We decided there was only one thing for it. When we went down to Blarney, to the castle, we took the big, golfing umbrella with us on the scooter and it worked. Not a drop of rain today. The umbrella also proved useful for mounting and dismounting but a bit tricky to hold as we were riding along.
We had been warned that Blarney Castle gets a lot of visitors and there were indeed quite a number of coach parties there. The Castle is set in beautiful and extensive grounds so no hardship to walk up to the castle. Bob decided (sensibly as it proved but then he generally is) not to join the very long queue to get to the Blarney stone on the roof of the castle as the queue stretched from the ground floor to the top (fourth floor).
We walked round the grounds instead. Lovely walk taking us through the Poison Garden with lots of beautifully coloured lupins and foxgloves, but we sensibly didn’t eat any. Then a Fern garden and a Herbaceous Border. I wished they had a plant shop, as they do in many other similar places, as I would dearly
have liked to buy a few of the unusual plants in that border.
We had a lovely guided tour of Blarney House built mid 1800s. This is still a family home and the rooms we looked in are used on a daily basis which added to the interest of this beautifully appointed house.
We stopped for lunch at the café in the stable block, sitting outside in the sunshine. Yes I really mean that, the sun was shining quite brightly by midday.
Back to the Castle, between coach parties, the winding spiral staircase up the Castle tower was free, no queue, so we went to the top. I declined to lay on the floor so I could kiss the stone. Not because I was afraid I would fall through the hole to the ground hundreds of feet below but because I was not sure I would manage be able to stand up again. We watched several people being held in position while their photo was taken in the kissing pose but were unable to tell if they became more or less eloquent as a result.
Back on the ground we wandered round more of
the grounds, through a whimsical area where it was suggested we might find witches and fairies, but we didn’t, they must have been hiding.
Just round the corner from the Castle grounds is the Blarney Woollen Mill. This classic style building is now home to an extensive store, selling woollens of course but also a lot of other Irish wares, a lovely restaurant and an hotel. They also sold rather nice ice-cream.
Back at the campsite in time to catch 30 minutes of full sun. First time the loungers have been out of the Tandy garage. We take this as proof that our umbrella works as on two occasions now we have taken the umbrella and on neither has it rained. It does seem to rain at pretty well all the other times, when we are brollyless.
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