Mardyke, Cork, Ireland
Fitzgerald Park Cork Reviews
Nature in the city Apr 26, 2008
The first moment I wandered into this park it was purely accidental and, I'm convinced, purely what fate intended...surely a place that made me feel this greatful to be alive and I were meant to meet!
As you walk in, neatly manicured lawns dotted with tall straight trees, statues and neatly lined flowerbeds spread before your eyes. To the right is a small brick building that holds the Local Public Museum for those thirsty for local knowledge; for those who are simply thirsty there's a cafe a bit further back in, near the Lee riverbank. The flowers are clearly loved and give nod to a semi-perfecionist pride in color coordination, and the palmy branches poking towards the sky high above your head makes you wonder how these trees feel living in this rain when their cousins are looking down bikini tops in an oceanic paradise.
As you follow the winding path onwards the trees thicken and become massive; a Giant Sequoia perched to the right appears to have a multitude of trucks that twine together and back out again to form a hugh base, and low hanging branches (some wider than the trunk itself) just beg for a child (or child at heart!) and swing themselves up. His mighty neighbors Popular and Larch add to the foliage, and as you reach the riverbank magestic Evergreen Oak shades the pathway, ensuring that even if the rain has succeded to a rare but coveted sunny day you can admire the ducks sans sunglare.
Across the riverbank are sloping lawns of magestic homesteads, the greenness beginning at the waters edge and climbing sharply to graceful roomy houses. These residents take great pride in their fortunate nests and decorate freely with charming benches, terraces, weeping willows and ornamental bridges. Behind you is a back loop past the cafe and towards the museum, but this is towards the exit and so far, you've only seen the very eastern edge of the park.
From here you can follow the riverbank straight to the other end. On a nice day multitudes of people lounge on the grassy knolls, reading, eating, laughing, juggling, smoking, sleeping, living. Towards the west end lie the impressive rosebeds, once again neatly organized by colour with clean, sharp, rectangular borders. To the west you can view the "shaky bridge," a white suspension bridge thats somewhat of an icon with the locals for it's ability to, you guessed it, shake.
If you head back inland you pass the children's area of various brightly couloured plastic amusements, with a graffiti style murel covering the west wall and an ice cream truck parked conveniently outside. Another path cuts across here towards the centre, which brings you past a tall tree remanent completely coated in tiny glass squares that gleam even on the greyest of grey Irish days. Futher on you approach a circular pond adorned with a 4 tiered fountain, and capped with a pictuesque bridge with a forest of lilypads floating beneith.
This path will eventually bring you to the beginning area of your journeys. If you've had your fill of nature you can exit again where Cork city awaits, and if you feel nature calling, there's a pitstop of public restrooms to your left.
Anyone spending some time in Cork city should definitely make their way down here. Not only is the park beautiful but to top it all off, the cherry on the sundae...even the walk from the city to the park has been recently developed into a lovely riverside stroll, all along the babbling Lee and her vine-covered leafy fringe!!!
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