Oh, Blarney!

Hugs, everyone!

Alright, so the first thing we learned today is that Powershowers have better water pressure than the alternative, but it’s still not really fun to wash my hair in it.. It’s just barely tolerable..

The second thing we learned is that try as we might (and try we do), we’re not really equipped to start the day earlier than 10.. Oh, well.. I hope that if we shower at night instead of planning to do so in the morning, we’ll be better able to get out after breakfast, around 9-9:30..

We spent the day at Blarney Castle.. Quite likely the most touristy place in all of Ireland, but well worth the visit.. First of all, their gardens are beautiful and fun to walk around in, even if most of the attractions are particularly touristy.. The castle itself is interesting and a fun adventure – especially if you’re not afraid of heights.. Or stairs.. Particularly narrow, winding, anti-invasion type stairs.. Both of which freak me out.. And my man is part goat.. Yes, it was fun.. LOL! Actually, with the exception of the freak out I had at the top of the castle and the difficulty in taking the stairs back down, the castle is pretty cool.. When you’re there, kiss the Blarney stone. (Unless, like me, the idea of bending over backwards over an open space with a huge drop beneath you makes you have a heart attack on the spot..) I didn’t, but Oded did.. When we got out of the castle we walked around in the gardens, and most likely would have continued, except that I needed to find a bathroom and we had set our sights on one of the local places for lunch..

On the other hand, we picked the perfect day for Blarney.. Not sunny, but not gray – lots of clouds but enough thinning out that light was getting through, and this after a misty night – everything was covered in a fine mist and the spiderwebs practically glowed and looked like they were made out of spun diamonds.. They were breathtaking (and I think Oded photographed about 20 of them..) Also, the fuzzy light was perfect for a magical feel in the gardens..

Oh, a note about timing.. Blarney castle should take approximately an hour.. The grounds, another hour if you stop at every tree, leaf and flower.. Of course, between my panic and Oded’s need to photograph *everything* – usually several times – we felt as if we could have walked around more when we left after 4 hours..

One thing we’ve both noticed while driving here – the road signs are amazing! Everything is well signed and easy to follow – except for B&B signs, which might be several kilometers before you get anywhere *near* the B&B.. (Then again, that’s why each B&B will explain to you exactly how to get to them from where you are right now. Their first question is “Where are you?” and then they tell you exactly where and when to turn to get there.. Be less stubborn and follow their instructions! It’s usually way better than Google Maps!)

On the way from Cork to Killarney, Oded decided to head off the main road and onto some dirk backway that promised him a windmill.. Well, we didn’t quite find the windmill (Oded gave up and turned around about 3 km in..) but we did see some incredibly fantastic beautiful Kerry landscape.. Kerry, for those of you who don’t know, is considered one (or possibly the) most beautiful county in Ireland.. Unfortunately, we didn’t take any pictures, as Oded was on a work conference call at the time, (and driving) and between you and me, I can’t take decent pictures if my life depended on it..

We reached Killarney at a decent hour (unlike all our previous stops which have been after 8PM), found ourselves a B&B within walking distance of the town center and set off to enjoy a good meal, get Oded some beer and maybe catch a live show.. (It’s Sunday night *and* Killarney is one of the biggest tourist towns in Ireland..) Unfortunately, the pub we’ve sighted as a good place for everything (it also supposedly has Internet) is so full that we can’t even *stand* in it.. So we decide to visit the internet cafe for a bit and come back at 9, when most of hte people will have already left.. Unfortunately, it seems that in Ireland, everything shuts down at 9.. Including serving food.. Everywhere.. Can someone explain this to me? Why on *earth* does everyone stop serving food at 9PM? This isn’t the first place this has happened to us, so it seems like it’s a cross-Ireland thing.. Honestly, this doesn’t make any sense to me.. (That, and the fact that we end up in Thai restaurants or Burger King equivalents for dinner is pissing me off to no end.)

Anyway, we’re likely to be around Killarney (or Kerry) for then next few days.. There’s the Killarney National Park which is 1000 square km of lakes, forests, mountains, rivers and a very smal amount of estates – which we plan to visit tomorrow.. (Mind you, we plan to visit a *very small part* of the National Park, but still..) After Muckross (which is the part we’re planning on visiting) there’s the 180km scenic Ring of Kerry which will probably take us 1-1.5 days to drive over.. Maybe more if Oded insists on photographing every cm.. which he might.. 🙂 And, if that’s not enough, Dingle – the other (shorter) scenic route that we plan to take – is at the northwest end of Co. Kerry.. So all in all, we’re probably going to be in this area for another 3 days.. This means you might actually get regular posts! (There’s a nice internet cafe a few minutes walk from the B&B, though we might not stay at *this* B&B again.. We’ll see how we feel about it tomorrow..)

We’re having an amazing time, if anyone was still wondering about that..
Oh, and since I haven’t mentioned it in a while, I love my man and he’s amazing! Really! Lots of fun too!

Have a happy!

Hugs!
Karen

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