Picturesque Cork, Ireland is the third largest city in Ireland, and is located in the southwest region. The city is located on an island on the River Lee, and the docks and quays of the city lead to Cork Harbor, one of the world's largest natural harbors. Stroll around Fitzgerald Park near the water for a relaxing afternoon or have a picnic there. Interestingly, Cork was once a walled city, and parts of the ancient walls and gates remain around the city. Cork's compact size, art scene, and good food and drink make it an easy city to see on foot. Now for some Off the Beaten Path facts-Cork is home to Heineken Brewery which brews Murphy's Irish Stout, and is home to a large pharmaceutical industry whose most noted product is Viagra! It is also the European home of Apple.
For a great view of Cork, climb the tower at the Church of St. Anne, ringing the bells of Shandon on the way up the stone stairs. It is a centuries old tradition. For some culture before heading to the English Market, stop at the Cork Butter Museum for a peak at the history of the butter industry, or at the Crawford Art Gallery--admission is free. Or, tour the Jameson Heritage Center, the maker of Irish whiskey, "The Water of Life." If you are feeling lazy, you can also do the ultimate tourist thing, and see the city from the top of a double decker bus! And, while in Cork, do not forget to kiss the Blarney Stone, and receive the gift of eloquence.
Now, it is time to Be Inspired, and to explore the amazing sights, sounds, and smells of the English Market located in the heart of Cork and dating from 1788. The English Market became hugely popular and known worldwide when Queen Elizabeth II visited in 2011. It is the oldest market of its kind in Europe, filled with diverse artisan produce like meats, fish, herbs, spices, vegetables, chocolates, cakes, oils, and farmhouse cheeses. To quote The English Market Official Website, the Market is " a civic space, a meeting place, a thoroughfare, and a bustling social hub of the city. With its variety of products, the pride of place accorded to small traders, the personalised service, the growing emphasis on organic products and reliance on small-scale producers, it is forever popular. A mix of traditional Cork fare and exciting new foods from afar, along with longstanding family-run stalls and newcomers from outside, all contribute to its unique appeal, which is celebrated widely, especially by visitors to the city..." Wow. And, even better, the English Market is indoors, with many restaurants and cafes, making it a perfect rainy day destination. Are you just getting hungry reading about it?
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