Eugene, our bus driver for today, collected us from the hostel just before 9am and took us out to Cobh to the Queenstown museum which features displays to do with the migration of the Irish to America and Australia. It discusses reasons for the migration, including the transportation of convicts to Australia, and the conditions on board ship (appalling of course!).
Other displays focus on the sinking of the Titanic, as Cobh was its last port of call before it sank. It was also nearby that the Lusitania sank when it was torpedoed by a German submarine. Survivors were brought to Cobh and those who drowned were buried in mass graves.
We continued on to Blarney Castle, the site of the famous Blarney Stone. The students all took their turn to line up to kiss the stone, although it is my humble opinion that they are all fairly well endowed with the gift of the gab already! The grounds are beautiful and we all enjoyed exploring. We had hoped to be able to buy fish and chips from a local ‘chipper’ in the village of Blarney, but unfortunately it closed down a few months ago, so we were obliged to have lunch at McDonalds, which the students didn’t seem to mind…
We continued on our way north and reached Spanish Point, a small location 3km out of the town of Miltown Malbay at around 5.30pm. Our host families came to meet us and we all went our separate ways. We four women have the run of a very pleasant holiday cottage near the school. Unfortunately two of the girls were not placed with a family immediately, but by Monday afternoon they had hosts and are having a ball now!