Our cruise ship pulled into the town of Cobh, with the intention that everyone would hop on the train for a short ride to the City of Cork (the boat couldn’t get in that far). Which is exactly what we did (obedient little people we are).
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and third largest city on the island of Ireland. It is in the South in the province of Munster and has about 220,000 people living there. It is a nice little town but nowhere near as pretty as where we had been over the last few weeks. The stone in the area was gray, as was the sky and so too the feeling that you got from being here.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the town, the people were friendly, it was comfortable and safe walking around everywhere and the people we met were chatty and friendly. There was the usual collection of churches and historical buildings to ogle at. Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is the big show and was amazing and one of the nicest and most impressive that we have seen so far.
A short walk from the main cathedral was the Elizabeth Fort, unsurprisingly a fort on the top of the hill. This was free to get into, and you were met by a lovely person who explained the history before you even walked through the door. From here you could explore at your leisure.
Needless to say, you got some fairly spectacular views over the city from high on the walls of the fort. And then a meander through the streets of town, stopping at the English markets and some other key sights.
Making sure that we didn’t miss the boat we hopped the train early and headed back to the port town of Cobh. Along the way we found a lovely little castle on display that we snapped from out of the train window. We later found out that this was Belvelly Castle “De Barrà” a 14th/15th century stone tower-house overlooking the water between Great Island & Fota Island.
Upon arrival we wandered the streets of this little(under 10,000 pop) place. And what a lovely little town it was. It was actually named as one of the 25 most beautiful small towns in Europe.
The town itself is most famous for being the last port of departure of the Titanic before it (spoiler alert) hit an iceberg and sank. But it is seriously pretty, and the people are remarkably friendly (given that they get regularly descended upon by hordes from cruise liners).
Having wandered the town (didn’t take too long) we found a nice quite local establishment and sampled some of their local wares. Guinness has long been a favourite of mine, however I had a local brew that may have knocked it off the perch. Unfortunately, being local, I will never find it in any other pub anywhere in the world. Alas.