Peace and Tranquility by the Lake

Gougane Barra

Peaceful lake Gougane

Gougane Barra Forest Park, in West Cork, is the source of the River Lee, which is 90 km in length, and flows through the valleys of mid Cork to Cork city and onwards to Cork Harbour where it joins the sea.

Gougane Barra is also where St. Finbarr, the founder of Cork, established a monastery in the 6th century.  He had a hermitage on a small island in the lake, the remains of which can still be seen, and the little church that still stands is a very popular place for weddings.

Gougane Barra

Gougane Barra church

There are lots of walks in the park itself, to suit all classes of walkers, and even on a misty day, it’s a peaceful place,as you can see from the gallery below.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge : Metal

The ever resourceful Cee has come up with a new series of challenges, and this week the theme is Metal or the Autumn Season.

I live near Cork City, a very old city of many bridges because the river Lee splits in to two channels before it runs through the city, and then joins up into one channel again as it runs in to Cork Harbour.    It is no wonder tourists get confused to find that there is not one, but two, channels of the  river to the north and south of the city, and it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Meet you by the river’!

One of the bridges spanning the (north channel) of the Lee is Daly’s Bridge, this is a pedestrian bridge, and is the only suspension bridge over the river.   It is known locally as the Shakey Bridge, as the  bridge moves when someone runs or jumps on the wooden platform. The bridge is mainly wrought iron, and was built in 1926.   It connects a suburb known as Sunday’s Well with the main city park,  Fitzgerald’s Park.

The bridge is even painted white, so it fits perfectly with Cee’s Challenge.

Water, Water Everywhere : Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Water is everywhere – well maybe there is not so much of it in the Sahara desert – but it is most necessary for all of us to survive.   Our doctors keep telling us to drink water, our gardens and flowers and vegetables need it to thrive and grow,and looking at rivers and lakes has a calming effect on us all.  Here are a few watery shots!

The Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

 

Dolomite mountains, Italy

Dolomite mountains, Italy

Reflections in still waters, Norway

Reflections in still waters, Norway

The River Lee in Cork City

The River Lee in Cork City

Cork City

Cork City

Flowing Swiftly Along – The River Lee!

The River Lee and the old Our Lady’s Hospital

The River Lee flows through Cork City before it joins the ocean at Cork Harbour, and these photos taken today at the western end, just before the city, show that the river is still pretty full from all the recent rains, and there are still a few stumps of trees trapped in the weir.

The weir before the Waterworks

Strolling by the river

Looking across the river to Shanakiel

Cork, My City by the Lee

I went for a stroll around Cork City today, and managed to get quite a few nice shots of the old buildings, the many churches, the hills on which the city is built, all looking down on the River Lee.   For those of you not familiar with Cork, the river Lee splits in two at the western end of the city, and flows in two channels, before meeting up again when it flows in to Cork Harbour.  These two channels form an island, and the city centre is on this island.   It can be very confusing for first time visitors to the city who do not realise there are two branches of the river, and making arrangements to ‘meet by the river’ doesn’t always work out!   By the way, there are over 30 bridges over the river (s) Lee around the city, and it takes about two hours to walk and cross over each one.

There are many churches and steeples in the city, and these dominate the landscape in a lot of views of the city,    One of the most famous steeple is Shandon steeple, which can be seen from almost every street in the city.   Shandon, which was built in 1722,  is in one of the oldest parts of Cork City, and is often called ‘the Four Faced Liar’ as the clocks on each side of it seem to tell a different time!   If you visit Shandon,you can climb up to the bell tower, and pull the ropes that operate the bells, which can then be heard all over the city.   There are charts of a few different tunes, so that the listeners are not deafened by some random notes booming out!

St Patrick’s Hill is a very steep hill that goes straight up from the city centre, but as you can see, the climb was worth it, and I got some good shots from there.

Dear old city by the Lee

What I would not give to be
Roaming home by your sunny hills and dales
Listening to those merry chimes
As we did in days gone by
When our hearts were full of liberty

From Making Gunpowder to Keeping Fit and Active

This evening I went walking in the Regional Park in Ballincollig, on the banks of the Lee, where there are lots of trees, and streams.  The park houses the old Gunpowder Mills, one of three Royal mills that manufactured gunpowder for the British Government.

The mills were originally opened by a private individual in 1794, before being taken over by the British Government during the Napoleonic Wars.   The mills were closed in 1903, when the demand for gunpowder slowed down and other types of explosives came on the market.

Many of the ruins of the old buildings can still be seen in the park.

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In their day, the mills were ideally situated close to Cork City, and on the banks of the river, so that the gunpowder could be carried down the river on barges to Cork Harbour.   When the British took over the mills, the site was expanded, and a cavalry barracks was built there in 1810, to house the military who escorted the wagons and barges with their precious, and dangerous, cargo to the boats waiting in the harbour.

Now the soldiers and gunpowder mills are all gone, and the park is a very beautiful amenity, with lots of walks, and soccer pitches, running tracks, and even some keep fit equipment along the walkway, so that a person can ‘work out’ in the fresh air!

The air was very still this evening, and I tried to get a few photos of the trees reflected in the water.

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2013-08-06 19.38.27

There are a lot of different trees, some of them very old and majestic, like this one:

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and these more slender ones

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It’s a park full of history, and a great place to take a stroll in beautiful surroundings, and to imagine how different it must have been a few centuries ago.

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