the emerald isle - part 1/3

IMG_6952 Collage1 IMG_6966 Collage2 blarney castle IMG_6979 IMG_6978 charles fort Collage3 the many faces of emily IMG_7018 those druids and their stone circles IMG_7016 this is real. Collage4 IMG_7008 cutest boy in town. IMG_7007 at old head.

ireland. ireland. ireland.

from amsterdam we flew to cork. rented a car. learned to drive again (this time on the left). it messes with you man, to completely reorient yourself. especially because ben and i don't drive...unless we're on vacation!
aaaaaand the roads are tiny. sooo you're never sure if you're going to get hit by an oncoming truck or accidentally drive off a cliff. you know, normal driving stuff.

we drove to blarney. by now we realized that we wanted to ask for directions because we wanted to hear people speak. best accent. we just parked the car in the tiny town and walked up to the castle. paid the hefty entrance fee (like 10 euros pp) and waited a long line (45 minutes) to get to the top of the castle. this is where a lot of crazies hang upsidedown and kiss the blarney stone. we didn't do that. we feel lucky in our lives enough already and didn't want any sort of stone-mouth-disease.

the castle itself is cool, but i especially liked the pretty grounds.

we then drove all around - we stopped in kinsale to see charles fort, a fort shaped like a star, overlooking kinsale and just really sort of beautiful.

we found old head with the beautiful cliffs. you can drive up to it and get out and walk to side, but you can't go to the very edge because of some fancy golf course they got there. seems as though ireland is a golfing destination? barf.
old head was worth a little detour.

and then the stone circle. just sort of fascinating right? and we saw a cow with a really big utter. yep, you needed to know that.

we kept noticing (all along our trip) these signs for "tidy towns." i guess there was some competition a while back for town to tidy up - quite literally and also paint their buildings bright colors and things. so many of the towns we drove through had won the award. cute.

we stopped in timoleague and got one of those extra creamy ice cream cones that come with the little chocolate stick. those are the best.

ok so the route was cork --> blarney --> kinsale --> old head --> stone circle --> timoleague --> killarney national park --> killarney.

that night we stayed at our hotel for dinner and music - because it was right there. irish music. i could sit and listen for hours.

did i mention it didn't rain in ireland at all while we were there? it rained the morning we left. best. ever.
and national geographic makes great travel books? ok.
2 more to come.


shayna said...

Oh Blarney, I love your many faces!

laden backpack said...

The picture you commented "this is real" is great.
Love the red house and the brilliant yellow lawn, no mowing just beautiful flowers in the spring.The pic
with the "cutest boy in town" is a reminder of northern
Norway, The land slopes steeply and then crashes into the sea in a jumble of rocks and water. Love the pictures. I am gonna kiss the darn stone, use mouthwash after and hope all goes well. some good
old irish luck wouldn't hurt in this portion of the
woods. nice post

Linds said...

I think often of the Meiko song-how lucky we are. I thank my {lucky} stars all the time that you introduced us to her.

You two are so lucky. You fit so well together.