As you know the blog last week featured Lyon in France. But last week I had shifted Countries and spent 48 hours in Cork, Southern Ireland.
I have been to Cork before, but only to fly into. I once had a client who had a house near the Ring of Kerry and I spent a couple of days with him. The surrounding countryside is truly amazing – and the Killarney National Park is worth a visit.
It is interesting that Cork seems to have this problem. People flying in and then heading off somewhere else. It is a double edged sword that Blarney Castle and it’s famous stone is nearby. In fact it is just five miles from Cork. There is then the Cobh Port – where the Titanic last touched landfall before capsizing in 1912. The town houses a museum – modern day cruise-liners arrive there – and are generally whisked off to Blarney!
But Cork is a wonderful place – just a bit invisible to the ‘Capital weekenders” – those folks who do Capital cities for short breaks in search of good food, drink and something different.
Cork seems to me to be a City of opportunity. It has the benefir of a split in the Lee River (this is not a confluence like Lyon!). It has 22 bridges and the City is primarily located on the central island. It has history (and alarmingly has chimes with Nottingham – being a City Of Rebels – there is a Rebels Week).
But the thing that struck me most was that this is a city which is has over 600 shops and the majority are independent. This is especially so in the area of food / drink. Over 80% of the establishments are owner run. The Costa is pushed to the back of the town – certainly not in the prime position.
This is something I think the City should trade upon. It is unique and it makes the place interesting!