After a rather long drive through the very beautiful country side, we stopped at the Blarney Castle near Cork. The castle was gorgeous, I took a lot of pictures. Blarney Castle is where the Blarney Stone is but no, I didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone. Kissing the Blarney Stone involves lying on your back and hanging upside down at the top of the 120 foot castle.
I hate heights. It was bad enough to stand at the top and take pictures. I did love the castle, but the sheer level of tourism the owners have turned it into and the garbage (cigarette butts, lollipop sticks, graffiti) littering the beautiful historic ruin made my heart hurt.
Then we went to Blarney Woollen Mills for some shopping, which is where I found My Blanket. The only thing I wanted for myself from Ireland was a nice Irish blanket. Not a fleecy whimpy thing, but a hardcore wool blanket. And I found it. It has all of my favorite colors on it (deep purples and greens) and it is ridiculously soft – and it was on sale. I found it under the name of a rug1. Yes, a rug. They might call it a rug, but it is nicer than most American blankets and I don’t see how it could ever be used as a rug.
I also got a Guinness poster that I thought would fit easily into my suitcase but it is turning out to be problematic. I got Nat’s other git, but I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.
An hour or so later, we were in Killarney and we hopped onto a last minute horse-in buggy tour of the Killarney lakes, which I am really glad that I got to see and take pictures of the lakes and ruins.2
We had dinner at the hotel – a full three course meal that was very good. I don’t want to know how much it would have cost separately. Then we all went for a drink and some live music at Hannigan’s Bar in downtown Killarney. We were expecting live Celtic music- we were specifically told it would be an “evening of traditional Irish music” – and the band played covers of American rock like Garth Brooks and Elvis. Quite disappointing. My Guinness was quite good, as always, and my tolerance is rising. I bought my friend Hannah a drink of Irish Coffee, which I tried myself – also quite good.
Note: Killarny would be a place worth it to figure out how to get around from the country side – the surrounding country and mountains are much more appealing than the city itself.
1 Which might be what the Irish call a slightly rougher, lower quality blanket than their “Blankets” that are 45E more?
2 They came out alright, but not as well as the pictures I took the next morning at a hill over looking the Lakes.