[Radisson Blu Cork, Ditchley House - Little Island; all photos by Akasha.]
The Lake Isle Of Innisfree
I wil arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart's core.
~ William Butler Yeats
My Irish friend Susan read Yeats as we started out adventure on the Emerald Isle and made our way to Cork in the west.
The airport is small and matter-of-fact, and then enticing as we are lead down the corridors by vibrant photos of Ireland's past and promises of views for the future.
I chose Radisson Blu Cork as a brand I enjoy, and for its location as a city break. The staff was very friendly in making suggestions before we arrived, and hit the perfect note with an especially warm welcome. The team is down to earth and kind as we talk over ideas of what to do first.
[A wonderfully warm welcome and refreshing choices with fruit-infused water, fresh fruit, and well-known Euorpean spa options in house.]
And we land in historic Kinsale (from the Irish, Ceann tSaile – ‘Head of the Sea’), one of the most picturesque, popular and historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland. It is affectionately known as the "Irish Riviera", and I'm already intrigued to write about it for my travel thriller series.
Kinsale is in County Cork, 25km from Cork City and is the gateway to scenic ‘West Cork’ and the start/finish point of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way,’ the 2,500km coastal journey from Kinsale, Co Cork to Inishowen, Co Donegal.
[Soaking in the yacht club views as I enjoy my first brown bread in Ireland. It's very moist and extra delicious with parsnip soup, coffee and pear almond tart.]
We are watching for the sailors to come back in and see if they have room for a charter. We planned a great deal of the trip in advance, but left this afternoon open. Today's sail is not meant to be, as they seem to sense the rain that appears and breaks up our sunny welcome. But it's Ireland, and I'm not surprised by a shower. I would certainly come back and book a sail in advance.
[The church we can see from the main road: St. Multose, build in 1190 with a beautiful serenity inside and out.]
[Hamlet's of Kinsale for a light patio dinner after walking the town and learning about Georgian architecture, Tidy Towns and ancient churches. Yes, I certainly do take the brown bread with me for a jet lag snack! Evening is drawing to a close and the rain comes with it on a peaceful cab ride back to Radisson Blu.]
The suite is spacious and welcoming for entertaining another time; the second room is comfortable and a very good size to help enhance the hideaway feel. I am especially grateful for a Queen bed and time to wind down going through photos and writing to be ready for tomorrow's Wild Way.
Yes, we will make our way to The Lake Isle Of Innisfree this week. And on to Dublin for my #ShineThroughtheNoise reading and then 2's concert at Croker. #U2TheJoshuaTree2017 #ontheroad :)
Here are some other local suggestions to check out in the Country Cork area:
Cork Harbour Islands: Here you can find many excursions which are in close proximity to us here at the hotel if you’d like to plan your own route.
In particular, the Titanic trail is a great walking experience which incorporates lectures, historical facts and information about the last port of call for the famous luxury boat.
There is also The Titanic Experience, which is a fabulous vault of knowledge about the heritage and travel our ancestors undertook during this time.
From here, you could take a trip over to Spike Island by ferry. In the last 1300 years Spike Island has been host to a 6th century Monastery, a 24 acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times and centuries of island homes. The island's rich history has included monks and monasteries, rioters and redcoats, captains and convicts and sinners and saints.
Jameson Experience, Midleton is a great way to experience how the long standing drink is made, the history and process of the Jameson Distillery is explained and as a treat, you even get to taste some at the end.
If you wanted to visit Fota Island, it’s a beautiful spot for taking a relaxing walk through Fota House & Gardens. Fota House is a fabulous regency style great country house situated in East Cork. It has been restored and conserved by the Irish Heritage Trust who are happy to share the magnificent surroundings by way of public guided tours.
Fota Wildlife Park’s vision is to inspire people to understand and conserve the biodiversity of our natural world. The Park’s core values of conservation, education, research and entertainment have ensured that they are uniquely placed to foster greater public understanding of the threats to plant and animal habitats and decreasing global biodiversity. Some would say this is more suited to family days, but if you have any interest in wildlife and plantlife, this is a great spot to visit.