Ireland Day 3: Cashel & Blarney Stone

Hello from Cork! We’re staying in Cork for 3 nights and unfortunately there is no internet in our hotel (which is kind of sketchy). McDonalds, or as the Irish call it “Mack-Donalds” can always be trusted for some free wi-fi though. Sad world when you’re dependent on McDonalds huh?

We took advantage of the 2+ hour drive from Dublin to Cork to see some of the sights along the way including the Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle. The Rock of Cashel sits atop a hill and looks gorgeous from afar. Of course the minute we arrived the skies opened up with a rain/windstorm which was seriously of  tropical storm strength. It. was. cold. It only lasted about 25 minutes though and then the skies cleared again. I guess one good thing about those winds is that they move the storm pretty quickly.

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There will not be a single picture this entire trip where my hair isn’t blowing about like a crazy woman.

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The best part about the Rock of Cashel was the view from where it sits. You can barely see it here but, it extends for miles and all you see is green. Green trees, green grass, green farms. Everything is sooo green. We keep joking that the plants here are on steroids. Even though the weather is pretty cold, the rain must do them wonders because they are just massive compared to the same plants in the states.

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Please ignore the hair and ridiculous face but look at that view!

After Cashel, we headed back to the car and on our way to Blarney Castle. Surprisingly, we made it there without getting lost once. A little side note-there are NO street signs in Ireland. We were cheap and thought we didn’t need the GPS we’d make do with our print outs from google maps. Not a good idea. Hardly any street is labeled and if it is, it’s on the side of a building and so small you can’t read it until you’re past it. Combine that with driving on the other side of the road and shifting with your left hand and it makes for an interesting car ride.

We grabbed some lunch at a local pub in Blarney and then headed up to the castle.

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Adrian and Doreen did indeed kiss the stone. It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows Ulysses that he didn’t. I just wasn’t down with it either. The guy that assists you was literally using a tissue to wipe off women’s lipstick on the stone from previous people. No thanks. I think it’s cooler to say “I’ve been to the Blarney stone and not kissed it” anyway. Winking smile

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Adrian kissing the stone. I’d put Doreen’s in but the picture didn’t come out nearly as good and it’s mostly her chest. I think she’d appreciate it not being posted.

The castle and the grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I wish we had more time to walk around but it was already 4pm when we entered so after climbing through the castle there wasn’t much time left to explore the acres and acres of grounds before they closed.

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How cool is that tree?

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We spent today in the city of Cork. We actually had a local tour guide who is the uncle of a friend take us around. He was great! We walked the entire city for 6+ hours and he explained all the history and significance of many of the sights. While it’s fun to explore a city on your own you really do miss a lot of the actual history without someone knowledgeable to explain it all. We had a great time learning all about Cork’s history and following the steps of the Queen who was just here last week through many of the sights. It’s kind of funny to be visiting all these places in between the Queen’s visit and President Obama’s visit. It’s been all over the news here, in fact, we just watched his speech in Dublin take place at the exact site we were 2 days ago. This post is long enough for now though, so I’ll save our day in Cork for the next one.

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