So Friday saw us leaving Clonmel and traveling to Cork, home of Blarney Castle. It was absolutely beautiful. We spent quite a lot of time there. We did the Castle first, which was very interesting envisioning what it used to look like. Loren and I definitely wish we lived back in the day and could live in castles. It seems so cool!
Then at the top comes the Stone. You lay down on your back, grasp the handlebars, and bend down and backwards to kiss the stone. An employee is holding onto you and helps lift you back up. Loren took photos of me, but I ended up purchasing the one they took because it was from a better angle. (They do that on purpose…you can’t take your own photos on that side, therefore, any photos you take make you look headless. I want to use this for my Christmas card, so I needed their shot!) Legend has it that everyone who kisses the stone is blessed with the gift of eloquence…or in other words, the gift of gab! Not sure if I, especially as an attorney, was really in need of this, but I have it nonetheless!
After we finished the castle, we wandered the grounds. There were caves, gardens, awesome trees, water, and the Blarney House. Just really, really beautiful grounds.
We ate in town and then headed out to Kenmare, where we stayed that night. It was to be our jumping off point for the Ring of Kerry, as recommended by Rick Steves. Kenmare and Killarney are the two main points and Killarney is more touristy.
We met some very interesting people in Kenmare. Loren and I got dinner in a take away shop right before doing our own little pub crawl. Loren got chicken and asked the woman working for some BBQ sauce. The woman wouldn’t give her any because she said it would give Loren bad breath and then she wouldn’t have any luck getting men. It was hilarious! When the woman left work (we were still there eating), she said goodbye and good luck to us! She was great!
Then we started the pub crawl. The first place we went was ok. Someone spoke to Loren at the bar, but wasn’t anyone we wished to spend time with. No one else spoke to us there…or at two other pubs we went to. At our fourth pub, we first met another American, Mike, from Florida. He was on vacation with his wife, but she gone to bed early. So he was on his own. We had a good time talking and he came in handy when an Irishman who currently lives in Paris started talking Obamacare. Because Mike was also conservative. I bit my tongue and he stepped up to the plate!
Loren met two women there, Marion and someone we’re calling Fiona. Her name started with an F (or F sound) and so we decided we’d just call her Fiona. They were great women, though Marion was quite inebriated. That pub closed, so we went to the late night club. Where we met a gay guy from Dublin. He was late-40’s or so and a lot of fun. But kind of weird, too. The Paris guy saw me talking to the gay guy and called me over to warn me about him. Much later in the evening, two other random people warned us about him. Who knows. He was a character!
One of those random guys apparently decided, for no particular reason, to ask me if I had a gun. Um, no, but I wish I did. So he tried (successfully) to wind me up. We went toe-to-toe on the issue of gun rights. I apologized for living in a country with much more crime than he does, but unfortunately we cannot all live in some idyllic countryside. We almost took it outside. He later said, “See, I can make you laugh. I can also make you angry, but at least I can make you laugh!!”