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  • Day13

    Day 13 - Titanic Over Reaction

    August 13, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    I was awoken just after 6.00am by a load of bullocks............mooing outside our cottage. I got up & finished the blog. We were all up & ready & increadibly out of the door by 10am sharp & heading to Cork.

    We took a convoluted country route, which was all to later become apparent. We paid a €1.90 toll charge & joined the M8 southbound towards Cork. Just north of Cork, I could sense Chris getting gradually more excitable. He kept fiddling with his knobs!

    We continued at a roundabout, joining the N40 & almost immediately entered the Jack Lynch Tunnel which went under the River Lee into Cork. This was the source of Chris’ excitement. The Jack Lynch Tunnel is an immersed tube tunnel, 610 metres long, costing 70 million Irish pounds in 1999 & was modelled on the Medway Tunnel in Kent. The Medway Tunnel was built by Chris’ company & was the 1st of it’s kind in the UK. Some might say he is an anorak.

    We arrived at our destination, Convent Avenue in Cork, but there was no trace of Cork Gaol, or Cork Goal as Jackie referred to it. We were about 6 miles away from the ‘other’ Convent Avenue. It then took us about 30 minutes to negotiate through the hideous traffic to get to Cork Gaol, crossing the River Lee only several times!

    Having parked up, we paid our €12 each admission fee for a guided audio tour of Cork Gaol. The tour took us through the procedure for prisoners when they first arrived at the Gaol. It told us stories of various inmates & the conditions they had to endure.

    Cork Gaol was built in 1818, but was closed due to it’s deteriorated conditions in 1923. The Gaol housed mainly female prisoners, but male prisoners were incarcerated there during certain periods in that time. During the Great Famine, many people committed crimes so that they could be sent to prison, where they would be fed & have a roof over their heads, hence a better quality of life.

    It was a captivating experience. After, we handed our headsets in & visited the Radio Museum in the upper floors of the Gaol. There was an audio visual display of a mock of trial projected on to the walls, which was excellent. We all thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, believing that they got the amount of information relayed to us about right.

    We returned to the car & headed south to Cobh, pronounced as ‘Cove’ (the Cove of Cork), but was also named Queenstown in 1849. It was another half hour drive from Cork to Cobh & we parked up outside the Cobh Heritage Centre. Cobh is renowned for being the last port of call for the Titanic in 1912 before it sank.

    As a result, both the Cobh Heritage Center & the Titanic Experience Memorial had exhibits relating to the Titanic. Both exhibitions seemed rather on the small side, but still wanted a €10 entrance fee. We decided that we wouldn’t go in to either, particularly as Chris & Angela already knew the Titanic story, in fact so much so that they didn’t watch the film of that name!

    The only other maritime thing of worthy of mention was a statue of Annie Moore & her two brothers on the dockside. Annie Moore embarked from Cobh on the SS Nevada & was the first person to be admitted to the United States of America 🇺🇸 through their new Immigration Center at Ellis Island, New York on 1st January 1892. A statue to celebrate this event has been erected on both sides of the Atlantic. Interestingly, there was a photo of Mary in her later years & she clearly had ingratiated herself into the American fast food culture. She was huge.

    Talking of food, we looked around for somewhere to eat, even in the imposing St. Coleman’s Cathedral that was celebrating it’s centenary. Jackie lit 2 candles, one for her Mum & the other for Paul Drakett. However she should have then gone straight to confession, because she lit the candles from other already lit candles, which was strictly forbidden!

    We failed in our mission to find a suitable eating establishment, so we returned to the car & got out of Cobh, quicker than it’s most famous daughter, International Athlete Sonia O’Sullivan. Our views on Cobh were that it was a bit underwhelming & relied too heavily on it’s connection to the Titanic, but it clearly appealed to the American tourists.

    Leaving Cobh, we drove past Belvelly Castle, which is a 14th/15th Century Stone tower house that has been wonderfully restored & is now a private residence. We continued to the town of Midleton, famous for it’s Jameson Distillery. We parked up & walked up & down the High Street.

    After several enquires & studying of menus, we settled on Finin’s Restaurant & Bar. The girls ordered fish & chips, Chris ordered leg of lamb & I, the Irish Stew...........when in Rome! Half an hour later, there were 4 empty plates & 4 empty glasses.

    We returned to the Cottage & after a cup of tea, Chris & I went fishing again to catch another haul of trout. After an hour of toil, we had failed. Maybe it had just been beginners luck yesterday!

    We returned to the cottage & all nattered in the comfy chairs with wine & beer until late in to the evening. We did however have a pre-bed game of Logo, where I have discovered I am now be targeted & picked on, probably because I win every game we play. Just for the record, I won the Logo game!

    Song of the Day - Titanic (My Over) Reaction by 999
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