Blarney Castle and Cork
August 17, 2010
After saying goodbye to Killarney, we once again trekked off via bus for one last day tour before heading back to the States the following day.
Mike drove us up to the Blarney Castle where the group wandered the grounds and inside of the ruins for a couple hours. We followed wall plaques around the rooms inside, connected by stony spiral staircases, and ended our journey at the top of the castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone. A lot of people mistake the purpose of the stone-thinking that to kiss it is to receive luck- but really, it’s to recieve the gift of eloquence. What better gift to bestow aspiring writers? (…and lawyers, Carol. I didn’t forget about you!)
The castle was undergoing reconstruction, which makes for crap photos, but we snapped them nonetheless, enjoying the adrenaline rush that came from hanging over the castle ledge backwards to kiss the stone. The group met down near the entrance to the castle where most of us grabbed a bite to eat at the cafe and where I managed to not only get stung by a bee, but to drown one in my soup. I’m not sure what’s worse- Florida’s palmetto bugs or Ireland’s bees that swarm like flies.
Carol in Cobh
After the castle, Mike dropped us off at Cork while he and Dr. Rick took Carol out to Cobh to see the place where her great-great-grandmother departed Ireland for American during the potato famine. I can’t even imagine the emotion behind such an experience. If Carol is willing, I’ll post up a write-up of what she saw and felt that day.
Meanwhile, in Cork, I hung out with Lauren, Naomi and Torie and we did a lot of the same stuff we did in Dublin- eat, shop and watch street performers. There was this really fantastic Michael Jackson mural a guy was painting on paper taped to the sidewalk. I wonder how he feels when it rains and what must be HOURS of work just washes away into Cork’s gutters.
Getting ready to go home
After that, Mike rushed us to the train station so that we could make our journey back to Dublin and the airport we would be departing from the next morning. After a three hour train ride and a couple of buses, we were riding back through the city that first made us fall in love with Ireland. Our hotel near the airport was really nice and we all gathered one final time in the restaurant there for a bite to eat and a round of drinks to toast our final “Slainte!”
Ireland…I already miss you.