My travels brought me to a few obscure places on my fourth day in Ireland. I visited a handful of interesting places, filling my day with marvelous sights along the coast. I first visited Charles Fort, which is a star fort on the watery edge of Summer Cove in Kinsale. Charles Fort was built in 1682 to contrast James Fort, which was built before 1607, on the other side of the harbor. Each were referred to the “new fort” and “old fort,” respectively.
Charles Fort had been built to resist attacks by canons. However, the fort has a weakness that was exploited by John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, in 1690. The fort focuses on defense of the sea, not land. High ground acts as an obstacle for the land and inland bastions. John Churchill took advantage of this weakness in 1690 during a siege of the fort, which lasted 13 days and ended in him capturing Kinsale and two forts.
Isn’t history fun?! 🙂
Next was the The Kinsale 9/11 Garden of Remembrance, which is dedicated to the 343 firemen who lost their lives during 9/11. Each tree in the garden represents one fireman, as well as one for their chaplain, who happened to be a friend of the woman who established the garden.
A tranquility rests over this small plot of land. It rests in a more secluded section of Kinsale where quiet invades the visitor’s mind. There is a certain reverence that touches a visitor at this garden and gives pause for those 343 women and men who died rescuing the lives of others.
I visited quite a few memorials this day, as my next stop was in the city of Cobh. Here, I was most interested in visiting the memorial for the Lusitania, which on May 7, 1916, sunk off the coast of Cobh. The Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat, a submarine, and sunk within 18 minutes, leaving 1,198 dead and 761 survivors.
The monument faces the coast in the direction of the sinking. Unlike The Kinsale 9/11 Garden of Remembrance, this memorial is surrounded by buildings. There isn’t a quiet or a peace, but there is still a marked reverence for those who perished in the sinking.
While in Cobh, I also visited the Cathedral of St. Colman, which began construction in 1867. It was under construction for restoration of a section within the cathedral, but this didn’t draw from the beauty of the architecture. The cathedral overlooks Cork harbor, which makes this both beautiful and painful. Beautiful in that it is atop a hill. Painful, because this hill is very steep and requires strong calves to climb.
I consider myself healthy and fit when it comes to walking long distances, but this climb was still a bit of a challenge. Even coming down from the cathedral was rough, because I felt like at any moment I was going to trip on the pavement, fall face first into the street, and get run over by a passing car. It would’ve been a way to go.
After that experience, my day appropriately ended with alcohol. I’ve never been a huge whiskey drinker, but I am now after visiting the Jameson Distillery Midleton in County Cork. I learned quite a bit about the history of the Irish whiskey, like the fact that a Scotsman named John Jameson established the company in 1810. Or that the United States is the largest consumer for Jameson Irish Whiskey. Which, hey, I understand, considering this is the smoothest whiskey I’ve ever tasted.
I enjoyed ending my day in the bar after a tour of the distillery. This bar is located on the grounds of the distillery, and its cocktails made me a whiskey lover. Now, I’m not a big drinker. I drink socially once or twice a month, but from now on, I know what drink I will be ordering from bartenders. Jameson Irish Whiskey mixed with Schweppes’ ginger ale. Oh, and you can’t forget to add a slice of lime to the cocktail. Now that’s the way to end another day’s adventure.
In order to read more about my trip to Ireland, please start here:
Please return next week to read about Day 5 in Ireland! This post will go live Saturday, June 23rd at 1pm EST.
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