An American colleague was over for the weekend, so I asked him if he would be interested in seeing a bit more of Ireland before he went home.

So this morning, I picked him up at his hotel, and we headed down to West Cork. We first went to Lough Ine and then to Baltimore, staying for a quick bite to eat in Bushe’s Pub. The day was beautiful, with quite a few people eating lunch outdoors, taking in the September sun.

We then drove further west, listening attentively to the golf on the radio as the last moments of the Ryder Cup were played out up in Straffan. We continued past Barley Cove and arrived at Mizen Head shortly after 3pm. Mizen is the most southerly point on the Irish mainland. There is a visitor centre there, and close by is the signal station, reachable via a winding path and a narrow foot-bridge. We spent some time looking at various memorabilia and surveying the rugged beauty of the place. Gannets were busy plummeting into the sea a short distance from us. Far in the distance, the Fastnet Lighthouse could be seen.

Barley Cove Beach Mizen Head

On our return journey we went through the town of Bantry, and then through the Keimaneigh Pass to Gougane Barra, the source of the River Lee. It’s an ancient monastic site associated with St. Finnbarr, the patron saint of Cork. Following a quick coffee, we returned back to Cork.

Bantry Gougane Barra

Before I returned home, I took a picture of the Cork Opera House at high tide.

Cork Opera House