castle

The best thing about Ireland in January: no tourists.

The worst thing about Ireland in January: the short days.

We allowed ourselves to sleep in a little (absolutely necessary) and made it down to the breakfast portion of our B&B with time to spare. Mich (which may or may not be spelled correctly) was as cheery in the morning as he had been the night before. The woman we assumed to be his wife, who we had not met at check-in, was less so. She could not understand why I would want chocolate for my milk with cereal. After various attempts to explain she asked what country I was from, forcing me to admit that I am simply a strange eater. The next time she lost her smile was when we asked for honey (why remains a mystery). And finally, when she knocked on our door after breakfast, explaining “room service,” to which we replied that we were actually gathering our things to check out, she gave us a strange chuckle and literally waved us toward the stairs. So, with that, we left Cork city for Blarney Castle.

The castle grounds, which we saw only a portion of because of the cold and being pressed by the early sunsets, were stunning. Along with Killarney National Park, they left no question as to whether “the emerald isle” is an appropriate nickname. There were no lines, whatsoever, for kissing the Blarney stone. We easily got our turn at being held upside down by an attendant so that in #Monica’s words: “we could make sweet love to that rock.” And, especially when rumor has it the stone may not be the cleanest, why? So we could become eloquent, as eloquent as Churchill.

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When we were finally done with the Castle, which was interesting enough to delay us for a couple hours, we drove on, via Limerick, to Galway. The idea was to stop along the way at must-see cliffs, but we got distracted by lunch on the N22 and soon after, I began racing the sunset on the N18, but lost.

My travel buddy did a great job of re-routing us straight to the cutest B&B! And now: Yelp-recommended restaurant and Lonely-Planet-recommended bar here we come!!

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