Today was our first day with no travel. So, what did we decide to do…well, travel to the nearby town of Blarney. I’ll give you one guess as to what we went there to see.
There are a few options for getting to Blarney from Cork but we decided on just taking the public bus, which would be the easiest way to get there. It also didn’t hurt that it was a lot cheaper than a taxi. Fortunately the bus station in Cork was just a few minutes walk from our apartment. With Ella up at 7:00am anyway, we were able to get there early and catch the first bus out.
Taking the bus in Ireland is very civilized. Especially when you compare it to some of the random public transit buses we’ve taken in other parts of the world. The bus was exactly on schedule and we were able to get tickets from a machine using our credit card, and there were no live chickens.
The Irish countryside is beautiful and the grounds around Blarney Castle are no exception.
We arrived just as the gates opened and it was nice and quiet. We asked the guy in the ticket booth if it was always like this and he said, to paraphrase a bit, only until the buses arrive.
With that in mind, we decided that we’d best get to the Blarney Stone right away and avoid the impending crowds. Almost as soon as we made that decision the first bus load was upon us. Fortunately, without canes we were a little quicker and more nimble. We made it quickly to the castle but did have a brief stop for Ella to have a little dance break. The image might look like fear, but she’s got some moves.
Dancing done, we started the climb to the top of the castle. The famous Blarney Stone is located right at the top and legend says that anyone who kisses the stone will be given the gift of gab. The catch is that doing so requires you to hang upside down poking through a hole at the top of the castle wall. Oh that, and kiss a stone that’s seen millions of lips before yours. Not for those afraid of heights or germs. It’s also not ideal for someone prone to vertigo-induced dizzy spells. Not to mention that dangling your toddler from a castle wall is now frowed upon. That left it to me to take one for the family. Besides, I figured I could use some ‘gift of gab’ for work.
Stone kissed, and with the hordes arriving, we had some time to take a walk around the castle grounds at a more leisurely pace.
Ella also discovered that a castle is a great place for a surprise attack.
And that sometimes, you just can’t escape the feeling that you’re being watched.
While sitting still for a picture with mum might be too boring.
There’s always time to stop and kiss a new friend.
With that we headed back to catch the bus to Cork for a quick lunch and a nap.