Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Near, Far, Whereeeever You Are..."

The only problem with visiting the Titanic Experience in Cobh (pron: "Cove") yesterday, was that Celine Dion's song was in my head for most of the day, other than that, it was pretty cool. The Titanic was built in Belfast but Cobh (which was called Queenstown at the time), located between Kenmare and Waterford, was its last port of call before heading for the open Atlantic in 1912. One-hundred and twenty-three passengers boarded in Cobh, 44 survived. The Titanic Experience is a museum of sorts, each visitor joins a tour with a guide who tells the story of the ship, its passengers, and its sinking; there are video reenactments, replicas of rooms, and  photographs, timelines, and artifacts, and it's built on the site of the former ticketing office for the White Star Shipping Line. The passengers embarking on the Titanic in Cobh would have purchased their tickets at this site and then rode the tenders 30 minutes into the harbor and boarded the ship; the original pier for the tenders is still standing outside the building. Each ticket for the Experience is printed with the name of an actual passenger who boarded in Cobh, mine was Mary Mangan, she was 32 and traveling alone. At the end of the tour, you can look up 'your' passengers name to see if they survived... my Mary did not. Eight people got off the ship in Cobh, one of them was Father Frank Browne who had a camera on board, hence the fantastic photos of life on board before the disaster.

replica of a third class ("steerage") cabin - this was actually
considered super-fancy because it had running water and electricity,
which most of the third class passengers wouldn't have had in their homes.
replica of a 1st class cabin