Cathedrals and Cruise Ships in Cobh
After our adventures at Blarney Castle, we drove the 35-ish minutes to Cobh, neé Queenstown. This adorable seaside town’s major claim to fame is that it was the Titanic’s last port of call before she set out for America.
First, we headed up up up, to St Coleman’s Cathedral, set high on the hill. A funeral procession was leaving just as we got there, so the bus pulled over and cut the engine, as is the Irish custom, to show respect. What a lovely practice, right?
Once the road was clear once more, we went into the church.
I don’t think I will ever get tired of these grand and opulent churches. I could wander around in them for days!
I even love how they smell. Incense is such a mystical kind of smell. Combine that with breath-taking stained glass, soaring ceilings, and the impulse to whisper, and I get goosebumps!
Being set up so high, the cathedral has an amazing view of the town and the cove. The stacked houses outside are known as the Pack of Cards. Just past the last one on the right was the best vantage point to see where the Titanic was anchored in 1912, so hundreds of people crowded into the tiny street for a glimpse.
Going down into the town, we decided to do the Titanic Experience in the original White Star Line ticket office (€9.50, but we got in for €7.50 because we were on a Paddywagon tour). We were issued tickets with the real names and ages of actual passengers who left from Cobh. I was Patrick O’Connell, age 66. Third class, steerage.
The exhibit consists of a few short videos, an audio presentation out back in view of the original pier, re-creations of third and first class lodgings, and some information about things like icebergs, hypothermia, and other tidbits. It was a good exhibit, but I think I was expecting more.
At the end, we checked a list of the passengers to see if “we” had survived or not. Given that we were all steerage passengers, it’s no real surprise that none of us did.
Outside and across the street, there is the Titanic memorial. It is rather…piddly. About my height. It seems rather understated for such a monumental tragedy.
The other monument to the Titanic is down the street, near the Heritage Office, and pictures a young girl and her two brothers, one pointing out to see, in the direction of Ellis Island. Apparently, there is a corresponding statue on the island, pointing back to Cobh. I think I will need to visit and confirm. 😉
Cobh is such a sweet town, I only wish that we had been able to spend more time there (and some sunshine would have been nice). But these flowers along the road certainly served to brighten things up, and I fully intend on making my way back there in the future for some more intensive exploration!
Have you been to Cobh? Are you as interested in the Titanic as I am?
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