Sunday, June 2, 2019

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 – Cobh (Cork), Ireland – Cloudy, Rain – 67F

Distance from Dublin to Cobh: 156 Nautical Miles

Cobh is positioned on this cruise as the gateway to Cork, a city with unique culture and dialect.  But Cobh, formerly called Queenstown, has its own place in history.  It is the final port of call for the doomed ocean liner, Titanic, and also played a role in the rescue and care of survivors of the Lusitania sinking.  There are memorials to both disasters in the downtown area of Cobh. The town is situated on a hillside, which makes walking just a little more difficult.  Cobh is pronounced "Cove" as the bh is a "v" in Gaelic (like in Siobhan).

It is raining in Cobh, Ireland.  It is a short day in Cobh – Arrival is at 10:30 AM and all aboard 5:30 PM.  The ship is docked in Cobh Cruise Ship Terminal and it is a short walk to the town.  

We are not on tour today so our plan is to brave the weather and explore this historic town.

As soon as the ship was cleared, we started our exploration of Cobh.  Fortunately, the rain had stopped and the sun even peeked through the clouds.  As you exit the port, you walk through The Cobh Heritage Center, a complex of indoor shops containing not only Titanic trinkets and souvenirs, but also some statues depicting people, who looked like passengers about to board the Titanic. 

Along the street fronting the harbor, there are solid shops and restaurants.  Many of the stores are selling Celtic stuff.  There are several displays in store windows related to the Titanic.  This poster and displays were in the shop windows.

We also saw restaurants named for the doomed ship.

One coffee shop had a particularly clever name. 

We walked East to nearly the end of the street then turned North to see the Cathedral (also known as the Cathedral Church of St. Colman) which is an imposing structure (can be seen from the ship).  The cathedral took nearly 50 years to build and was consecrated in 1916).  

Also from the hill, you can get a real good look at the Eclipse docked.

From the Cathedral, we turned back toward the harbor and arrived at the main intersection in town.  Signage indicated that it was also the location of the monuments to maritime disasters linked to the city of Cobh.

 We located the monument to the Lusitania,

and, of course, the Titanic.

There is another Lusitania Memorial along the harbor.  This one consists of at least a hundred individually fashioned titles (maybe four by four inches), depicting victims of the torpedoing.  Most poignant tiles describing the unknown victims (unidentified) victims.

We went into several shops looking for souvenirs and caps.  No caps but we did find a very different Titanic magnet.   We also saw the old Cunard Offices and White Star Line Offices.

Near the main intersection, we found a near life sized statue of Irish long distance runner, Sonia O'Sullivan, who won a Gold Medal in the 1995 World Championships and a Silver Medal at the 2000 Olympics.

We got back to the ship just as it started to rain a little harder.  The afternoon tours were just leaving and rain was probably going to affect those folks.

We stopped by Guest Relations to pick up our passports, which had been held and checked by Irish Immigration.

Lunch in the Oceanview Café was a slam as all of the morning tours returned at around Noon.  I tried a soup called “Garlic and Egg Soup” – perhaps not a good call.  I have just discovered that the Blue Cheese Salad Dressing is pretty good.

I spent the afternoon in the Solarium reading my Pendergast novel. 

It is “Evening Chic” tonight but we opted to change into our smart casual stuff and have dinner in the Café. Looking around the ship, the percentage of folks in formal type gear seemed low (tough on a port day). The selections in the Café seem to be dwindling in number (at least for the non-carnivore crowd) as we near the end of the cruise.  

Most importantly, the cherry tomatoes, one of my favorites of the cruise, are now in a different marinade (olive oil and basil), which gives them a totally different taste.  Oy.

Tonight’s Headliner is vocalist and comedian Steve Womack.  We’ve not seen him before.  He is a Brit (a trend on this cruise) and his jokes did not quite hit the target with the largely American audience.  But, while his humor was a bit esoteric, his singing voice was a real surprise.  He should think about a musical show.  He sang his own song about Muhammed Ali, which was really good and even did a little bit of “Hallelujah”.  We had heard some of these jokes before but overall, he was entertaining.

We spent a few minutes with Michael Redden in the Ensemble Lounge before calling it a day.

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