01 January 2008

Happy New Year !

- Chris

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 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 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's family lives just west of Cork in Killumney, just outside Ballincollig.

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!



Anonymous said...

Kel, I want to see more of that outfit you are wearing.


Kelly & Chris said...

A few notes and clarifications:

Col - I'm glad you are looking at my outfit and not my goofy face in that pic.

Suzanne speaks perfectly clearly and is a VERY good driver. She also was an amazing host and I am appalled that The Hub didn't profusely thank her for her hospitality in the above post. Shame, Christian, shame!

The headstone she is standing next to in Kilcrea Abbey actually has her family name on it (as the makers, not the deceased) How cool to have three hundred year old proof of your ancestors and the family business right in your home town?!

I believe that is all.

Becky said...

Kelly were you trying to give Chris a nervous breakdown jumping around like a sprite?! I remember when you lived here he'd get all upset when he'd see you standing on a chair or something "Crazy" like that. This place looks very cool, and Suzanne looks like a hoot too.

So happy/jealous..no just happy, for you two and your Italy trip! You will love it! Stay safe and far away from hairy men with no clothes on!

Kelly & Chris said...

Kelly is right, I am ashamed of myself for not thanking Suzanne. Thank you Suzanne for the guided tour of Cork and the surrounding area.

Thats actually kinda funny, cause Suzanne is constantly reminding me to say please and thank you..


Anonymous said...

Rock and a bald place Arnold, a rock and a bald place.....