A visit to Cork

10 04 2011

Last week, I made my first 3-day visit to Cork, as part of the ENVIRON 2011 colloquium organised by ESAI (Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland). You can find more details about the conference itself on my research blog, but this is a short account of what we got up to. On Wednesday Ann-Marie came to pick myself and David up to start our 3.5hour (or so) trek to Cork. Zahra and Ali (Zahra’s husband who was joining us for the trip but not the conference) were coming down with Ross later on in the day.

The drive down was beautiful. I got to see the Curragh again and loads and loads of sheep, cows and even horses grazing to their life’s content on the side of the road. We stopped for some tea/brunch on the way and then continued on our way to Cork. We made it to UCC and found our way to where the workshop was going to be held. After that we met with Ross et al and made our way to our hotel: The River Lee Hotel. Let’s say we were impressed 🙂 We settled into our room (after some musical chairs…cos Zahra and Ali’s booking did not go through it seems, but all was sorted out eventually).

View from the Hotel Lift

View from the Hotel Lift

Then it was back to UCC for a wine reception (I had more cheese etc than wine, cos I only had a sandwich all day that day) and the opening talk. However we were still famished and so back at the hotel we found the last restaurant open and had dinner. I had a Chicken Ciabatta, for which my expectations were not that high…but alas, I was  mistaken MMMMMMM 🙂 By now it was getting late so off to sleep we went.

Cork University...a taster

Cork University...a taster

The next morning we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. I am so glad I asked for hot chocolate rather than coffee and tea as was being offerred, as I got the most delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows 🙂 We went up to UCC to start the day of presentations. I also had to give a 1 minute presentation on my poster, which I think went well enough. It also generated quite some interest during the poster sessions. After the long day at presentations, we went back to the hotel and decided to go for a swim at the hotel pool. Swimming is an overstatement, but we did enjoy the sauna, jacuzzi etc 🙂 We then quickly changed and proceeded down to the Wine reception and conference dinner, which were being held within the same hotel.

Dinner was really delicious. We had a choice of 2 options for each course, and although everything was good, I believe I made the right choice everytime. I had duck starter, lamb main and the most delicious chocolate brownie for dessert. I simply could not move afterwards, but alas off we had to go. The organisers had organised a Casino night for us. It was set up in one of the meeting rooms at the hotel, and we all got chips and we got to play blackjack and roulette. It was really interesting and fun to start with, however due my attention span being that of a fly I quickly got bored and therefore I wandered around a bit and chatted. However I really liked the idea and got chatting to some people I would not have gotten to otherwise.

Casino Night

Casino Night

After the casino night we had a DJ playing songs in the same place. Most people made their way out at this point, but our lab and another group of people held the fort up. Included in this group was a guy I thought was Italian, and Ross thought was Greek (and on retrospect he looked more Greek than Italian). But it was not to be. When we asked him…he was from Galway…Galway!!!!!???!!! Oh well, we had a good laugh over it. We were the last people on the dancefloor until the basically stopped the music (I also got the Venga boys as a song, when I requested a classic 90s song haha – can still remember the words weeee). By this time we were knackered, and went up to sleep.

The next morning, no particularly relevant sessions were being held in the morning, so after breakfast Ross and I went for a short walk around Cork city. It looks interesting enough, but the fact that I was really really tired and most places were still closed, I feel I should go back to see Cork again 🙂 We went back to the conference after our walk and attended some other presentations until lunch, when the closing session was held and then started our drive back to Dublin.

The ever gracious Ann-Marie offered to stop at the Rock of Cashel on the way back, and it was magnificent. We went through the complex and watched a short movie on the place. It is located in a site with breathtaking views and the enormity of the building is really amazing.

View from the Rock of Cashel

View from the Rock of Cashel

Walking up to the Rock of Cashel

Walking up to the Rock of Cashel

The Ruins

The Ruins

Finally, we were back in Dublin, and whilst I was sad that ENVIRON 2011 was over, I was glad to be home and get a good night’s sleep 🙂 Environ 2012 will be in Dublin, so no fancy hotels 😦

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2 responses

10 04 2011
zahra

oh my god, we missed the best part, dancing and delicious dinner!!!

10 04 2011
ceciliafenech

Yeps…I think you did :(…but there is another ENVIRON next year 🙂 So it will be OK…and like that you get to come to Germany so it is all good 🙂

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