Meeting Titanic

We started our day at the perfect time for having a brunch at Bunnyconnellan Restaurant in Myrtleville, not far from Crosshaven.

30It was located on the top of the cliff, overlooking the Atlantic’s and the views were breathtaking. It’s a very popular place among the locals, especially for weddings, but not only. It’s a perfect place to start your day or to come over and chat with your friends at the weekend with a nice drink and delicious food.
The name of the restaurant was put together from the names of the women who started it and it’s known as “Bunny’s” among the local people. And it is open all year around.

Inside it looked like a cosy pub or a bar and the outside terrace was large, with big tables and nice corners where you can be quite on your own and don’t have to listen to the other peoples talk. But if you are having a big party, then you have a lot of space to enjoy the company of your friends, mixed with the fresh smell of the sea breeze, and the music of the waves just beside you.

I would like to come back in the evening because I have always liked the mystery of the dark sea when you can just hear it. Maybe the next year I will be lucky enough to come back and have a late dinner right here above the Atlantic Ocean.

This time, I was the one who had to make a decision and pick the next place – The Whiskey Factory or Cobh Heritage Centre. I didn’t have to think too long because I know that I am not too much into all kinds of producing processing and so I excluded the Whiskey Factory. Maybe some next time, why not. So we headed to Cobh – the town with three names.

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Cobh Heritage Centre is situated in an old railway station. and it’s dedicated to the mass emigration during 18th and 19th century and to Great Famine 1845-1852 when the whole Ireland was starving and what became the reason for the mass emigration.

IMG_6089It is said that between 1845 – 1950 over 6 million people have emigrated from Ireland and over 2,5 million of them have started from Cobh or Queenstown. So this port plays an important part of the immigration history.

Besides that a lot of big cruise trips, Titanic among them have stopped here and the port was also used for deporting criminals to Australia.

As it has been a spot for leaving Ireland forever, it now offers the genealogical research for your Irish ancestors. It is possible to order a session and get to know how to read the old records and find your Irish roots.

IMG_6084At the entrance stands the statue of Annie Moore and her two brothers.
Annie Moore is considered to be the first person whose name was written down on Ellis Island in the United States after coming down from the ship.

She started from Cobh harbour on 1st of January in 1892 and the whole journey took 12 days.

The similar statue stands also on Ellis Island as a symbol for all the Irish people who have emigrated using the same way.

People leaving their homeland forever – quite lifelike sculptures.

I had never heard anything about the Irish photographer Frank Browne, who was the most well-known Irish photographer during the first half of the 20th century.  But in Cobh Heritage centre I got to know a lot about him and his unbelievable trip on Titanic.
IMG_6095Frank Browne started his journey from London by a train called “Titanic Special” which was taking the passengers from London to Southampton port to board Titanic, The queen of the Ocean.

He had a first class ticket from Southampton to Cobh, where the ship had it last stop to take on board some more passengers. He was there to take photos only, but on his way from Southampton to Cobh, he made friends with a wealthy American family who offered him a first class ticket to America. That sounds already as the beginning of the Titanic movie.

But probably Frank had its own Guardian Angel looking down at him because when he telegraphed about that unbelievable opportunity to his uncle, bishop Robert Browne, he got a very strict answer – “Get off the ship” – and that’s what he did, in Cobh, where he was supposed to get off. This telegram probably didn’t make him too happy when he got it, but it saved his life. His photos are the only evidence that has remained from the Queen of all the Ships that didn’t make a single voyage.

And it’s not all about Titanic for that day. When we left the Heritage Centre we couldn’t pass it.
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… and we couldn’t stop thinking about it.
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