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Day 4 Ireland 10/16/2011

October 18, 2011

Sorry for the late post!! We had a late tour last night, and then TRIED to hit a pub to hear “trad” (traditional Irish music). All we ended up doing was hearing a guy singing all of the best of 70’s top 40 in the US! So we ended up back at our hotel where we got them to scrounge up the last two sandwiches they had, and Terry got to watch the Bucs and Saints play, and the bartender kept her updated on the Raiders score (we won!). Needless to say, blogging was the last thing on my mind when we got back to the room!!

Anyway, our tour this day was with Paddywagon Tours, and our driver was Colm (pronounced: Col-um). He was (what we are learning) your typical Irish guy with a killer sense of humor. AJ and I had commented to each other that the Irish humor is much like the humor Tom, the kids, and I use with each other. Most people don’t really “get” us, but here we’re witty genius’s (not literary…is that even a word, genius’s??). I had a good time laughing and joking with Colm…when we weren’t passed out asleep zipping through the Irish countryside in the dark.

Around 8 a.m., Colm announced he would be stopping for petrol (!) at a truckstop (!!) and that we could get breakfast if we wanted to. Tina, AJ and I all laughed when we saw that the restaurant would be………..MCDONALD’S!

We had stated at the start of our trip that there would be NO eating at McDonald’s – no matter what. However, having snoozed for an hour and only having had a pastry for “breakfast” we all grudingly went in. Ok, it was the cleanest McDonald’s I’ve ever been in, the friendliest McDonald’s I’ve ever been in, and had the same food items – but the food was DIVINE. All the food here – ALL OF IT – is outstanding, but we didn’t expect the McDonald’s to have great food too! What a surprised. And, if you can believe this, my egg on my sausage mcmuffin? Had a runny yolk! First time ever. I think they actually cooked them there instead of pulling them out of some pre-formed, weird shaped egg carton and heating them up in the microwave.

Enough about Irish MickeyD’s. We stopped in Cork City to pick up our tour guide Kevin. Colm warned us that Kevin had a very thick accent as his town was known for having an interesting history. The people in Cork City had helped build some of the industry in Jamaica. Consequently, almost everyone there is Irish/Jamaican! So they have Irish Jamaican accents. He did a hysterial impersonation of what Kevin would sound like, so that when Kevin said, “Hi, I’ll be taking you onto Kinsale Village” AJ nearly wet her pants trying not to giggle too loudly at Colm’s dead on portrayal.

Oh, and here’s a shot of the business area of Cork City. They are known most for having an Irish Naval base there, all two ships! And Colm said, “We’ve the only Navy that goes home for lunch at 1 everyday…”

We reached Kinsale Village shortly after. It was a nice little fishing village, but we had a really good time watching ginormous fish swim in the harbor. We had contemplated climbing down some stairs to try and see what was swimming around in the water, and Tina wondered ‘were they eels?’ and AJ wondered ‘were they sea snakes’, and Terry raced for the wall walk to get as far away from those potential eel/snakes as fast as possible!!

Here’s Kinsale Harbor:

After Kinsale Village, we lit out on some very rough, bumpy roads which lead Tina to wonder which one of us would be diagnosed with hemorrhoids first. *Ahem* She was vocalizing what we were all thinking! We were lucky to see a game of “Road Ball”, which as far as I can tell involves a group of men throwing a ball down a road and chasing after it while they dodge tractors, cars, and tour buses. Now, we finally arrived at Blarney Village and the anticipation was just killing all of us. I was somewhat concerned that it would be a big let down, but we came around the garden path and this is what greeted us:

Sometimes, there are no words…….

Of course, the whole reason to visit Blarney is to kiss the Blarney stone:

This is Tina gettin’ her Blarney on. I was too chicken and chose to stay down below….where it’s safe……..and if you fall it doesn’t kill you. Here’s an up close view:

Yep, there’s a guy holding onto you. Thanks to my cousin, Linda, for the tip on tipping him! He treated the girls like princesses!!
Here’s AJ waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up high:

(It must have worked because neither one would SHUT UP once they come down……..har har!)

Here’s some more shots:

After Blarney, we set off to visit Cobh (pronounced cove). Cobh has a sad legacy as it is the last port of call for for the Titanic (144 Cobh residents went out, and only 22 came back); and the Lusitania sank 12 miles off shore and the dead were brought to Cobh to be buried if their remains weren’t claimed. Nearly 2.5 million Irish people boarded ships to find their way to America during the famine years of Ireland. Once people started earning a living, they began sending money back to Cobh to help finish a cathedral that had been started. This is what they built:

(End Terry, Start AJ)

The inside of the cathedral is HUGEmongous. As Mom put it: “They don’t make ’em like that in America.”

(Part II coming tomorrow….we’re sleepy!)



From → Ireland 2011

  1. Mammy permalink

    I’m so very glad to read this latest addition to the Blog because I was beginning to wonder if all you girls had gone native and found yourselves a “strappin Irish lad”! Wonderful pics and great comments. I just wish we had some of those castles over here!! LM

  2. Heidi permalink

    Gorgeous!!! Wish I was there with ya! 🙂

  3. Linda permalink

    Your pictures were great. I just loved the castle. Glad the tip on tipping worked.

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