Friday, April 19, 2019

Ireland - Cork and Blarney Castle

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We took out time driving the back country and arrived in Cork midday.  Our cozy little cottage was right in the center of town and perfect for a two-night stay.  The purpose of our visit to Cork was to visit Blarney Castle and we were not disappointed.

Set away from the city center up on the hillside, the castle and the manor hours are set in the middle of a huge, manicured estate.  The grounds were amazing with walking trails, feature gardens, a massive manor house, and of course the centerpiece.  There were no crowds, barely a 100 people if that, and it was a bright, sunny and warm day.  Luckily for us...and of course, as planned, we were two weeks ahead of the start of the tourist manslaughter.

We toured the castle first, climbed all the way to the top, and chose not to kiss the stone, unlike many of the coughing and sneezing others.  No way were we going to catch another cold.  The attendants, there to make sure you didn't fall off the wall while laying backwards, were not cleaning the stone with a disinfectant, as the website has promised.  So we took lots of photos and laughed along with everyone else.  The castle itself is a tower home like so many others and had not been restored.  

The true pleasure of the day actually came from wandered the grounds and gardens.  We wandered around the city center for about an hour trying to find an available parking space or open garage, before giving up and heading back to our our cottage.  It was a grand day and one of the highlights of our extended Irish adventure.

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