Saturday 4 May 2013

Looking for the Titanic and enjoying the sun

We are lucky – but I don’t mention it again. The sun was shining and we arrived in this nice little harbour town Cobh. The quay is right in the center just opposite the railway station. The coaches stood in line and as soon as possible the first groups left for their excursions. The others enjoyed the possibilities and amenities like shopping or just strolling around. Typical for the town are the many colourful small houses.

Cobh was first mentioned under the name of “Cove” and became a well-known health resort. After the visit of Queen Victoria the town was renamed to Queenstown and kept the name until 1920. Today it is a quiet popular point for cruising ships. In the 19th century many ships started to the USA from here, packed with emigrants looking for a better future in the “New World”. One of the most famous cruising ships of world stopped here in Cobh before it went on to New York: the Titanic.
In a lovely and very informative museum we learned about the construction of the ship, passengers, cabins and the last night. One group walked on a guided tour through the historic town that has unchanged for the last 100 years following the footsteps of the 123 Queenstown passengers who boarded the Titanic.
A landmark of Cobh is St. Colman’s Cathedral.

A full day excursion guided as through the southwest of Ireland. We visited Kinsale where we strolled through the colourful streets. Later we drove to the legendary Blarney Castle, one of the oldest and most intact medieval fortresses in Ireland. Of course we kissed the Blarney Stone, it is said the kiss gives you the power of eloquence.

Our third excursion was a trip to Cork, Ireland’s second largest city, and walked through the beautiful historic parts. Cork is rich in history and tradition and was founded between 500 and 600 as a monastery. Vikings used the place as a trading post from 846 AD. On we went to Midleton to visit the Jameson Whiskey Heritage Centre. It is still the most important distillery of Ireland.

To send us on our journey onward with perfect thoughts, a local tenor sang several songs to us in the comfort of the Panorama Lounge.