- ChrisWe took the 3 hour train ride South from Dublin to spend New Years with Suzanne and to see what all the hub bub is about Cork!
We're back ! Here's a quick post from our trip to Cork...we leave for a two week trip to Italy tomorrow! We should be able to post from our hotels, so check back in the next few days !
We pre-booked our train tickets online, including seat reservations....and looky at how fancy the new trains are, they have your name right over your seat !
Suzanne met us at the train station with a rented car so we could easily hop around and see the sites. I was told it was going to be a 7 series BMW or a Mercedes sedan, but instead we had a Mitsubishi Colt...with one of those fancy aerodynamic fins on the roof. Its a good thing, the way Suzanne was driving we needed all the help we could get keeping the car on the road.
First stop, Blarney Castle, home of the Blarney Stone. Suzanne suggested we go to Blarney , but then when her brother called she made it sound like she was being forced by yet another bunch of Americans to go to touristy Blarney....but the truth is she loves Blarney cause there are a bunch of stores there.
Blarney Castle is very cool, and there weren't many people there which was nice. We climbed the narrow staircases to the top, where you wait in a short line to kiss the blarney stone. You have to lay on your back and reach out over the edge of the castle upside down to kiss the stone. Kelly passed, but I did it.. it supposedly gives you the gift of eloquence. I asked the guy who makes sure you dont fall to your death if I was the first American who had ever been there....he didnt even smile.
The whole castle is covered in slime and moss...you can easily slip and fall at anytime. Kelly was very careful, until the camera came out...then she was bouncing from rock to ledge like some sort of sprite.
Next stop, the coastal town of Kinsale (see map above). Much of our trip was rainy so we didnt get as many pictures as we liked. Kinsale is very cute with lots of twisting , narrow lanes lined with colorful shops and cafes. During the summer its a mob scene.
We also went to Kilcrea Friary(also called Kilcrea Abbey) closer to Ballincollig in Aherla. Its a n old abbey built in the 1400's thats full of tombstones, moss and scary nooks and crannys.
Suzanne's family is in the stone cutting business and has been for many generations. The grave marker next to Suzanne is the oldest registered tombstone in Ireland (1797) and was made by one of her ancestors. (there are older tombstones in Ireland, i'm still a little unclear about the registration process she was talking about....it doesnt help that you can't understand a word Suzanne says cause she's from Cork)
The Friary is a pretty neat place, we got there at the end of the day..(translate as spooooky)
Happy New Year's ! We had a delicious dinner at the local pub, the Killumney Inn, and after midnight went back to the house to drink champagne and ring in the new year by getting our butts kicked by Suzanne in cards.
We'll post more pictures of our trip to Cork soon ! Now I have to go pack for Italy ...wooohooo!