Day 13 – Blarney Castle & Cork

by Jenn

After a delicious meal at the Druid Cottage Jenn and I got on our merry way to the city of Cork in the south of Ireland.  Along the way we stopped at a very well known church in the Gogane Barra park for some photos. This was definitely not something that Rick Steves knows about but well worth the detour.  We followed that up with a stop at a castle on the bay in Castletownshed, obvious huh? Then on to another stone circle like the previous day, but this was bigger with respect to the rocks used to create it.  It was smaller in circumference but the stones could surely be seen as pointing in the directions of the compass.

My most favorite part of the day was our trip to the Blarney Castle, and your guessed it… kissing the blarney stone. It was quite some way up the tower wall and yes it does look and feel that high when you are bent over backwards to kiss it upside-down. After that thrilling experience we walked along the grounds a bit more taking photos and being silly together.  Our innkeeper for the night at Higgins B&B is a wonderful woman named Breeda. She is one of my favorites as host to our evening she took to answering all our questions and gave us a great map of the city restaurants and recommendation for dinner.  On the way back tonight we saw our very first rainbow. Both Jenn and I were excited, cant you tell in the photo? Take a look at some of our other photos that Jenn has pulled together:

Day 11 – Forts and Castles

by Jenn

This morning we left Kilorglin to make the grand circle tour of the Ring of Kerry.  The ring is littered with ruins from centuries old stone monuments and gives stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.  Of course the weather was rainier than it has been for us, so we couldn’t see AS much as we would have liked, but we didn’t let it get us down, playing in the rain and warming up with coffee.

The first castle we stopped at was Ballycarbery which had fallen into disrepair after 500 years without an occupant.  The castle had ivy growing on one half of the remaining wall and looked fantastic, photogenically speaking.  The second stone structure we visited was the Stone Age fort of Cahergal which was used from time to time to ward off pesky invaders from stealing livestock.  We then drove just a few more km to take the ferry to Valentia Island.  It was a short ferry, and it felt a little odd moving when we knew the car wasn’t moving.  It caught us by surprise, the attendant said “We don’t wait around and there is no going back”  (insert diabolical laugh here).  On the island there was an opportunity to see some 385 million year old tetrapod footprints.  I was excited to see them Jenn said.  Just call me Ross of this relationship.  I even go to do some pre-historic planking next to them.  That is them near my head in the photo.  One small step for a tetrapod, one giant leap for evolution.

Chocolate and coffee followed shortly after and so did all the buses.  We got stuck behind a basket full of buses as we made the return journey to Killarney this afternoon.  These small roads are not meant for huge tour buses and our little put-put cars to be on the same road.  We are now at our B&B for the night and it is a cute one.  Dinner in town and a nice relaxing night are ahead of us.

Here are today’s photos (first couple are from dinner at the Kilorglin Golf Course last night):

Day 8 – Castles, Cliffs, and a Sunset

by Jenn

Yesterday had a relaxing start with a later breakfast before our short trip to Ashford Castle.  The grounds were beautiful and we enjoyed a nice stroll into some hidden garden spaces.  After the castle, we drove to Galway for lunch and dessert before heading to the B&B.

Because we arrived so early, we decided to get a head start on our plans for the next day by driving to the Cliffs of Moher.  We stopped atop the hills of the Buren for a view of the valley and walked to a tomb site which predates Stonehenge and the Pyramids.  Poulnabrone Dolmen is surrounded by the limestone of the buren and it quite a sight to see.

The Cliffs of Moher were a short drive away and although the wind nearly knocked us over, the walk to the top was worth it.  Wind blown and hungry, we drove to a nearby town for another delicious Irish meal and came back to the B&B where unfortunately, the internet was out.

But here are the photos now: