How can you visit the County of Cork and not take a trip to see the Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone? I guess that would be the same as living in Arizona and never seeing the Grand Canyon. Wait, I have done that! Since I was getting my trip to the Cobh Heritage Center, the least I could do was go with my husband to the Blarney Castle so that he could kiss the Blarney Stone.
The walk to the actual castle from where we parked was beautiful. There was a river, bridge, beautiful trees and plants and green everywhere you look (well, I guess that is Ireland in general!). Then my husband somehow convinced me to explore Badger Cave under the castle. What was I thinking? It was dark, rainy and muddy? Then every few minutes he snapped a photo which caused me to become temporarily blinded! Okay, enough of the caves and mud on my new jeans! And I didn’t find any special passage to Cork either!
So, let’s actually see the famous Blarney Castle. The castle sits directly on a cliff of rock which formed the quarry for building the castle. The walls slope gradually inwards. The staircase is steep and winding, but the views at the top are spectacular.
My husband did kiss the Blarney Stone so now I guess he has the “gift of gab”. Actually I think it will just reinforce the 2% truth rule, which I now renamed the Blarney Rule! I personally did not kiss the stone but I did partake in almost every other Irish tradition.
With having only one full day in County Cork, we were going to make the most of it -- Blarney Castle – done! Cobh Heritage Center – done! I guess the only thing left is to visit the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Midleton. Well, the first thing you have to love at Jameson’s is that they believe in recycling. Look at this great chandelier. Wonder if we can get one shipped home!
The tour at Jameson’s was very informative! Irish whiskey is triple distilled while Scottish whiskey is distilled twice and American whiskey only once. This makes Irish whiskey very smooth. It also doesn’t have that smoky flavor of Scottish whiskey. At the end of the tour, I rang the bell! I think it means it time for a drink! My husband was selected to participate in the taste test. So, I kept myself busy drinking my glass of Jameson talking to an older Irish couple. Wow, I’m feeling very Irish now -- much more than just my ¼ heritage! Jameson and ginger ale, anyone?