Sep 04


Yesterday was pretty uneventful, maybe. Because the day before had been a Sunday, our hopes of doing some laundry had been dashed as all the laundry matts were closed. We woke up early yesterday with enough time to run to a laundry matt about half a mile away to do a few loads before catching a train to Cork! We were a little desperate (I was on my last pair of underwear), so when we saw the pricing signage, £18 for a small wash and dry and £24 for a large wash and dry, we choked a little on the price but managed to squeeze all of our dirty cloths into one small wash. We left the laundry to be picked up an hour and a half later. Back at the hotel, we packed, grabbed some breakfast, then trekked back to the laundry matt with our luggage. The little Irish lady running the matt was kind enough to let us un-pack and re-pack our luggage, taking up a corner of the laundry matt in the process. I was so very excited to have clean clothes!!!

Our luggage now at its usual heftiness, we traipsed back up the street and to the station, catching the next train to Kildare. We picked up a connecting train from Kildare to Cork, arriving just after 6pm in Cork. The hotel I had booked the night before happened to be really close to the station and the city center so we walked to it. When we arrived, I smiled at the lady behind the reception saying the reservation was under Ross. She scanned the computer screen, pursed her lips, typed a few keys and scanned some more. Hmm, I was thinking, do we have the confirmation email? Dang, I should have checked with Ryder the night before to make sure he got it… The clerk looked up at us with a puzzled expression on her face and said, “I’m sorry ma’m but it looks as though your reservation is for the night of the 3rd and 4th of October.” Ok, imagine bright red Amanda at this moment. Shit. Well, Ryder was able to cancel the inaccurate reservation on and we were still able to get a room for the next two nights. Lesson for the day: ALWAYS double check the dates of the reservations before finalizing the booking!!!! Gah! Later, we had some dinner at a pub across the street and then went back to our room for the night.

Today we took a bus to Blarney and arrived at Blarney Castle at around 1pm. The Castle was a beautiful ruin with gorgeous grounds surrounding it! We started our castle exploration in a hole in the castle wall that allowed access to a well. The quarters were very cramped and damp but we slid and crawled our way to the end for a quick photo then back out again. We headed to the main part of the castle next, in search of the famous Blarney Stone! I (Amanda) was under the impression that this stone would be sitting nicely on the ground as part of a wall somewhere on the grounds and visitors would be tipped upside down on their hands to kiss it. Boy was I wrong. We stood in line inside the castle’s Great Hall, winding our way slowly past the main rooms and up a very narrow, winding staircase to the top of the tower. There we were confronted with the Blarney Stone, sitting ever so innocently at the base of a section of the tower wall with a nice hole leading to a 5 story drop directly below it! I tried not to think about death by Blarney as I was tipped back, and leaned far out into the open air to kiss this famous stone. Glad that’s over.

After the kissing we headed back down to the grounds to explore the Poison Garden.  At the entrance and all around the garden we were confronted with signs featuring a skull and crossbones that said, “Do not smell, touch, or eat!” Smell? Yes, there was a plant in that garden that had such a potently bad odor it would destroy your sense of smell and cause other really nasty ailments if inhaled. We lingered in the garden for a bit then went on a little walk around the grounds, taking in all of the beautiful and odd features of the Rock Close. We left the castle after, heading back to the bus station at Blarney and on to Cork.

Back in Cork we spent some time at the hotel, working out at the gym and making plans for the next few days. We went in search of dinner next, walking through the downtown area, hoping for a good bite to eat; a fresh salad for instance. A bartender at a pub we tried suggested a restaurant called Liberty Grill a few blocks down. We both agree, our meal at this restaurant was the best food we’ve had in about a month! The salads were absolutely yummy and the dessert was divine! We left the restaurant feeling very full and satisfied. Back at the hotel we booked a plane flight, a hotel, and skyped. Tomorrow we’re heading back to Dublin!


One comment

  1. Kathy Hickey /

    Okay, your story on the Blarney Stone had me laughing out loud. When I went, there was a lecherous old man holding people as they kissed the stone. My friend did it but I passed as this guy was really creepy and plus everyone was kissing the stone and I’m sure it was full of germs!! Glad you saw Ireland, it is so pretty.

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