Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 3: Cobh and the Blarney stone!

From Waterford, we traveled around the southern coast, and stopped in Cobh (pronounced Cove). It was the last stop of the Titanic before it made its way across the ocean. The Titantic is a reoccurring theme of the trip, and the 100th anniversary of the sinking has made it an even bigger deal.

We went on a walking tour in Cobh with a Titanic expert. It didn't actually rain on us, but the wind almost blew us away!

After Cobh, we headed into Blarney. Andrea and I both wanted to kiss the Blarney stone, but we didn't realize what a feat it would be. The Blarney stone is at the top of Blarney Castle. To get to the top of the castle, you have to climb 84 very narrow, very steep and very windy stairs. I don't have a picture because it took all of my concentration to get up them. I was shaking by the time we made it to the top. And then we discovered that to kiss the stone, you have to lie on your back and maneuver your way down between the floor of the castle and the side wall using poles. Way more intense than I expected, but glad I checked that off my list.

 That's me, I promise!
 Looking down inside the castle from the top.
Looking down at the grounds around the castle.

From Blarney, we went to Killarney. This is the only place we stayed two nights. It was nice to unpack a little bit. After dinner the first night, our tour guide took us on a pub crawl. We got to hear some great Irish music and enjoyed how late it stays light there. At 11 p.m., it was still light outside. One thing I don't think I've mentioned is how much better Guinness tastes in Ireland. I don't ever really drink Guinness and the few times I have in the States I've not been a fan. While it wasn't my favorite beer in Ireland, it does taste significantly better over there. Apparently it's because of the water and because there are plants all over the country, so it is never transported far. But when it is imported to the U.S., the water is taken out, so it's like adding water to concentrated orange juice versus fresh-squeezed.

Anyway, here's a couple of photos from Killarney:

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