A Fateful Voyage to Cobh, Ireland

Cobh (pronounced Cove) is an easy day trip from Cork and is famous for being the last port of call for the Titanic before she departed on her fateful maiden voyage across the Atlantic.  We hopped on the train and in about 30 minutes were deposited at the Cobh train station.
We looked up the hill above the train station and saw a beautiful old wall and spire.  Since it was a gorgeous day (and knowing Ireland, this could change at any moment), we decided to go for a walk about town before stopping in at the Cobh Heritage Center.
We faced a steep climb but the promised views at the top made it all worthwhile.
In the distance, we could see St. Colman's Cathedral, an easily identifiable landmark for sailors and landlubbers alike.
We wound our way toward St. Colman's past the Bishop's Residence.
An elaborate convent sat just beyond a low wall and well-coiffed hedge.
Helpful signage pointed us in the right direction.
We looked back down toward the harbour, our eyes guided by brightly colored homes stacked on the hillside.
We finally arrived at St. Colman's (just in time for Mass, apparently...) and did a loop around the place, admiring the architecture and dramatic spire.
We took a moment to admire the colorful homes stacked on the hill from a different angle.  It looked like Cobh's answer to the 'Painted Ladies' of San Francisco.
The gorgeous harbour swept out in front of us.
We descended the footpath in front of the church down to the harbour front.  Here we spotted signs of Cobh's place in history with references to the Titanic and other 'floating palaces' on the outside of local pubs.
The colorful storefronts overlooking the harbour shown in the sun.
We turned around on the square and looked back up at St. Colman's where we'd started.
Our eye was drawn to Market House with the spire of St. Colman's sitting immediately above it.
It was perfect timing for a late breakfast so we took a seat inside.
A country kitchen interior welcomed us.
We grabbed a spot at the window and looked out at the quaint and colorful facades of the town.
A bit of coffee, a scone, and some porridge fortified us for the day.
Continuing our exploration, we walked along the harbour past rows of shops and homes.
Eventually, we came to an intersection where we would have had to choose between the high road and the low road.
We decided to follow neither and turned toward the beach and 'The Bench' (a seat overlooking the harbour where Titanic sailed out to sea) instead.
We carefully picked our way down to the rocky beach.  An old brick was worn smooth by the pounding of the waves.
We looked out at the water and down the beach back toward town.
We could see the deep water channel where Titanic must have passed.
We strolled back into town past colorful fishing boats.
Just beyond, we discovered Kennedy Park with its distinctive old time Victorian gazebo.
A fascinating sculpture sat facing the sea.
We ended our half-day visit to Cobh back at the train station to learn about The Queenstown Story at the Cobh Heritage Center.
The museum was housed in a bright airy space in the Victorian era train station.
We learned about the history of the town (Cobh was called Queenstown before Irish independence) from pre-famine times, through the years of massive emigration when crops failed, through the more modern seafaring tragedies like that of Titanic and Lusitania which was a torpedoed near Cork during WWII.
Cobh is well worth a visit if you find yourself in Cork City with some time to spare.  It's especially worthwhile if the weather is nice like it was during our visiting in late March 2014.  After exploring for a few hours, we boarded the convenient train back to Cork.

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Sidewalk Safari: A Fateful Voyage to Cobh, Ireland
A Fateful Voyage to Cobh, Ireland
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