Sunday, August 10, 2014

And off to Cobh, Ireland.

By train from Cork to Cobh, Ireland.
Sunday -- August 10. Our plan was to take the train to Killarney this morning. But, often, the best laid plans go awry!! We awoke at 11:45 a.m., much to late for a train to that city. As we spoke to the station agent at the train station it was suggested we go to Cobh, a seacoast town just 35 minutes away by train. We took her advice and bought round-trip tickets. At the same time we learned that we could go to Killarney tomorrow 8:55 a.m. -- so I've set the alarm clock.

In Cobh, Ireland.
We boarded the train for the short trip to Cobh. As it turns out, it was a good choice. Cobh is a seacoast town with the only "cruise" terminal in Ireland. One of its "claims to fame" is that it was the last port-of-call for the Titanic before heading across the Atlantic on its ill-fated voyage. The town is full of Titanic memorabilia, including a museum.

Additionally, Cobh is as beautiful as one can imagine. Leaving the train station, and walking along the water-front, the town reveals itself as a line of one-, two- and three-story storefronts, shops and restaurants. The weather was warm and sunny, although (as is always the case in Ireland, we've discovered) rain clouds were here and there threatening a bit of a shower. Later, during our stay, it did shower for a few minutes, and the rain came down hard and dense. Fortunately, Linda and I had decided to take our rain-gear, so we were completely protected.

Over-looking Cobh.
We decided to walk out of town and up a long hill road leading to more residential neighborhoods. There were a number of small shops catering to the local population. Many of the storefronts were closed or for rent, lease or sale. We continued walking up and up some more until we saw a beautiful and imposing view of Cobh from on-high. It was delightful. We continued "up and over" the hill a bit, and found we could walk back into the center of town without back-tracking ourselves. It was a great little excursion usually not seen, I would guess, by tourists.

We had a chance to ask a passerby if he was familiar with Cobh. "I've been here all me life," he said. "So yes, I'd say I'm familiar with this part of the world".  We asked that, if he were go get a meal, where would "he" go?? He didn't hesitate when he suggested three pubs for a meal -- "oh, and they're not too expensive -- let me say", he pointed out finally. We thanked him and went on our way. We chose a crowded place on a busy corner called "The Tradewinds" for a late lunch. Again, as was our experience yesterday, the food was "outa sight". One of the most delicious meals I've enjoyed anywhere.
Lunch at the Tradewinds, Cobh.

We made our way back to Cork on the 4:30 train and continued wandering around Cork itself. After a couple of hours we decided a cup of coffee or tea would finish off the day -- so we found a place called "Market Lane". We were seated and enjoyed a Murphy's, a Bailey's and some bar food before heading back to our lodgings for the evening.

I'll say it again. Ireland is one of the friendliest parts of the world I've visited. Everyone is helpful and pleasant. We found people will "take us there" if directions are confusing. Everywhere -- on trains and busses, in the restaurants, on the street and in the shops,
Rain, sure -- bring it on!!
one cannot have a more pleasant "interpersonal experience".

So, tomorrow we're off to Killarney. Tuesday we thought we go to Limerick and Wednesday, possibly Waterford.

Stay tuned.....