My initial impressions of Cork are the people are very friendly and the drivers drive very fast.We stayed at the Clarion hotel, very near to the main shopping area and had a fairly chilled out time.
Brilliant successes were Little E's new found love of swimming after daily dips in the pool. A lovely Irish stew at the thriving English Market place as well as a sack of pink chocolate pigs bought at the fabulous chocolate stall which little E was delighted with. A visit to the very peaceful wildlife park in Fota, with kangeroos, peacocks and mara's running free. The sun. The river. The glasses of pinot grigo by the river. Indulgent fat boy breakfasts, bookshop browsing, window shopping all the independant stores and the lovely park and grounds of Cork museum.
Less good was the picture of me in the pool looking like a eastern european shot putter circa 1980 not to mention the compulsory black swimming caps me and my sister had to wear and that aged us ten years. Heaving luggage, buggy and a small child on and off Ryanair and through the airport. The difficulty booking a taxi with a child's car seat. If I hear 'Just strap him in and I'll drive carefully' or any variation thereof I will scream.
I have visited Cork a couple of times before, once to give a presentation on a European project which teamed the Isle of Wight with Cork and once a fleeting visit when me and JJ cycled from Cork to Kerry for charity totally beautiful countryside and I still remember the huge tent full of cakes at the end of each 40 - 60 mile cycle each day. The tour of Ireland was on and Sean Kelly and the peleton flew past us. It was simultaneously wet, sunny and green and how you imagine Ireland to be. Now Pembrokeshire has teamed with Ireland on another economic project and I must admit it is hard to see the similarities.
All in all a lovely time with opportunities to chat and catch up with the family. I will certainly go back.