Travelling back South, on our way to Cobh, we stopped at Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone. According to legend, kissing the bottom of this limestone slab gives you the give of eloquent speech. The castle and its gardens, such as the one dedicated to poisonous plants, are beautiful and you first walk up several flights of stairs, stopping at the different areas of the castle, and then up on top there is a guard that helps you lay down to kiss the stone. Yes, a little gross, but hopefully I didn’t get sick! Not sure if I did get the gift of gab since it’s been taking me so long to share all my Ireland adventures…
We then spent the afternoon exploring Cobh, a port town very important in history: it was from here that Annie Moore, the first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island in New York, left from. It was also the Titanic’s last port of call before it sank. Cobh is not that picturesque, but it does have charming hilly streets leading to Colman’s Cathedral.
Cork City was a lot more cosmopolitan. Well, it is the second largest city in Ireland! The River Lee divides the city in half and the bridges are very pretty. There is an unimpressive English Market and lots of shopping, but Cork is well known for its restaurants. We had a beer tasting at Rising Sons Brewery where I actually learned a lot and by the end of it I could tell the difference between a Belgian beer (cloudy, unfiltered) and an IPA (more hops to preserve, bitter).
The next day I did go for a run! From my hostel to St. Finbarre Church, only to arrive their and not be able to enter because I didn’t have any money for a “donation”. But the outside was pretty and the run along the river was well worth it!