This week is the 104th anniversary of the SS Titanic’s maiden and only voyage, so it seems appropriate to highlight Belfast and Cobh, two of Ireland’s cities with ties to the ship.
The Titanic was built at the Belfast shipyards, and now the city has the largest Titanic attraction in the world, Titanic Belfast. Linda and I had recently toured the Titanic Artifact Exhibit in Buena Park, California, not far from where we live, so we decided to skip Titanic Belfast in favor of walking the walls of Londonderry. (I wish there had been time to do both.) We did get a brief glimpse of the attraction from the motorcoach, though my photo isn’t the best.
Titanic Belfast is built on the site where Harland and Wolff shipyard, where the ship was built, was once located. The ship was launched from the shipyard on May 31, 1911 and towed to a dock for outfitting and finishing of the interior. For more information, check out this page from history.com.
Two days later, we docked at Cobh, pronounced Cove, which is what the name means, in County Cork. Cobh, or Queenstown, as it was called then, was Titanic’s last port of call before heading into the North Atlantic to meet its fate. Cobh is a lovely port city with reminders of Titanic, as in this 100-year memorial.
The Titanic docked in Cobh on April 11 to pick up 123 passengers. This lovely town was the last glimpse of civilization seen by Titanic’s passengers.
It’s amazing how the story of the Titanic still fascinates after more than one hundred years. We may not realize what a big deal the sinking was, but it changed maritime law forever. Before the Titanic, ships weren’t required to have enough lifeboats to accommodate everyone on board. Wireless devices on the ship were used for passenger’s private messages, not to monitor sea conditions. Another change is that shipping lanes were moved further south away from the iceberg fields. Later in the week, I’ll post my review of Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember, a non-fiction account of the voyage.
I fell in love with County Cork and will report on more of what we saw there in future Tuesday Travels.