Small Town Sights and Sounds

Trip Start Jan 01, 2013
Trip End Jun 01, 2013

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What I did
Titanic Experience

Flag of Ireland  , County Cork,
Saturday, January 19, 2013

Today, my friends and I were heading out for another day trip to Cobh in County Cork. It's only a short distance away from the city, so we thought it was a good trip just for the day. We left the apartments at 10:00am, en route to the train station where our train was leaving at 11:00am. Similar to yesterday, we knew where the train station was... kind of... So, we walked, crossed the bridge, and found our way to the train tracks. However, we did not know how to get into the actual train station. It was 10:45am... We walked around the building, into the parking lot, and walked basically in circles for a few minutes. Finally, we realized that there was a sign with arrows, pointing towards the actual station. We had to wak THROUGH the parking lot and around a different building where we found stairs leading us to the other side of the tracks...oops! By this time, we missed our train (they had just called the final boarding call as we walked in the door). Oh well! We got our tickets, some got coffee from a cute little coffee stand and we soaked in the cute little train station for an hour as we waited for our train at 12:00pm. While we were waiting we met a woman and her cute little boy waiting for their own train. The boy was adorable and playing with little cars. The woman was originally from the United States and married an Irish man, therefore relocating her to Ireland (there are SO many people like this that we've met so far!!) She told us that she was going to meet one of her sorority sisters in Dublin... interesting! She left to get on her train, and we waited, ready to head out! 

Finally, at 12 we got on the train and took a 25 minute ride to Cobh. When we arrived it was a little chilly and gray, but still adorable, nonetheless! We went into the visitors center to get our maps so we knew our way around! We found out later that Cobh is so small, we didn't even need maps! The man in the visitor center was very cute and recommended what we should do in Cobh and also told us a few good restaraunts where we could grab cheap food later on :) He was so sweet and welcomed us to Cobh, wishing us luck and sending us on our way! After we left the office we headed towards the Cathedral that Cobh is known for, St. Colman's Cathedral. When we turned to the street that we had to walk up to get there, we thought it was a joke... the street was an intense uphill climb, like that street in San Fran that is basically 90 degrees! So, we slowly but surely made our way up the hill and when we finally got to the top we took a picture.. WE DID IT! Haha, then, in order to get to the Cathedral we had to go down a small hill, which we all enjoyed very much... The Cathedral was MASSIVE. Standing beneath it and looking up was incredible because it was so big! There was so much detail and artwork on the outside, it was soo nice!! Then, when we went inside is was soooo pretty! The stained glass lined the upper walls and the ceiling was so high. They say that the ceiling looks like the belly of a ship, which it did! The alter was gorgeous and very big! There were also many side areas with candles and prayer stations, all of which were beautifully decorated and gorgeous! All together the church was not only huge, but beautiful as well. After we left the church, we headed down the hill, a different way this time, trying to find our next destination! The streets of Cobh are so tiny and the houses are incredibly cute. One woman was cleaning her windows from the inside and waved at us as we walked by. SO CUTE!

Finally, we came back to the "center of town" and found our way to "The Titanic Experience." Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown, was the last place that the Titanic docked before it made it's way out to see, and then crashed. 120 passengers from Cobh (Queenstown) boarded the ship at this location, 75 of whom perished in the crash. This was a very cool experience to take part in. When we got to the building, we checked in as if we were passengers on the Titanic. My name was Bridget O'Neill, an 18 year old who would be riding in 3rd class. Throughout the whole experience, we moved from room to room, with both a real, tourguide and a virtual "Captain" who told us a lot about the events that occurred after Titanic left Queenstown. At one point we went outside where our real tourguide showed us the docks where the passengers actually boarded. These docks were for smaller ships that would bring the passengers just across the harbor, where Titanic was docked and they could board. During the experience we also saw what cabins/rooms looked like for both first and third class. We watched an animation of the Titanic sinking, and were given a lot of information about the crash; it was a whole lot more than just watching the Titanic movie. In a weird way, you were living it. At the end, there was an exhibit with TONS of videos and information about the Titanic and the accident. It was sad, but cool to read about all the events that occurred within just a few hours, how it could have been avoided, but also how the ship and crew did everything they could. It makes you wish that we could go back in time and fix just those few, small errors that were made; errors that could have saved hundreds of lives. To say the least, it was a very sad, but humbling experience. At the end, I discovered that Bridget (aka me) was lost at sea and indicated a victim of the crash. A few of my friends survived, some of us did not. It was fun as a "game," but weird and scary when we thought about the fact that it was real. It makes you very thankful and appreciative for the life you live!

After we left the building, we set out to look for a place for a late lunch/early dinner. We found a cute cafe, Dave's Coffee House, where we sat down and tried to thaw ourselves out. (IT WAS FREEZING!) I ordered a "classic toasted sandwich," which was chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon and some chili sauce (AMAZING) toasted on hugeee pieces of bread. It was soooooo good, and I would definitely have it again! The owner was super nice and kept checking on us to make sure we were enjoying ourselves.! After we finished eating we hung out for a little bit, enjoying the warm room and nice people.

After we left the cafe, we just wandered around Cobh. We walked into a few gift shops, jewelry stores and another cafe for hot chocolate/coffee. We also found a candy store where we each got a bag of candy for the road (we had been craving sweets like crazy!!). Finally around 4:30-5, we boarded our train back to Cork, just in time, as it had started to pour! It was a really fun day, but we were all tired, so when we got back we took hot showers, ate a small dinner/snack and just vegged out for the rest of the night :) I watched 24 on Netflix and laid in my bed under the comfy, warm covers :)) Can't wait to sleep in tomorrow! Goodnight! :)
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