Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pucker Up and Kiss....the Blarney Stone That Is!!

Sunday morning was overcast and a little drizzly, but, that has not deterred us so far on our trip!  Jim and I had a hearty full Irish breakfast.  Well, it wasn't a full Irish breakfast, because we had scrambled eggs instead of fried.  Sam had pancakes, and our scrambled eggs.  Jessie had salmon and scrambled eggs.
Miriam gave us a suggested itinerary and a few driving directions.
Then off we went to kiss the Blarney Stone!! 
has the most beautiful grounds.  It was wonderful strolling through the gardens.  A lot of families had the same idea on this particular Sunday morning.
No escalators, but Sam loved the bridges.
Heading to the castle.
You would be right if you were thinking that this photo does not look like a castle.
Sam and Jim took the scenic route!
Sam and Jim discovered a cave.
 I found a quiet spot to sit and relax.
Jessica strolled through the Poison Garden.
It was interesting watching people.
They would read the warning signs which told you not to pick plants, touch plants, and to keep a close eye on children, etc..  Then they would promptly pick and touch.  Most kept a close eye on their children, but some......
As I was sitting, reflecting, people watching, raising my eyebrows a time or two, I could hear my name being called.  Looked up and there was Sam and Jim calling me from a quarter of the way up the castle tower.  Jessica hurried to join them.
The stairs going to the top of the castle and the Blarney Stone were very steep and curvy.
It made the stairs at Kildare Street Hotel look like a walk in the park.
Jim, Sam and Jessica were brave souls and made the climb.
Did you know that you had to hang upside down, five stories up, to kiss the Blarney Stone??
They have put bars there to help prevent people from plummeting to their deaths.
I found a spot where you could look up and watch people pucker up and kiss the stone,
Sam didn't want to hang upside down and kiss a rock that thousands of lips have touched.
He chose to kiss a spot located by the Blarney Stone.
This is a false Blarney Stone.  I added this photo because it has the legend of the Blarney Stone.
This is the real one,
See how far up it is?
Or, how far down the ground is?
I was quite surprised that certain members of our family braved the "kiss".
Gypsy carts.
The stables.
We could have spent much longer at Blarney Castle.
We had a bit of a drive to our next stop, so off we went.
We stopped at the town of Kenmare for some lunch,
The Irish name of the town, Neidin, means little nest.
After walking up and down the streets for a bit, we ate lunch at "Cafe Mocha."  As usual, good food.  I don't think we had a bad meal anywhere.  It was Sunday, and even though many of the shops were open, nearly all the restaurants were shut because it was Sunday.  Inconvenient for those of us travelling, but I thought it was nice to see businesses closed on Sunday.
I had read, and driving around we found it to be true, many of the roads were poorly marked,  If marked at all!  Quite often we would come across signs like this.  
Look quickly, hopefully you read the sign correctly, or you may find yourself going past the sign again..........or again.
This is why it is a good idea to have a GPS.  It may take you on every narrow back road, but, it does get you to your destination!!
On we go to........
Killarney National Park
Lady's View
There was a cute little shop and cafe at this stop.
Apparently, there had also been Leprechaun sightings.
Over there!!!
That way!!!!!
See.....a, wait.......only Jessica!!!
Jim seems to have spotted a leprechaun.
Jessica is non-committal. 
Sam is trying to hide behind the pole.
Samuel seems to be keeping his eye on something, or is that someone?????

After some creative parking on Jim's part, we hopped on a Jaunty Cart to have a tour of Killarney National Park.
It was a bit cold and windy,
Lots of people were out walking the park.
We decided that we could cover more ground in a Jaunty Cart.
Jessica and Sam snuggled on one side.
Jim and I on the other.
Quite a windblown comb over I have going on here!!
View out the back,
View inside.
View out the front.
Muckross House
Muckross Abbey
A little bit of a Jaunty jam.
Add bike riders, walkers and a dog or two.
The important thing?
We were the lead horse.
If you are going to be in a Jaunty jam.....
be the lead horse.....
poo happens
The end of the ride.
Our faithful steed.
Ross Castle was also in the park.
We headed back to Bruff, we did not want to be on the narrow, windy roads in the dark.
We ate in the Chinese restaurant across from the bed and breakfast.
We were not sure what to expect when we went to the Lantern Chinese Restaurant.
They were doing a very brisk take-away business, but the front door was locked, so we thought it must be closed because it was Sunday,  The door was opened by a lovely lady who ushered us in.  There was a couple in there eating, but that was it.
Quick service and delicious food. The Chinese food tasted different than here in the USA.  Chili in the dishes???  Regardless, it was good.
A good end to a good day.

No comments: