Blarney rubble

Trip Start Jul 02, 2010
Trip End Aug 02, 2010

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Where I stayed
Emerson House Cork
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Ireland  , County Cork,
Friday, July 9, 2010

Today was definitely going to be a kick-back day. After all, we're supposed to be on holidays and we haven't relaxed yet! After sleeping in and enjoying the hotel buffet breakfast (instead of a banana and coffee picked up from a 7-11) we began the long drive to Cork.

We have found out that Ted has distant relatives in Cork, as apparently there are a whole clan of Cuneens (or Cunneens) here.

After our late start, we headed west towards Killarney. Firstly we stopped at Adare - it wasn’t a scheduled stop but the town impressed us so much with its thatched roofs and castle that we took some pictures. No doubt about it – the west of Ireland is definitely the more scenic side.
The drive today was on more civilized roads, and it didn’t take long for us to arrive. We went first to Muckross on the outskirts, to visit the abbey and country house. Whilst walking in the rain to the abbey, I really should have made a comfort stop beforehand as it took longer than I expected. At least I knew there weren’t any snakes around as I had to run into the nearby Irish woods.
After this, we went to the country house which was beautiful, as were the gardens surrounding it. Sheer opulence at its best, and Irish countryside as far as you could see. We then drove to the nearby waterfalls – I guess it was lucky I didn’t visit this place first after the unfortunate incident earlier.
We had planned to do the nearby Ring Road, as well as visit Killarney National Park and nearby Beara. Clearly we underestimated how long this would take as the Ring Road alone takes 4 hours, whilst the National Park can take a few days. We were disappointed that we’d misjudged that, but we’re confident in the fact that we’d just have to revisit Ireland and do it next time.
Killarney was where we went for our lunch stop. Another great thing about Ireland is the soups they serve – they cost bugger all, are perfect for the weather and keep you going until dinner. And it’s always funny to hear the way the Irish say "tausends and tausends", "layer upon layer" and of course, “fook”.
Before arriving at Cork we made a detour to the famous Blarney Castle for that time honored tradition that (apparently) the Discovery Channel has listed as one of the 100 things you must do before you die. Fortunately we are not yet “castled out” (as opposed to Egypt when we got all “templed out”). The rain was worse than ever although I think we’re used to it now. The castle itself has incredibly precarious stairways, which means that the rear end of the net person is always in front of you. There is a photographer’s booth set up (where you can pay 18 euro for 2 photos) or the option of where you can take your own photo. Rather conveniently, the area where you are allowed to stand and use your own camera is small, and always blocked by the man holding you. 
We’d heard rumours that the employees there urinate on the Blarney Stone, so we considered taking up sani-wipes. We figured the rain was steady enough all day to alleviate this concern and did it anyway. In order to kiss the Blarney Stone, you need to lie back and lower yourself down a hole, whilst someone holds your legs. Unfortunately Ted misjudged his approach and ended up smacking his head on the stone. At that very instant, we received a text message from a friend in Canada advising us that his wife had just gone into labour. Spooky!
We then continued onto Cork nearby and again had an impossible time finding our accommodation. Fortunately the owner was out looking for us, or we may have still been driving around now.

We were keen to go out again so we drove the car down to the local venue, which was more popular than the haunt we tried in Limerick. Afterward, we went to a nearby nightclub and partied with the locals until the wee hours.
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