If you are ever visting the Spaniard late in the day, the tables at this end of the building are the place to sit. Great view and you get the late afternoon sun to keep you warm.
Today was the day I had decided to make my first of 2 hikes while on vacation. I had decided to get up around 0700 and hike out to Charles Fort. I was giving myself 3 hours to make the hike, get back and take a shower, as I wanted to go on a day trip to Cobh (pronounced Cove). See my Hiking blogs for the details of the hike.
I got back to the hotel around 09:30, and all I wanted to do was take a nice warm shower and get into some fresh clothes. The bus was leaving at 10:00 for Cobh, so I thought I had a good chance to shower and catch a quick bite to eat. Well when I got up to my room, housekeeping staff were in it straightening things up. There were 3 of them. Or as our bus driver would have said, one to do the work, one to stand around with her hands on her hips, and one to supervise! :) Darn, so I just headed down to the dining room for breakfast.
It was a cool morning, so I had not sweated to bad on my hike, but I still tried to sit by myself. I ate quickly and then went back up to my room, hoping they would be done...and they were. I took a quick shower and then headed down to catch the bus for the day trip. This trip was a bit different, in that our driver went, but was not driving. We only took one of the 3 buses, so one of the other drivers drove, and John provided us with the naration for the drive. Very amusing. The countryside on the way to Cobh was just amazing. As we drove past all the fertile fields with bountiful crops and sheep and cattle, it was hard to imagine a situation where this land could not support the population. Yet that was on about 150 yrs ago.
We arrived in Cobh, and were let off at the Cobh Heritage Center.
Landscape on way to Cobh from Kinsale
It is a large building that houses a museum dedicated to the story of those that left Ireland...either by choice or by transportation. Many, many irish left Ireland during the great Famine of 1845-1852. It is estimated that there was a 20-25 percent reduction in the population due to the Great Hunger. It is estimaged that during that time somewhere between 1 to 1.5 million people died, and in excess of 1 million left the country. Many of those that left, left from the port city of Cobh, (or Cove, or Queenstown). In addition to those that left because of the Great Hunger, looking for a better life, many were "transported" This is the term that was used for those souls that were found quilty of a crime and sentanced to being sent to Austraila. It is estimated that approx 26,500 irishmen were transported.
An ABC. Another Bloody Castle! :)
The musuem is pretty well done, and had a lot of information. I spent a good amount of time wondering thru the displays reading (something I never get to do if I have my kids with me). When I was done, I walked outside with the intent of looking for the Cobh Cathedral. As I looked around outside, I spied a church spire up the hill, and started walking. I climbed a set of stairs and made my way up a short roadway....to find....not the cathedral. What I had seen was the spire of a simple parish church. I had been fooled by the lay of the land. Well, I decided it was time to hike further into town.
Cobh is a quaint town built along the Cork Harbor. The houses are painted bright colors, and it is very pretty. After I had hiked down one of the streets leading into the town center from the museum, I saw the cathedral up on the hill.
This is the statue to commemorate Annie Moore.
I did mention it was "up on the hill", didn't I! Well I hoofed it up the hill to this magnificent cathedral. I think it was even more beautiful than Christchurch, (could not compare it to St Patricks as I never really got a chance to look at that). I wondered around the outside, taking pictures as usual. I then went to take a look at the inside. As was getting to be par for the course, they were busy inside. It appeared to be a practice for a Confirmation, so I just stood at the back and admired the interior of the cathedral. There was on little side chapel off to the side that I tried to take pictures of, but I did not want to use my flash.
After admiring the cathedral, I headed back for the bus. I still had about 20 minutes before we were leaving, so I popped back into the museum to get a bite to eat.
Annie was the first person processed at Ellis Island.
Then it was back on the bus for the ride back to Kinsale
Once back at the hotel, some of the friends I had made invited me to join them for a pint at The Spaniard. I remembered this as one of the pubs I had passed on my hike that morning, so I agreed to go. We walked around the head of the bay and up the hill to the pub. We enjoyed a few pints and talked about staying for dinner. Well we stayed until about 6pm and then went into the pub to find out why the resturant had not opened its doors yet. We were then told it was closed that night. Well we just hoofed it back towards the hotel and had dinner at a resturant nearby. It was good food.
After dinner it was time to go back to the hotel.
The band was doing a show in one of the small banqueting rooms at the hotel, and it was going to be pretty much just the people that were on the tour with them. It was a small room, yet the show was a blast. It was more like a wedding reception. It was great fun. One of the things that stands out in my mind was Keith kept saying he was going to play Scooby Do. I later figured out he was talking to his 5 yr old son, and that is what the tyke calls the song Brown Dog. It was a great show, and I was up bouncing around with the rest of the fans. Something I would pay for the next day. It really got to my ribs. I finally left the bar around midnight and headed up for my room.