Travel Journal

Pop the cork on the Blarney Stone

(Wednesday 11 August 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 2 – 8/6/10 Friday -- Cork – Blarney
We had a seven AM train from Heuston station into Cork. I had set my alarm clock – which time hands could not be set to current time—to seven hours ahead when we went to sleep. I’ve got to get a new clock soon.
Quick shower, split an apple turnover and hustled to the O’Connel station and waited for the tram we had been told runs every six minutes to arrive. After waiting five minutes, we noticed a sign which showed the next tram was due in 17 minutes. Rot-roh, looks like we’ll miss our train. We shared a taxi with another passenger who was also threatened to miss his train and raced to the station arriving with time to spare.
At the station, there was no problem getting the ticket from our reservation number and we boarded the train and found our seats under the LCD displays with our names on them. Pretty neat!
It was a rather uneventful 3 hr trip to Cork. The train was clean, quick and efficient. At Cork we got directions to the bus station which was a few blocks away. When we arrived, we discovered we had just missed the bus to Blarney and so got tickets for the next bus an hour and forty minutes later. We just walked through the markets and shops of the city to kill time and bought a one Euro sandwich as a lark to eat later. I did break down and buy a fleece jacket as I am certain we will be gitting some colder climates later and the shirt was cheap.

It was a short ride to Blarney which is a small town built very much for the tourist trade. A short walk and 10 Euros later we were in the castle grounds which are rather extensive. There is a mild attempt to “Disneyfy” the ground with planned landscaping of the ground and mystifying local oddities.

The castle itself is rather interesting and was undergoing exterior restoration. The information on the sections was rather gliv and not very informative which was a shame as the visitor is exposed to many rooms before encountering the Blarney Stone at the top.
Julie kissed the stone – no tongue first while I took a picture and I went next. You lie on your back and tilt your head back to kiss the stone. The coins in my jacket all fell out and the attendant helped me retrieve them.

We each ate half of the one Euro sandwich which wasn’t as awful as I expected. A quick walk through the grounds and we returned just in time to see our bus leaving. No worries as another one came twenty minutes later and brought us back to Cork where we boarded the 3:30 train to Dublin.
Our entertainment on the train consisted of a lady behind us that talked non-stop for three hours. The most humorous to me was the “hot dog” incident. Apparently relatives had asked her not to feed their son junk food including hot dogs, the son asked for a hot dog, she had made him one, and the parents were upset. Simple enough story. She devoted an hour to this episode describing events, her interpretation of junk food, describing events again differently than before, contemplating long term consequences of her actions and so on. You had to laugh or shoot her, one of the two.
Back at Dublin, it was 6:30 and all of the attractions had closed so we stopped off for some proper fish ‘n chips for Julie and fried mushrooms for myself.
At the hotel, Julie finished packing the clothes she had washed that day. She has been good with her daily hand washing of clothes since she only has 4 pair of pants. I have the luxury of 5 outfits and plan to do washing when we get to Belfast tomorrow.

  • blarney by jeanne knight
  • Map Question by The Elder

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