Around Great Island
Today despite predictions we had nice cycling weather, 5C, northerly wind and sunshine. I love this kind of weather. I decided to do a tour of Great Island (Cobh, Queenstown formerly). The island it's on is Great Island, an tOileán Mór in Irish, which means the same thing. Oileán in Irish = Eilean in Gaelic. I head east through the city to what's called the Marina. This is a riverside road which runs to Blackrock on the beginning of the Estuary. Cork Harbour is huge and is, apparently the second biggest natural harbour in the world after Sydney.
Blackrock Castle is one of the City's best-known, or in modern jargon, "iconic" landmarks. There is a shoreside path from this which scoots around the edge of Lough Mahon (Loch Meán = middle lake), the middle "lake" of the harbour. This goes onto the main road for about a third of a mile and then back shoreside on a recently resurfaced path all the way to Passage West. This was a railway line years ago. It's a pleasant cycle with some nice views.
If you'll pardon the flare! From Passage West you go back on the road for about a mile until you reach the Carrigaloe Ferry. This uses two ferryboats which were at the Kyle of Lochalsh opposite the Isle of Skye, before the bridge was finished. From there to Great Island takes about 5 mins.
I always go left on reaching the island. The circuit is about 13 miles and has a few short hills and one killer. Once you get past Belvelly
and its castle
you hug the northern shore and it's really quiet. Pleasant cycling all told.
A bit of a drag as you leave the coast, a drop, another drag, past a built-up area, drop down, first left and then a lovely wooded road which reaches the southern shore. You are up fairly high here and there are fine views of the mouth of Cork Harbour.
Then the killing hill, Cuskinny hill which hits about 17% at one spot. At the top of this the road flattens out and you take a left at a roundabout and follow this road into the centre of town. Cobh (pronounced Cove, Bh is a V sound in Irish) was and still is a cruise-liner port and it was from Cobh that the Titanic sailed on its ill-fated voyage. It can take the biggest ships as the water is very deep. I had a scone in the Lazy Bean Cafe in the square. It's compatible with life. Then back to the Ferry and home.
On the way home I photographed this building, the surname being as amusing to the British as Sidebottom is to us!!
A most enjoyable day out. I took lots of photos which I always do when I'm on my own.