Ireland Day 4 - A Tale of Two Headlands

Tuesday, 12 September 2023 22:08

The old saying “If you don’t like the weather just hang on for a little while…….” It is certainly true at the moment. When I went to bed last night the rain was pouring down and a gusty wind was making its presence felt and this morning the sun was shining from a clear blue sky. It was a real benefit as today was about a couple of headlands on the South West coast, Old Head and it’s restored signal tower and also the site of a Lusitania museum and memorial garden, above, followed by Mizen Head, the most Southwesterly point in Ireland looking across the Atlantic to the shoulder of South America, although the world being round I could not see it. To start the day I headed South West to Cork city for a quick look at the centre and to top up the car. I had been warned that Cork was not a major tourist attraction and this is certainly true. My introduction was interesting as the car navigation system brought me in an interesting route providing a panoramic view of the city. After that the city was an enigma. I randomly chose a parking place off North Main Street which turned out to be in an essentially abandoned shopping centre! A wander along the river showed me that there were nicer bits, around the opera house and along some narrow streets with guided walking tours everywhere including one I snapped being presented in German. I have included a few photos of my stroll. Old Head was typical of the area just south of Cork, pretty flat and agricultural, pretty pleasant. The restored signal tower was one of a set which covered the whole coast of Ireland, all in line of site of two others. Quite an undertaking but as interesting was the museum covering the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania of the coast here. A terrible story, a true horror of war. It is a testimony to the volunteers who maintain and develop the site that is was as professional as it could ever be. All of the lost crew and passengers are recorded on a wavy metal panel around a central mast. On my way to Mizen Head I stopped for a 15 minute top up and a comfort stop and was pleased to find lots of families out in the adjacent park enjoy some after school fun. Charged up it was off to my second headland. This time much more rugged and a rearing rocky landscape with incredible folds and twists in the cliffs. It was late in the afternoon meaning a lot of contre-jour photographs with sparkling ocean as a backdrop. There is a red marker as near as it is safe to go to the most South-westerly point. To get to the signal station and the marker it is necessary to cross an incredible chasm on an attractive bridge. Being a clear day the Fastnet lighthouse was clearly visible on the horizon. Very worth the visit. Heading to my overnight stop at Glengarriff I skirted round Bantry Bay and arrived at my waterfront hotel with a room with a view. A great day.