Our second full day found us in Cobh (pronounced "Cove"), the harbor town where the Irish boarded ships to America. Just in front of the Cobh Heritage Center is this statue of Annie Moore and her brothers. Annie was the first immigrant to pass through US federal inspection at Ellis Island.
Eileen played a haunting version of "Nearer My God to Thee" in front of Annie, which got us ready to learn more about the history of Cobh.
The Heritage Center is a wealth of information on the city and on two famous ships: the Titanic and the Lusitania. The tickets have the name of a passenger and you are invited to search the exhibits for your passenger. My passenger was a young fellow named Jeremiah Burke, who boarded the Titanic. Cobh was the Titanic's last stop before heading into the wild Atlantic.
Jeremiah was 19 when he boarded the ship. As the ship pulled out into the ocean, he wrote a note, put it in a holy water bottle that he had brought with him, and tossed it into the sea. The bottle was found in the summer of 1913 near Cork city. It read "From Titanic. Good Bye All. Burke of Glanmire, Cork."
Jeremiah did not survive the sinking of the Titanic.
We had lunch in a nice, seaside restaurant called Water's Edge, then walked up the street to take a look at the town. We thought about climbing up a long, steep staircase to visit St. Colman's Cathedral, but common sense prevailed and we admired it from afar instead.
The sky was looking iffy, so we went on another historical journey in the Titanic Experience. The building is the actual building that passengers embarked from - of course, first class passengers got to wait in comfort, while second and third class passengers were crowded onto a dock to wait.
Again we got tickets with the names of passengers - alas, both of ours perished in freezing water near Newfoundland.
It did rain a bit, but nothing serious, and it happened just before we got on the bus. So no big deal. Back in Kinsale, we had dinner at Dino's, a great seafood joint that specializes in fish and chips, and it was the best fish and chips I've ever had! After dinner we walked over to the ice cream stand and I got a 99, which is a soft serve vanilla ice cream cone with a Cadbury Flake stuck in it. You leave the Flake embedded in the cone so that the ice cream soaks into it and it is dee-licious! And then? Why, music of course!
The night's guests were Jim Murray (guitar) and Richard Lucey (accordion), who were just great and did a moving version of "Martha" by Tom Waits. Then Eileen and the orchestra joined them and did a beautiful version of her tune "Bygone Days," which made me dissolve into a pool of tears, because she dedicated it to her late mother, who was born in 1936, the same year as my late sister, and that did it. Life's funny that way.