Written by MilwVon on 10 May, 2012
We had a very full day today, spent mostly in Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown at the time of the sailing of Titanic 100 years ago. After our two and a half hour drive from the cottage, we arrived in Cobh at around 10:00am…Read More
We had a very full day today, spent mostly in Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown at the time of the sailing of Titanic 100 years ago. After our two and a half hour drive from the cottage, we arrived in Cobh at around 10:00am . . . plenty of time to get a lay of the land and find parking.Our only scheduled activity was an 11:00am with Titanic researcher and author Dr. Michael Martin. He is the creator of the "Titanic Trail" tour and several others focusing on the history of this emigration port so prominent to so many Irish and Irish-American families.We learned not only about Titanic but also about the role Queenstown played in the 19th and early 20th centuries. We walked along the waterfront much the same as the 123 Titanic passengers who boarded here. Dr. Martin explained that the buildings facing the harbor appear just as they did back in 1912. It was a very surreal experience to walk in their footsteps today.After our orientation with Dr. Martin, we went to the building that formerly housed the White Star Line ticket office. The dock where tenders took passengers to the anchored Titanic out beyond the natural protective barrier island at the opening to the Irish Sea was immediately behind the ticket office. It is here that the "Titanic Experience" occurs. Here guests receive a ticket to Titanic as they assume the identity of one of the 123 Queenstown passengers. Mom received one of the three first class passengers, ironically someone from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Dr. Martin had mentioned this family, a doctor along with his wife and sister. The two ladies were saved; the doctor perished.We took the Titanic Experience tour and found it very interesting. A blend of audio-visual storytelling and recreations of what the cabins were like on Titanic allowed visitors to get a feel for life on the ship. At the end of the main "experience" aspects, the final area provided several photos and story-boards telling about the Titanic, Queenstown and her people.Our final stop while in Cobh was the Cobh Heritage Center. A modern day blend of history and shopping, we enjoyed the self-guided walk through tour that was largely about life in 18th and 19th century Ireland, especially as her residents faced famine and lack of financial opportunity which resulted in millions of people looking for a better life in North America. Initially Canada was the destination of choice until laws in America became more favorable to emigrants.From Cobh we backtracked a bit to Midleton, the original location of John Jameson & Son distillery. The old distillery built in 1780 was closed in 1975 in favor of a new more modern facility. As so many buildings in Ireland, the buildings fell into disrepair until such time as money was invested to restore them and create the Jameson Distillery Experience.I have to say, David and I have done a lot of whiskey distillery tours and this one was probably the best, largely because it was in the original old buildings dating back more than 150 years. The guided tour provides an overview to the distilling process as well as the history of Jameson Whiskey and the Old Distillery in Midleton. At the end is a taste testing for eight lucky tour participants, who get to compare the Jameson product with that from Scotland (Black & White Scotch) and American (Jack Daniels). All guests received a sample drink, either straight or mixed as a cocktail. I thoroughly enjoyed mine with cranberry juice! Their whiskey was very smooth and not nearly as harsh as others that I've sampled.After the Midleton detour, we head on to our next overnight point, Tralee and the Ballyseede Castle Hotel. Close
Written by elecis on 06 Aug, 2004
FOTA is a wildlife park near Cork, Ireland. I wasn't sure what to expect when we got there, but I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing that you see when you enter is that most of the animals are just…Read More
FOTA is a wildlife park near Cork, Ireland. I wasn't sure what to expect when we got there, but I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing that you see when you enter is that most of the animals are just wandering around freely. To me, this seems very strange, because I am used to seeing animals in cages. The park grounds are very nice and very well kept up. They have different little stations along the way where children can stop and play. Now, since the animals are walking around freely, let me send you a warning - watch where you step! Hopefully I don’t need to explain what I mean by that.
So, as you walk in you will see kangaroos hopping around (or sleeping - they sleep quite a lot), and then you start your journey around the park. It amazes me how well accustomed the animals are to people and they don’t seem to care that we are walking around them.
You can catch the trail train that they have that drives around the park or you can just walk it. I recommend walking because it gives you better chances of seeing the animals since you can go at your own pace. You will get to see exotic animals such as giraffes, red pandas, cheetahs, and many different types of monkeys. For me, a highlight was the monkeys - there is one off road that is just past their "home" that you can walk down, and I strongly recommend it. When you go down the road, you come to a clearing that is surrounded by trees and the trees are filled with monkeys. This is a great place for photo ops because you can get very close to them.
As for the facilities at the park, they have two entrances and either one will do. You can take the train directly there and it drops you off at their doorstep, or you can opt to drive yourself. They have a canteen which is fully stocked, and they have shops. Be aware, the stuffed animals are very cute, but a little pricey - but that is to be expected.
All in all, for the small amount that you pay to get in, I feel that it is worth the money and that it would be a great day for families, or friends.
Written by C. A. Fliedner on 28 Feb, 2001
Hundreds of bodies were washed ashore for days after the sinking. The corpses, men, women and children, were placed in coffins and lined up along the Cunard Line’s dock. A huge funeral procession made its way through the streets of Cobh to the…Read More
Hundreds of bodies were washed ashore for days after the sinking. The corpses, men, women and children, were placed in coffins and lined up along the Cunard Line’s dock. A huge funeral procession made its way through the streets of Cobh to the cemetery. Many of the dead were buried in mass graves, marked by two crudely hewn stones. Others victims, likely the more affluent, were buried in individual graves with headstones noting their death on the Lusitania. A walk through the cemetery is a sad reminder of tragic event that eventually thrust the United States into World War I.
Though a visit to the cemetery might not be for everyone, it somehow seemed appropriate for us to pay our respects to the people who had lost their lives in this terrible, albeit important historical event.
While you’re in the area, be sure to make the trip to Old Head, Kinsale on the southern coast of Ireland. Even though we took the ferry across the bay, it took about an hour to reach Old Head point from Cobh. The…Read More
While you’re in the area, be sure to make the trip to Old Head, Kinsale on the southern coast of Ireland. Even though we took the ferry across the bay, it took about an hour to reach Old Head point from Cobh. The black and white striped lighthouse sits atop steep cliffs that overlook the Celtic Sea. The view of the coastline from this wind-swept spot is magnificent. Old Head has long been a favorite spot for picnickers. On a sunny day in May of 1915, a group of picknickers were thrilled when they spotted the massive Lusitania sailing by. Suddenly, there was an explosion that cracked across the calm ocean, followed by a second shattering blast. Within 18 horrifying minutes, the eyewitnesses watched helplessly as the great ocean liner disappeared into the ocean a mere 11 miles from Old Head point. A memorial to the Lusitania now marks the place where the picnickers watched the great liner slide beneath the waves.