Celtic Discovery

Day 5 - March 28, 2004 - Overland to Doneraile and Carrigaline Explore Blarney Castle/Blarney Stone

It was dark today when the alarm went off at 7 AM but we will get that extra hour of daylight back this afternoon. Everyone had their suitcases out early and Jerry and I put them in the small trailer that he will pull for the rest of the trip.

After breakfast we checked out of the Fountain Court and traveled south past Limerick again and on our way to the southeast coast. DeeDee gave us more background on the TROUBLES of Northern Ireland and told us about the pockets of unrest that are still evident.

Our mid-morning stop was in Croom for about 20 minutes to take a few photos of the old grist mill and have a restroom stop. We continued south and DeeDee told us about the limited hospital and medical care in the rural areas of Ireland.

We left the main road and followed a very narrow winding path through small farmlands and green pastures. It is much warmer and greener in this area. We stopped at Doneraile Park, 400 acres of a beautifully landscaped estate with a Georgian house that is being restored by the Irish Georgian Society.

This property was left in disrepair when the family went on to England - the same family that began the Wimbledon Tennis Club. This beautiful countryside was noted for fox hunting and was the site of the first steeple chase race from one hilltop church to the next over fences, hedgerows and creeks.

Our lunch was just up the road at the Spring Fort Hall, an old farmhouse that has been converted to a guesthouse where we were welcomed with little sandwiches, scones, jam, and tea.

After about an hour we arrived at the community of Blarney and went directly to the castle. The fruit trees were in bloom and it was interesting seeing the gardens in the early springtime after having been there in late July of last year.

We had time to explore the grounds, climb to the top of the castle, and kiss the stone as well as to spend over an hour at the Blarney Woolen Mills to order some crystal stem ware for my cousin Susan.

The famed Blarney Stone is found 127 steps up a tower. According to legend, anyone who manages the backward lean to kiss it receives the gift of Blarney - a smooth, soothing way with words that mean nothing.

The word "Blarney" was coined by Elizabeth I to describe her endless and fruitless discussions with Den-not McCarthy over his surrendering the castle to the Crown. The McCarthys built the present castle with its 85-foot-high keep in 1146, replacing an earlier castle.

By 4:15 we were all back on the bus and on our way to Cork and our hotel in Carrigaline where we will call home for the next three nights.

Cork is the second largest city in the country, a port on the River Lee, as well as for ocean going ships. There is a lot of new developments, office buildings, and the new private housing estates.

Once in the room, I tried to connect to the wireless system. No go. I then went to the main desk and they were helpful but had no luck either in getting their service provider to recognize my paid service. 6 Euros for 30 minutes.

After trying everything, the desk staff asked me to come behind their counter and allowed me to use their computer. It was an excellent high speed connection so I was able to get out Days 3 and 4 and then sent out pictures for Day 2 that I could not send.

We checked on laundry and found that just to do a shirt here would be 3 Euros and a pair of pants would be 6. EXPENSIVE!!! We will wait for tomorrow and see what DeeDee shows us.

We had dinner at 6:30 in the Bistro Restaurant where we had a choice of chicken or salmon. We spent much of the time discussing a myriad of topics with Jerry.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner - Carrigaline Court Hotel

If you wish to travel with OAT Click Here.

To receive $50 per person off your first reservation with OAT, mention the following information when reserving your Overseas Adventure Travel Trip: Mr. Victor Garcia Customer #673062


Post a Comment!

  Featured Journal

Day 13: Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos

Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.

The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.

Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...

Continue Reading Day 13