Today, we arrived at our final port-of-call, Cohn (pronounced ‘cove’), in Ireland.
After our underwhelming Ireland visit earlier in the year, to Ringaskiddy, which is literally just across the other side of the bay, I’m pleased to say that todays visit to Cohn did not disappoint at all.
Cohn is a rather idyllic little town, but one with an important place in history. With a population of only 12,800 residents, it was renamed Queenstown in 1849 after a visit from Queen Victoria, and returned to its orginal name sometime after (no-one seems to know exactly when). On the 11th of April 1912, it was the final port of call for the Titanic before she set sail across the Atlantic Ocean on her maiden voyage. Sadly, we all know how that turned out.
Cohn also had a major shipbuilding industry at one time, and it is from here that many convicts were shipped off to Australia.
We’d specifically asked not to be put on tour today, because we wanted to explore Cohn at our own leisure. Once ashore, we ambled along the waterfront, enjoying the warm September sunshine and being spoken to by a friendly local crow (or raven – I’m not sure which). Twice, I swear, it said “hello” to me, after which, like a loon, I kept trying to engage it in conversation, but it was having none of it.
We walked the length of Cohn’s shoreline, as far as the Titanic Memorial Garden, where the names of the 144 people who boarded the ship here (only 44 came back) are listed on a giant plate glass sheet bearing an outline of the vessel.
It being only a half-day stop – mostly for 160 Irish passengers to disembark the Magellan – there wasn’t time to climb the hill to get a closer look inside St. Colman’s Cathedral – that will have to wait until another visit. Instead, there was another, more important task to be done… when in Ireland, one should drink Guiness…
We found a pub near the ship and I enjoyed a pint of Ireland’s most famous brew before it was time to head back (and stunning it was, too).
We left Cohn at around 1pm.
Tomorrow, we’ll be arriving back at our starting point, Bristol, and another adventure on the high seas will be over.
But not for long…
I’ve been invited to join the Marco Polo in January for a ‘Grand Circle South America’ voyage. It’s going to be quite a marathon, crossing the Atlantic and circumnavigating the entire continent of South America, taking in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and dropping in on the Falkland Islands, to mention just a few scheduled stops. Naturally, I’ll be keeping a blog of the journey, warts and all…