Have you ever been to a place, where you loved seeing everything, but were left sad afterwards?
Like doing something which leaves a bad after taste, making you wonder if you enjoyed it or not!
I had this feeling last week, when Mr.Bee and I went to see the Titanic museum at Pigeon Forge,Tennessee.
The museum itself was built in a replica of the ship, with detailed drawings of its design and people who worked so hard to create it, maneuver it over the great oceans to transport so many people.
Like shown in the picture, the water infront of the ship does actually raise and fall as if the ship is sailing in the waters.
As soon as we enter the museum , we are given a card each with a name and a brief bio on the card, the meaning of which I didn’t understand at the beginning.
We are shown glimpses of working men, of the materials used on the site, of the design features, of the design engineer of the massive ship and a few notable newspaper accounts of the titanic in those days, by means of photographs taken.
There is also a newspaper clipping which publicized the Titanic while it was being made, as,’ The unsinkable Titanic’, which is an irony ,as we all know that the Titanic had indeed sunk into the Atlantic ocean.
The designer Thomas Andrews never imagined his ship to sink, but he tried to make a provision for 64 lifeboats, which was sadly cut down to 20 lifeboats, owing to the enormous construction costs the Titanic had run into!
Since cameras were not allowed, I have no pictures from inside the museum.
It is said that the Ships captain wanted to retire, after sailing the Titanic on its maiden journey. Sadly, he died in its maiden journey along with most of the passengers. (remember the movie Titanic, it is closer to reality than most movies I know. But the love story may not be true!)
There is a small chamber in the museum which shows how the water flooded the Titanic and how the electricity had fluctuated and how the level of water rose inside, how the massive ship had begun to sink in angles, first to 15 degrees, then 30 degrees, then 45 degrees. By the time it sunk to an angle of 45 degrees, all the chairs, articles inside the ship began to slide and fall off.
At another chamber we get to see the starry night sky when the iceberg had stuck. The temperature of water here is maintained at 28 degree Farenheit (i.e. -2 degrees celsius) which was the temperature of the ocean water on the fateful day when the Titanic had sunk and when many passengers had died because of the temperature in the water. We are encouraged to put our hands in the water to check for ourselves how the passengers must have felt on that day.
The silver ware and the cutlery used in the first ,second and third class is laid out before us to see.
There is also the famous Titanic staircase (remember Rose coming down the stairs in the movie?) replicated here in the museum.
Most of the photos in the museum were taken by a Father who happened to have a camera with him in 1912. After his death, the management of the church had sent the photos to the museum in 1960s.
The rescue boats were able to save some articles from the ship wreck as well, which find a place in the museum. Like a girl’s blouse which was a fashion statement in those days, a metal suitcase and a pair of shoes.
The Designer of the titanic,Thomas Andrews had sacrificed his life trying to save women and children.
What comes as a striking fact is that, the huge ship was a beautiful creation,an art. The cabins, the silverware, the cutlery everything had been designed and manufactured with painstaking efficiency. Sadly, that was not enough to save the ship from its fate!
After the tour round the museum, though I fell in love with the grandeur of the ship, it also made me sad that all had been in vain!
- At the exit, in a chamber there is a list of passengers who had survived from each class. The name cards given in the beginning can be checked here. I and Mr.Bee were among the list of survivors from the second class! 😉
- In the museum shop , we found replicas of the articles found on the Titanic. I bought myself a necklace, the replica of the one, Rose wore in the Titanic. That’s right, the one with a blue heart shaped stone. 😀
- The night of the disaster was said to be an unusually calm night.
- The same company which had built Titanic had also built two more ships the Olympic and the Britannic(which is another tragic ship to have sunk into the ocean!).
- Want to read more about the disaster, go to the Titanic.