TRAVEL NOTES::DAY 17 | A SAUNTER THROUGH CORK

bridge in cork

A fruit scone in Ireland, and Scotland, means one with currants - unlike the fruit scones in the States which are sweet, come in various flavours, and are the size of two scones in Europe. I ordered a flat white and freshly whipped cream to accompany my scone.

 'I'm too old for these stairs', commented the barista as he climbed up the stairs to the top level of The Bookshelf Coffee House and placed the small ramekin of cream on the table. The coffee, scone, and cream were all delicious - quite possibly the best I've had in Ireland thus far.

The coffee house was crowded this morning and my preferred spot on the sofa downstairs was occupied. I perused another book - written in 1961 - left upstairs alongside another old-fashioned typewriter. The title of the book has the word 'quest' in it and the story took place in Italy during the war where a woman was on a quest to find milk for her child.

the bookshelf coffee house cork

After the coffee house, I wondered what the hype was about the English Market. I admit I expected more as I compared it to the Borough Market in London I visited years ago. The English Market seems to cater more to non-vegetarians as most of the stalls consisted of some kind of meat. Eggs were prevalent and I even came upon 20 quail eggs for €3,40.

english market cork

After yesterday's adventure with vegetable 'fajitas' and this morning's encounter with overly vinegary poached eggs at the hotel, I decided vegetable soup was the safest food to eat on my travels. Most restaurants offer one or two vegetarian options but not much more.

The atmosphere at Deep South on Grand Parade was a welcomed change from the typical restaurant. There were many various and unique seating areas both inside and outside. The food choices were plenty, the vegetable soup with bread was great, and the Polish chef was super nice. He brought over a hazelnut brownie with whipped cream as his treat. It was an amazing brownie with the perfect texture and flavour - in the middle of cakey and fudgy and not too sweet. Perfect with every bite.

The saunter through Cork continued after lunch. As I passed by a flower shop, I noticed several chalkboard signs with quotes written on them. My favourite sign said 'When someone says "you've changed" it simply means you've stopped living your life their way...'.

change sign flower shop

Another sign had the words 'When was the last time you did something for the first time???'.

first time sign flower shop

And the sign on the sidewalk away from the store's entrance stated 'Leap, and the net will appear'. The aqua-coloured rain boots with flowers in one boot was another favourite of mine to photograph at this place.

At one point, the two shop owners were carrying flower boxes outside to a van in the street and I heard one of the ladies say 'she should ask for permission'. I'm not sure if they were talking about my photographing their displays outside but I did not give much thought to what they were saying.

I made two more photographs of a wire bicycle display and the sign with the white rose petals in front of it and was on my way.

sign and boots flower shop

Walking across a bridge towards St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, I made a few more photographs of an abandoned building and the reflection of the bridge as a seagull made its way under the bridge.

abandoned building cork
cork bridge reflection seagull

The cathedral was a beautiful sight to behold from the outside. Upon further reflection, I should have gone inside to gaze through the stained-glass windows.

cork cathedral close up

No matter which angle I photographed, my attempts were not able to properly portray the beauty of the cathedral's architecture.

cathedral cork

A saunter through Cork, albeit tiring near the end, was time well spent observing life in another city away from home. No two cities, as no two people, can be alike. Embrace uniqueness and don't be afraid to be 'you'. Nobody can ever take your place for you are the only one who can be 'you'.

cathedral cork diptych