Our Trip to Cork, June 2005
Day 1: Dublin to Cork
Day 1: Checking out the Nightlife in Cork
Day 2: Cork to Blarney
Day 2: The Midleton Jameson Distillery
Day 2: A Visit to Historical Cobh
Day 2: Night out in Cork City
Day 3: Cork City Gaol
Day 3: Fota Wildlife Park
Day 3: Homeward Bound - Cork to Dublin
Cobh, Great Island, Co Cork Getting from Middleton to Cobh is simple. Follow signs for Cork City and then all you have to do is turn left where indicated. Cobh is located on Great Island (seriously that's what it's called!) in Cork harbour. You will know when you are on the island once you cross over a bridge. You then come to a T- junction with 2 signs. One says Cobh (left) 4 km. The other one says Cobh (right) 7km. So naturally, we took the shorter turn. The drive down to Cobh is windy and extremely hilly. This is the inland road to Cobh. There is another road that goes along the coast but we'll tell you about that later. The town of Cobh is larger than any of us expected. There are lots of small streets and plenty of shopping to do. The main attraction is Cobh harbour. [PIC] Along the waterfront, there are plenty of bars and restaurants where you can sit outside and enjoy a pint, seafood chowder or just take in the view. The Watersedge hotel is (as the name suggests) right beside the water and they have a fantastic award winning restaurant called Jacobs Ladder. We didn't eat here but we did scan the menu. All the main courses were in excess of Euro25.00. Cobh harbour is very scenic and has spectacular views over the water. It is a great mix of the old and the new. Fishing boats lie in the water looking like they haven't been used in about 10 years while the huge Stena Sealink ferry passes behind on the outskirts of the harbour.
The Cobh Heritage Centre is probably the biggest tourist attraction in the town. It is located just up from the Waterside Hotel on the left side. Anyone who has been to the Statue of Liberty has heard of Ellis Island. This was the main landing point of all the emigrants who left Ireland for New York back in 1848.
Cobh was the departure point. From 1848 - 1950, over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland - over 2.5 million departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. The main reason for them leaving was the Irish Famine - caused by the failure of the potato crop.
Located outside Cobh Heritage Centre is the status of Annie Moore and her two brothers who became the first ever emigrants to be processed at Ellis Island when it first officially opened on the 1st January in 1892. Annie and her brothers sailed from Cobh (or Queenstown as it was then known) on the SS Nevada on the 20 December and arrived in New York after 12 days travelling. At the Heritage Centre, you can also read the story of how the Titanic visited Cobh on the 11th April 1912 before setting off on its tragic maiden voyage.
Dining at the Rushbrook Hotel We left Cobh heading for Cork city. We took the coast road instead. To get there from Cobh harbour, just follow signs along the coast past the Heritage centre and go straight. About 2 km along the road, we came across the Rushbrook Hotel ; an intimate little hotel situated right on the banks of the river Lee. This was an unplanned stop but we couldn't help ourselves and decided to run in and have a look. The entrance to the hotel is actually around the back - right on the river. We went in and the first thing we seen was advertisements for Thalassotherapy treatments, massage, beauty treatments and much more. Intrigued, we went inside to the bar. There is a patio just off the bar overlooking the river. It looked like a fantastic spot to sit and have a drink and just relax. So that's exactly what we did. While sitting there we decided to have a glance at the menu (for research purposes of course). We had planned to eat when we got back to Cork city, but one look at the menu and the smell of other guest's dishes; we changed our minds and decided to eat there. We moved into the restaurant; which also had a lovely conservatory with huge windows and amazing views over the river.
The menu was quite simple (with only about 7 options for main course) but the food was not. We all went for seafood. Clodagh and Ciara went for Salmon steak on a bed of leek and prawn mash and I ordered the baked cod with mussels served with new baby potatoes. The portions were very generous and everything was fantastic. We finished it off with profiteroles & fresh summer berries and some coffees - highly recommended. The whole meal was very reasonably priced. It worked out at about Eur68.00 for everything (This included meals, a few drinks, coffees and desserts). There was a very mixed crowd at the hotel. I reckon it's the kind of hotel that gets a lot of tour groups and one night stays. It would be a great place for a quick retreat or break away. We would definitely go there again for a longer stay to sample the beauty treatments and enjoy peaceful setting.
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