Cork Beats Eiffel Tower & Roman Colosseum Over The Head With a Spike
Spike Island was designated the Best European Tourist Attraction at an award ceremony in St. Petersburg on Saturday night beating off some big name competition on the way to victory.
While this might be part of Russia and Putin’s attempt to soften us up to allow his war planes to refuel at Cork Airport we’re delighted with yet another excuse to talk about how great Cork is compared to Not Cork.
Tourists considering visiting other cities and countries need to wise up so we’ve put together a fair and balanced review of some of the competition from elsewhere in Europe that lost out to Spike Island at the award ceremony.
(And by the way Vlad, it’ll take at least one fully completed event centre, a four lane motorway to Beara, a monorail and an extended runway before we’ll talk business.)
You can twist a few hundred tons of wrought iron into a fancy shape and plonk it in the middle of a big city but at the end of the day it is still just a load of wrought iron.
The lads at Hammond Lane scrapyard in Ringskiddy could probably knock this together on a slow Friday afternoon with a few blowtorches and a lash of gripfill. It is just a glorified mobile phone mast after all.
|A gaudy version of the Viaduct|
Now that there’s pretty much a fifty-fifty chance of getting caught up in some psychopath’s desire to meet seventy two virgins in that part of the world is it really worth taking a flight to Paris to see a tourist attraction that doesn’t even have bells at the top of it that you can play ‘Three Blind Mice’ on?
Verdict: It’s no Shandon steeple.
The Dublin ‘Spike’
It is a testament to the Rebel County’s stature when another city erects a monument to a Cork prison in the middle of its main street. Most older Dubs have probably done time at Spike Island when it was a jail and this was often better than the lives they had back in the Pale so they fancied having a monument named after the Cork island to remind themselves of the good times down south back in the day.
|Tourists may hire tear gas masks from nearby shops to get near the Spike|
It has been rebranded as the ‘The Spire of Dublin’ by the city’s tourism chiefs but unfortunately it still just amounts to a large metal needle pointing into the air with a circus of dodgy tracksuited youths loitering at its base selling stolen phones and packets of coloured pills.
Verdict: Tourists would be well advised to view this ‘attraction’, and the rest of Dublin, from a heavily armed aircraft at minimum height of 5000ft.
Who in their right mind would want to wander around a posh old folks’ home?
You can tell how bad things must be inside the palace if the Queen herself took a holiday just to go shopping for Lidl vegetables over here in the English Market.
|They're dying to get out|
If she’s willing to drop over for a few bags of carrots and some smoked haddock then the half a million visitors to her gaf every year must be fairly underwhelmed. Most Corkonians used to attending palaces will be shocked this one doesn’t even host gigs.
Verdict: It’s no Everyman Palace.
The poor man’s Grand Parade. This effort by Barcelona to emulate Cork’s famous ‘Street of the Yellow Horse’ is impressive but falls well short of perfection. It doesn’t even have a Frank and Walter’s album named after it.
The attempt to copy Cork’s Berwick fountain is amateur too – the Ramblas fountain lights up a tacky green colour at night and has at its centre a diesel power washer turned up full unlike Grand Parade’s elegant water piece over which pristine water glides thoughtfully down through a series of beautiful receptacles.
|Dubs on tour. Another reason to avoid Las Ramblas.|
‘Da fountain’ even provides the city’s enthusiastic young men a pulpit from which to make profound speeches from at 3am while guarded fastidiously by the city’s upholders of democracy in high vis vests and blue hats - something the Catalans are, this week, wholeheartedly regretting they didn’t replicate as their ‘Dublin’ equivalent tries to crush the voices screaming for independence.
Verdict: Clipping the heels of Paul Street at best. On a bad day, when the crowds of pick pockets are out, it’s nearly as intimidating as a walk down O’Connell Street in Dublin after dark.
Some fella with a paint brush and a scaffolder’s license went mad on the ceiling of a church in Italy. Queue up for a few days to see the mess he made of it and get a crick in your neck. There’s graffiti sprayed by flagon swilling young fellas on Barrack Street that beats this.
Verdict: It’s no North Cathedral and the Italian fella should have just painted that ceiling magnolia and be done with it.
Did you travel all the way to Rome and realise that their mispelt and so called ‘colosseum’ doesn’t even have 10 pin bowling lane or air hockey? More fool you for leaving Cork.
|Finbarr attempts to lob his ball across five lanes at the real colliseum|
You can’t even get a decent basket of chicken nuggets and chips in Italy’s prime tourist attraction not to mind being able to show the old doll how you can lob the heaviest bowl all the way across six lanes when the staff aren’t looking. Bet these Roman gladiators could do that, ha?.
Verdict: Should’a gone to MacCurtain Street.
It's time to hand the event centre tender over to the Peeple'a'Cork. Just give us 100 Saturdays and we'll knock it together. Anyone have a spare trowel?
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