First Impressions of Ireland

Cobh

We’ve never been to Ireland before but most people rave about this lush, green island. We will be spending eight days traveling around Ireland with an agenda that includes Waterford, Cork (including Blarney), and Belfast, but with much of our time centered on Dublin.

Our landfall was in Cobh yesterday and before we arrived we inquired about the weather. The response was “it’s a beautiful day here with just a light rain and a high of 46°”. Welcome to the Emerald Isle…

Because of the rainy weather we spent the first day in Cobh, which is the seaport that serves Cork. It’s a picturesque town with many streets that seem to be running up hills at about forty-five degrees. The principle business seems to be celebrating the fact that the Titanic made its last port of call here. There’s the Titanic Pub, the Titanic Museum and gift shop and memorials to many of the one hundred and thirty passengers that boarded here. One pub claimed that several Titanic passengers had their last pint ashore in their pub before sailing (that would be one hundred six years ago).

 

Another local monument is to Annie who is confirmed as the first Irish immigrant to the United States that arrived at Ellis Island. She has her statue with her two younger brothers on the pier as if they are ready to set off on a cruise to their new life in America.

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St. Colman’s Cathedral

The city also has the gorgeous St. Colman’s Cathedral which was started in 1867 but not finished for almost fifty years. The cathedral tower contains the largest carillon in Europe with forty-nine bells. The bells strike on the hour and at fifteen minute intervals and plays a longer program for Sunday Mass and on special events.

Cobh is the end of a train line and you can get to Cork for only a couple of Euros with trains leaving about every twenty minutes. The trip takes less than a half hour with continuing service on to Blarney just a few minutes farther away.

All in all it was a great first Irish day and I realized that to make English a really beautiful language it needs to be spoken with an Irish accent.

East Dunmore

This Irish fishing village serves the town of Waterford and is a quant seaside resort town with a number of bed and breakfasts and upscale hotels. We visited on a Saturday and there seemed to be a surprising number of people in town and at the beach considering there was still a chill in the air. We spent the day walking the coastal trail and visiting the craft shops.

After just a couple of days in Ireland we understand why the country is easy to love. Next Dublin.

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