Day 4 features a visit to probably the most well-known attraction in Ireland:
the Blarney Stone. In the morning we'll say farewell to Killarney, and drive
Macroom, a "thriving market town." Sounds to me like it will be
just another place to stretch our legs, look for souvenirs, have a bite to
eat, and use the restroom. Don't get me wrong... I'm sure that will be quite
welcome during some of these long bus journeys between destinations. After
we're done in Macroom, we will travel to
Blarney Castle, which is a short
distance outside of the city of Cork. (The county we'll be in is also named
Which stone in this castle is the Blarney Stone?
We've all heard about how you're supposed to "kiss the Blarney stone". Looks
like this is where I'll get an opportunity to do just that. I almost hope it's
raining that day so that it washes the stone off really good. Wouldn't want to
get any communicable diseases from the thing, ya know? :-) Blarney Castle actually looks
quite run-down. I suppose I'd probably be run-down after standing
around for a few centuries too. After reading about the Blarney stone, I have
found out that kissing it is not as easy as it sounds. You can't just walk up
to it and smooch it. You have to like, get on your back, and have someone hold
your legs while you lean backwards and upside-down to kiss it. You can check out
the picture to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
Perhaps I will have someone take a picture of me participating
in this superstitious ritual. I say "superstitious" because by kissing the
stone, it is supposed to grant you eloquence. That wouldn't be a bad gift,
since I frequently stumble over my speech...
Who's idea was this?
Once we've all had a chance to get intimate with the Blarney stone, we will
travel through Cork headed for Cobh (pronounced "cove"). It's unfortunate that we
won't actually get to spend a lot of time in Cork, one of Ireland's largest cities.
But heck, I'm coming from Dallas/Fort Worth. I am not going to Ireland to see its
cities. But cities are where the people are, and that is where all the interesting
things happen. Regardless, we will stop in Cobh to tour the
Cobh Heritage Centre.
Cobh was the major port of departure for many Irish immigrants to America.
If I wanted to start a search for any ancestors, Cobh would be
a good place to start. But I doubt I'll have time for that, as we'll still have to
drive through Youghal and on to Waterford. By the time we get there, I'm sure I'll
be hungry for dinner and be ready to settle into our hotel. If I have the energy,
maybe I'll check out the T and H Doolin pub in Waterford. My guide says it "offers
an intimate atmosphere and good 'crack'". Strangely, "crack" is an Irish expression
for "fun". I'm sure you could read all sorts of things into that. I'll take the fun,
but nothing else... Except perhaps a good beer!
This is Waterford, or so I'm told.
Back to Day 3
On to Day 5