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Published: November 22nd 2013
I have been neglectful over the past few days - but we have certainly been busy! I'll recap some of the highlights since we arrived in Dublin:
Wednesday, November 20th
We made it to Dublin! The flight was crazy for a while because there were 40 mph wind gusts in Dublin, as well as some wicked turbulence. But, we survived and arrived at our B&B around 3 pm! Our first priority was to visit the shopping district in Grafton Street and dinner in the Temple Bar area. We also had a few (read: 4) pints of Bulmer's Cider each and listened to live musicians at Temple Bar - we felt it was deserved after the bumpy flight to Dublin.
Thursday, November 21st
We opted to spend our day touring Guinness and Jameson. I've gone on the Guinness tour before, and it's very cool. The building itself is shaped like a giant pint glass, and each floor has a different theme as you go higher in the pint glass. At the top, there's a 360 degree view of Dublin. Since I am not a beer drinker, Sam took down my complimentary pint as
well as hers. Our next stop was Jameson. I was really excited about this tour because I did not go on it last time I was in Dublin (the wait for the tour was way too long then ). The tour itself was alright, but I much preferred the warm ginger and lime Jameson I enjoyed while waiting for the tour to start.
We went back to our B&B and relaxed for a while before heading down to catch the bus to the Merry Ploughboy Pub. The pub is a bar owned and operated by a group of traditional Irish musicians, and includes dinner and a traditional music/Irish dancing show. Dinner was fabulous , and the show was really enjoyable - except for the bit where they pull people up on stage to dance with them. The guy initially targeted Sam, but she was having none of it - so she threw me under the bus. We got home late for us, and neither one of us slept very well. We are not particularly fond of the B&B we are staying at and are happy that we only have one night left here.
Friday, November 22nd
Our final day trip - and what a beautiful, sunny day for it! We went to the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, and Cork City today. The Rock of Cashel is a historic site that used to be the seat of the Kings of Munster before the Normal Invasion. In 1101 the Rock was donated to the church - so it feels a bit like half chapel, half fortress.
The next stop was Blarney Castle - which is famous for the Blarney Stone. Kissing the stone allegedly gives a person the "gift of the gab." I kissed the stone in 2011, so I decided once was enough and left the smooching to Sam. It was a different experience being at Blarney during the off season since there were fewer tourists and it was much quieter. Aside from kissing the stone, we had time to explore the grounds. We walked through the poison garden (a collection of poisonous plants from around the world), as well as the witches stairs (a legend saying that the Blarney witch has to grant a wish to anyone who walks up and down the stairs with their eyes closed while thinking of only one
thought), the dolmen, and the druids cave.
From Blarney, we went a few km down the road and ended up in Cork City. I have never been into Cork City. When Mom and I were there a few years ago, I skipped driving through Cork because it was only my 2nd day driving in Ireland and the thought of driving through a city was vastly unappealing. Anyways, Cork is a pretty small city (our tour guide was saying that at one point in history, to become a city in Ireland there just had to be a university and church - this led to some very small cities!). We had more than enough time to grab lunch and explore the English Market and other shopping before heading home. The English Market is an enclosed food market where it looked as though you could purchase just about any type of food under the sun. We finally made it back to the Dublin city center around 7 pm (yikes - 12 hour day!).
Although Ireland is one of my favorite places in the world, I am definitely ready to head home tomorrow!
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