Day 143: Kinsale & CorkJuly 8, 2017 in Ireland
Took our leave of Denis a bit later this morning, and headed eastwards along the southern coast of Ireland. This area is much more sheltered than the coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean, and is noticeably less rugged - more beaches and gently rolling farmland, nowhere near as many cliffs and boulders!
It was actually only a couple of hours drive to our destination for the day: Kinsale. This is another harbour town, this time on the southern Irish coast. We arrived just on midday and decided to head straight for an early lunch of fish & chips on the beachfront - very tasty and filling, though it was quite slow service!
Spent an hour or so wandering around the town which was a picturesque little place. It was almost as nice as Kinsale and other "prettiest town in Ireland"-type places we'd visited, but far fewer people. No gigantic tour buses, and no caravans either which was a welcome change. Still plenty of tourists around, but not as crowded as we'd gotten used to. (That said, most of the non-town spots along the Ring of Kerry weren't crowded since we'd gone in reverse order - a fact that both of us had remarked on while driving).
After an enjoyable poke around the town we drove 15 minutes south to one of the most southerly points in Ireland. There's also a memorial here for victims of the SS Lusitania, a fully-loaded passenger liner that was sunk nearby in 1915 by a German submarine, killing more than 1200 people and making it one of the worst maritime disasters in history - worse even than Titanic.
It's a vexed ethical question, because although it was a civilian passenger liner, the Germans maintained it was carrying munitions for the war effort. The British and American governments insisted that it wasn't, although in the 1980s secret cabinet documents were released proving the Germans correct (and that it was probably some of the munitions exploding that sank the ship so quickly, rather than the German torpedoes). Remember as well that the USA was officially still "neutral" in WW1 at this point, although surreptitiously supplying arms to the British and French. Most of the lives lost were Americans, and the sinking of the Lusitania was ultimately one of the catalysts for American entry into the war.
Moving on from the problems of a century ago, we headed for our accommodation - a small cabin style place on the waterfront outside Kinsale. It was a nice little place, though unfortunately the wifi signal didn't penetrate the walls so we had to sit outside to use it! Thankfully our 3G worked fine.
Spent the afternoon enjoying a rare patch of sun, working on some videos and general internet catching-up. Stayed in for dinner, cooking pasta on the stove.Read more