained in Cork County brings this total to 190,384. Metropolitan Cork has a population of approximately 274,000, while the Greater Cork area is about 380,000. Cork County has the nickname of "the Rebel County", and Corkonians often refer to Cork as the "real capital of Ireland". The River Lee flows through the city, an island in the river forming the main part of the city centre. The city is a major Irish seaport — with quays and docks sited along the broad waterway of the Lee on the city's East side.
You here this a lot: and Corkonians often refer to Cork as the "real capital of Ireland". To be honest, I don't think that the people of Dublin care where the capital actually is, but they love winding up the Cork people about it.
The accent is my favorite part, and wikipedia describes it best:
- Redundant use of the words "like" or "so" to terminate a sentence: e.g. "I don't know him at all, like"
- Use of the words "boy" (often pronounced "by") and girl, to address each other, even into adulthood, e.g. "Come here to me, boy"
As an American, I have about a 20% shot at understanding anything that they say. Makes it fun. It's a whole other world over there.
We were there for a black tie event, but had a chance the following day to walk around the city for an hour or so. I didn't expect much but I was pleasantly surprised. Here's one view:
The streets have the widest sidewalks, which makes the street feel very open even though the buildings are extremely crowded together.
Glad I didn't have to go up that hill! If I had to commute up and down that hill every day, I'd buy a donkey.
The joke is that this is where they burn the Dubliners (spoken from a Dubliner of course):
Yet another picture of a trash can. I may have a problem here. Need to join "obsessed with trash cans anonymous."
If you have to drive for 4 hours, at least you get to look at this:
There's actually an interesting resemblance of this drive to any interstate drive in southern Louisiana: green farm lands, cows, and a random house no closer than 200 yards to the next.