Cork & Killarney, Ireland (5.15.10 – 5.18.10)

The bus ride from Dublin to Cork was over three hours long, and by the time I had walked from the bus station to the hostel, it was nearly 9PM. I stayed in that night and spent some time talking to my mum on Skype.
I had decided that on Sunday, I would go to visit the Blarney Castle, so I went and grabbed some lunch, and got the bus to Blarney. The castle was not even ten minutes walk from the bus stop; the castle grounds were beautiful, and it was pleasant to spend time walking through the gardens. The castle was beautiful, and very well kept. I climbed to the top so that I could kiss the Blarney Stone, and got a ridiculous picture to document the event. If you have not personally kissed the stone, then the picture will maybe look a bit strange. The stone lies at the bottom of a turret, so to reach it, someone has to hold onto you so you don’t fall, and you arch backwards to reach it. I dread to think of the number of people that, in that moment, I kissed by proxy… but it’s a lot. Supposedly, I now have the gift of the gab, so you know… expect to see my new book in stores soon (I wish!). Upon exiting through the gift shop, I decided to buy one of the pictures of my kiss, because I’m a sucker like that. I then walked further through the grounds, and spent some time in the “Poison Garden” which exclusively contains plants that are varying degrees of harmful. After I was done at the castle, I went to catch the bus back to Cork, and found that the next bus did not go for over an hour, so I decided that an ice cream was necessary to help me pass the time. I had a book with me that David had let me borrow, it’s called Quantum Psychology, by Robert Anton Wilson (an author whose work I love), and it’s extremely interesting. As I was reading, the woman next to me started asking questions about it. Her name was Laura; she was from Paris but at the time was studying English in Ireland. We talked the whole way back to Cork, and she said that she was meeting a Couch Surfer for drinks, and would I like to join? I just love Couch Surfers. We stayed for quite a while, and got a few drinks; the time passed quickly, and before I knew it, it was 11:30, so we parted ways and I went back to my hostel.
On Monday, I checked out of my hostel, went to the bus station, and took a bus to Killarney, because it was the city closest to the Kerry Airport from which I would fly back to England the next day. The bus got in around 2:30, but I couldn’t check into the hostel until 4PM, so I walked around town for a while to kill time. Killarney is a small city, and I didn’t feel like going out drinking that night, so I went and bought some food, cooked it, and stayed in that night.
On Tuesday morning, I checked out, and went for a walk through the Killarney National Park that lies at the edge of the city. I walked for two hours, and though it was raining lightly the whole time, it was beautiful, and extremely pleasant. After my walk, I headed to the bus station so that I could get the bus to the airport, and head back to London, only for long enough to change backpacks and head to Oslo.

Blarney Castle peeking over the trees in the castle grounds

The castle

A view out of the window at the top of the castle

Kissing the Blarney Stone!! (a photo of my purchased souvenir photo)

The view from the top of the castle, over the grounds and the surrounding area

The view of the Blarney Stone as seen from the ground

POISON GARDEN!! So dramatic!!

This robin came right up to me when I was sitting waiting for the bus back to Cork.

The lake in Killarney National Park, looking quite gloomy.

The scenery as I walked through Killarney National Park.

The Killarney Cathedral

Now… back to England to switch backpacks and then off to Oslo!

4 responses to “Cork & Killarney, Ireland (5.15.10 – 5.18.10)

  1. I LOVED Blarney Castle! Well, and basically everything else I saw when I was there. So cool 🙂

    • Right?? I loved Ireland so much. 🙂 Blarney Castle was amazing, and I like to think that I’m terribly eloquent now.
      How’d you stumble across my blog? NTKOG?

  2. Many years ago I knew the then (now deceased) owner of Blarney Castle, Sir Richard Colthurst. I’m certain that stone works and that he had regular kisses because he could talk and talk and talk and talk and talk ……… you get my drift!

    • Wow!! I bet it was neat to have met him! If it works that well, I think I should probably go back a few more times so that I can start negotiating a book deal. 🙂

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