I spent a total of 6 days in Ireland; divided equally between Dublin and Cork. Before my trip I had about 3 Irish people tell me to see Cork or Galway, but not Dublin, because Dublin isn’t the “real Ireland”. So I convinced my travelling companions, Kim and Elly, that we should spend 2 nights and 3 days in Cork.
Dublin, may not be the “real Ireland”, but at least in Dublin there are things to do! Cork was fun and a cute Irish city, but aside from bars, the market and a butter museum, there wasn’t anything downtown that tourists could partake in. It would have made for a good day trip, but 3 days gave us too much time to be bored. We spent first and last of our days there exploring the city, seeing the churches, the market and enjoying the atmosphere of Ireland.
The 2nd day we took a tour to Blarney Castle. Now that made the visit to Cork worth it. Blarney is the coolest castle I have ever seen (in my opinion, even way more awesome than Carcassonne)!
Elly and I loved this place! The castle and surrounding gardens had so much to explore- if you ever go to Ireland, Blarney is a must see!
There is of course the infamous Blarney Stone which bequeaths the gift of eloquence, but did you know there are also “witch’s steps” at Blarney? Supposedly if you close your eyes, concentrate only on a wish and walk backwards down the witch’s steps, then back up again, it will come true. Elly and I both did this, but try as I might to focus only on one wish, I couldn’t help thinking I must look like the girl from the ring to everyone above me:
Before coming to the castle, I had heard rumors that drunken locals pee on the stone every night and because of that I wasn’t sure if I would kiss it. Elly and I even considered asking the workers if they sanitize it, but by the time you reach the stone you’ve been through so many locked gates, spiral staircases and dark passages that you know there is no way a drunk person could make it here. Plus there are sanitizing wipes and gel at the work station of the guy who spots you when you kiss the stone. To reach the stone you have to lie on your back and bend backwards over a hundred foot drop while holding these two bars for support! The spotter doesn’t actually touch you, but it was definitely comforting to have one there, especially when you have short legs like me! (I could feel them slip a bit….eek!)
At the spotter’s work station there was also a radio playing. Right as Elly and I went to kiss the stone, “Here Comes the Sun” came on the radio! Made the experience perfect!
Oh and did I mention who we ran into at the Cork hostel? We were waiting at the bus stop to go to Blarney when this guy walks up from the hostel to wait for it too. I looked at this guy stupefied for about 5 seconds before asking, “Are you Canadian?”
It was the same Canadian we met our first night in Rome! The one who made all the anti-American comments and hung out with the stupid Australian and American girl! He didn’t recognize me and Elly didn’t recognize him, but I will never forget the faces of those three idiots.
Elly and I were astonished and he just said, “yeah, this has happened to me like 3 times already,” obviously not as impressed as we were. Maybe it’s because we’ve been making fun of him for the past 2 months, but this made our day. I demanded a photo this time:
He came with us to Blarney and met 2 more American girls that were definitely into him. I don’t get it.
He made a few more anti-American comments over the day and told me that he thinks the Harry Potter series is really about the holocaust.