It’s been a few weeks since St. Patrick’s Day. For the most part, I have been at work. Even though the daylight is longer now, I usually do nothing on weekday evenings other than watching TV and improve my English. Since the beginning of this month, I have been participating in a preparatory course for IELTS (International English Language Test System). On 10 occasions we get to learn the most important things we need to know in order to, most likely, pass the test. Most of it is to have just the knowledge that is in demand in the test. We study at the academic level. We, it’s a colorful group of foreigners. We have all come to Ireland for work and most of us want to take the test to get a better job. We participants come from France, Korea, China, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, of course. Half of the participants in the course already know each other through our Wednesday evening group, where we meet in very free connections and speak English. Actually, I think the group no longer has that much to give. There are often new people in the group and all our conversation consists of: “Where do you come from?”, “What do you work with?” and similar phrases. Though, I am looking for another “social club”. I might look for something in the center of Dublin, because it is easier to go home from there in the evenings. Anyway, I have to stay in Dublin 15 in the evenings for a while, because I have promised a girl from Slovenia to teach her Swedish. She has met a guy here in Dublin, who comes from Dalarna in Sweden and she fell in love with him.

A few days ago, however, I was in Ireland’s second largest city, in Cork. The city has approx. 140,000 inhabitants and is also located on the coast, but in the southernmost part of Ireland. I had heard before about the city, the nature around and the friendly people there. The weather was actually on my side even though it was not beaming sunshine, but considering that it has been raining the days before, I also enjoyed the light gray sky. I carefully had checked how to get to Cork, because there are three different options: flight, train and bus. I had not planned the trip. I have got the possibility to visit Cork unexpected. Therefore I did not get a cheap flight, but on the other hand, I also wanted to take the opportunity and see a lot of Ireland, when I now have some time to go a little further outside the walls of Dublin. The train is quite expensive, no tickets for 95 SEK (~10 EUR) here! It takes just under 3 hours by train to Cork and by bus approximately 4.5 hours, but the latter mode of transport is the cheapest (costs only 1/3 of the train journey). Unfortunately, I had to be in a suburb of Cork for an interview at high noon and had to take the train to get there. The first city bus from here does not leave until 06.30 and my train left at 8.00 from a train station where that bus does not come close to. I checked, if I could change bus somewhere in the city. Theoretically, it would have been possible, but practically it would not work, because I would not be able to catch up with the train. Therefore, I had to take a taxi from Dublin city center to Heuston station.

The intercity train, which took me to Cork, was new and really beautiful, also comfortable. During the journey, I turned my head from one side to the other to see as much as possible. When I had heard people talking about Ireland before, people always talked about the green island, which was natural for me, because it is a fairly small island and it rains quite a lot here, but now I really got to see the green, because it is very green, intensely green, and immediately I came to think of the musical “My fair lady” and the text “it greens so green…”. There is not much forest here, maybe there is in other areas of the country, but beside the road between Dublin and Cork there are mostly meadows. Here and there you see low mountain ridges. One probably sees many more on a really clear day. There are plenty of cows and sheep and this year you can really look forward to all the little lambs that, among other things, try to catch up with the ewes. A lot of calves behave as they were for the first time on the green pasture. In some places there are completely black cows and I wondered myself, what a breed it was, because so far I have only seen black-speckled cows. However, all too often there were high ramparts on both sides of the rails, which made it impossible to see the landscape.

The train arrived 10 minutes early to Cork! I heard by the fellow passengers’ conversation that we already arrived, even the train station was not called anything like Cork Central Station but Kent Station Cork. At the station I had to ask myself about how I would get to Blackpool, where I had to go to for a job interview. The friendly lady explained very well, how to take me to the bus stop, because here in Cork the buses are not going from outside of the train station, but from the river – approximately 10 minutes by foot. From here, buses run to other cities such as Tipperary, Limerick and Dublin. Further down the street, one will find the buses that go to the suburbs of Cork. Blackpool is just a 10 minutes bus ride from Cork Bus Station. However, the name Blackpool does not appear on the timetable and therefore I had to ask someone again. Luckily, the person I asked did know the place and also the bus route. There is a fairly newly built shopping center where I have to leave the bus, she told me as well. I had previously searched the Internet and found a map of this area. I had to go to a business center and it looked at the map, that it was located just a few meters from the shopping center, but it was actually a few kilometers apart. I had plenty of time and also got there pretty quickly after asking a real estate agent about the direction. Though I was in good time. The only 20 minute long interview I would rather not talk about – the previous description of the job had been very blurred – this was not the job I had expected and was not looking for either. Instead, I want to tell you a little more about the rest of the day.

As I already wrote, it took only 10 minutes by bus from the city center to Blackpool. During the short trip, however, I both have had time to see some interesting views and churches and got an idea of, in ​​which direction I should walk to come back to the bus station. By the way, I had taken a day off for this interview, therefore I had plenty of time. My main task was now, to catch the last bus back to Dublin, but on the other hand I did not want to go too late either, because I would like to be able to see a little more of the landscape on the way home. Actually, I therefore had planned to take the bus back from Cork at 4pm, but it was the bus two hours later, which I caught – I will come back to it. After crossing the mall, I started walking up the street, considering that from above I will be able to look out over the entire city. I had really chosen the right place, because I was going straight up to a church, where on the outside – in the direction to the street, was a painting with a biblical figure (it might be Jesus or a saint) blessing everything that was under it’s feet. I felt that the idea was fantastic, although I have a different view on religion and saints. (Unfortunately I do not have a photography of it and I cannot find one on the Internet either). The way up was really steep. For making it easier for pedestrians the pavement had been terraced. I would not want to sit in a car down this street if the brakes stopp working. Anyone who has ever been to Huskvarna, Sweden and knows the steep road from the direction of Aneby down to the central part of the town, knows about what I am talking about. As in Dublin, most roads are narrow, especially in relation to the traffic. When I finally was down from the hill again – in another direction, I tried to find the tourist office, but despite the signage it was not so easy and it did not get better that I found a lot of motives for photography.

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Buildings in the City Center

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Cork is friendlier than Dublin! Both the people and the buildings. The only disadvantage of Cork is, that there are no direct flights to Sweden or, at least, to Copenhagen, Denmark. I strolled around the city center and checked menus and more and especially the facades of the houses. Most houses were painted in friendly or strong colors. While in Dublin you can recognize the houses by their front doors, here you can recognize the houses at first glance – by the colors. A pub was located in a completely black-painted house, from a marketing point of view completely unsurpassed.

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The Mad Shop

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Another house was called the crazy house and was painted in different colors and with motifs. A little further was a brewery in a house reminiscent of half-timbered houses in Germany or Switzerland.

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The Beamish Brewery

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When I had walked around for a while and checked, what time it is, my watch already told me 3:30pm. Actually, I would have sought my way back to the bus station, but then I saw the sightseeing bus and took the golden opportunity to see more of Cork’s attractions. The tour was going through really narrow streets, the bus passed the town hall, Cork’s first shopping center, an old prison, Cork’s first skyscraper (higher than all the houses in Dublin), Cork’s University, the harbor, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and so on. It was a bit chilly on the open platform, but would have been quite easy to take photos, if the bus had stopped at some points. Anyway, I have got some pictures. In addition to that, there are a lot of views imprinted in my retina, but unfortunately I can not show them for you. I also have seen another part of Cork, a picture of decay. Just like in Dublin, there is no sense or affordability to take care of some older buildings. However, new ones are being built everywhere. My thoughts were going back to Helsingborg, Sweden – to Carl Krooks street which had been a disgrace for a long time. Furthermore I remembered Berlin and Hamburg, both in Germany, which for a long time had to contend with damaged buildings due to World War II and I thought, why should it be better in Dublin or Cork than in other parts of Europe.

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Cork Coloured
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