Mike Grehan says...

Random musings about search marketing, flying around the planet, networking and people watching.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cork and Cobh, Ireland...

Next weekend, Tatiana and I will be going our separate ways for about four or five months. Purely job related, I hasten to add. Earlier this year I had to make New York my main base. And following her fantastic new promotion, from next weekend, Tatiana will move to Geneva, Switzerland to live. And I shall return to Manhattan.

So, I thought a final weekend trip away was in order before the big move. As my family are from Ireland, I'm always keen to take any opportunity to pay a visit. And although my family are actually from County Sligo, I thought, for a change, we'd go to County Cork.

The fact that the John Jameson Irish whisky distillery is there, or that Murphy's stout is brewed there as is Beamish stout did not factor at all into my suggestion for us to spend the weekend there :-)

We stayed at the swanky Jury's Hotel sitting right on the river. We had a suite at the back of the hotel with huge floor to ceiling windows. I took a quick shower to freshen up and then walked out of the bathroom over to the picture windows to admire the view. Here, I stood naked for a while drying my hair with a towel admiring the woods and the small waterfall upstream.

And as my eyes followed the shape of the river back towards the hotel... I spotted four fishermen tucked away on the riverbank below, pointing and laughing uncontrollably!

Please feel free to take a second to delete that thought from your memory forever.

Moving on...

Cork city is a bustling place and we had a wonderful traditional lunch at a place called Scotts sitting outside on Caroline Street. And in the evening we had drinks downtown and then returned to the hotel for dinner and some traditional Irish music.

But what I was really looking forward to was spending the day in Cobh (pronounced "cove"). This is a pretty little seaside town on Great Island, once known as Queenstown.

And this is where the history of Irish emigrants to America begins. Annie Moore, the first Irish emigrant to be processed on Ellis Island set sail from here. It has a strong naval and seagoing connection. But tinged with sadness. Not only was Queenstown the last port of call for the "safest liner in the world" when the Titanic set sail for the final leg of her maiden journey, it's the port where the Lusitania was sunk. The ship was sunk off Kinsale in 1915 by a German submarine (an action that would bring the Unites States into the great war).

The town has a memorial to the victims in the square.

It's a pretty place. I like the way they paint their houses and stores in different colors.

Of course, as it was also a Victorian holiday resort, you can see all of the Victorian influences.

We took a climb up the steep hill to take a peek at St Coleman's cathedral. However, it's still a working a church and a funeral was taking place, so no viewing today for me, thank you.

The view over the town is quite nice from the cathedral. And shows how the town has kept its association with seagoing. With one of the deepest natural docks in Europe, Cobh still plays host to the world's luxury liners. The Grand Princess from Miami was in port and dwarfing the town with her presence.

There's a very quaint Victorian promenade.

And er, this... Don't ask, I have no idea!

We had the most superb Sunday lunch at the Watersedge Hotel Where, as you can tell, sitting out on the deck, we had a pretty good view of the Grand Princess. And with home being Miami for this liner... There were more Americans in town than Irish!

All in all, a wonderful weekend. Wonder when I'll see my wife next :-)



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