Posted by: mdmusingsie | September 20, 2014

Cork and Blarney

Bus tours abound from Dubllin city centre that will take you north, south, and west to all the main tourist attractions.  Some may involve several hour bus rides, early morning departures and long days. Some offer single or multi-day trips to suit your schedule. With gasoline/petrol prices around $8/gallon, tours can be a more inexpensive way to travel – you get transportation, entry to most attractions, and commentary by a guide, all without enduring the winding, often signless road. The biggest drawback is you may not get as much time in each spot as you may like but it can be like a taster to find the places you would like to go back and spend more time exploring.
The first stop today (after a quick coffee/breakfast break) was at the Rock of Cashel. More of the chapel frescos have been revealed since my last visit and they’ve even uncovered a new one in the south nave of the main church.

Cashel1 (Small) Cashel2 (Small) Cashel4 (Small)Cashel5 (Small)
Next stop, Blarney — home of the famous kissable stone, should you wish to queue for an hour or more winding up (and back down) narrow, uneven stone circular staircases…oh, and a large woolen mill. Due to the long queue we encountered after exploring the cave and outer walls, we opted for the latter, though, not before exploring the poison garden – fodder for a novel (or anyone who pushes me a bit too far).

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

(not) leaning tower of Blarney

(not) leaning tower of Blarney

Blarney4 (Small)

lie on your back three floors up, hang over the edge, hold the bars and kiss the stone (or not)

lie on your back three floors up, hang over the edge, hold the bars and kiss the stone (or not)

Blarney12 (Small)

The cave was supposedly an escape route for those fleeing from Cromwell.

Blarney Cave

Blarney Cave

Blarney8 (Small)
Last stop was Cork City (except for a bathrom break) – just enough time for a stroll through town and the English Market, plus a bite of lunch. The market is a great place to shop for your dinner, but if you’re looking for souveniers and such you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Cork2 (Small)

Cork City - lights are used for festivals

Cork City – lights are used for festivals

On the way back we enjoyed the beautiful green fields and picturesque scenery that make Ireland the lovely country that it is.

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