Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kiss it! Kiss it!

Day Five- Blarney and Cork

**Another car game- There are no signs in Ireland. I guess people just know where to go. When you do see a sign, yell, "Reassuring sign!" and point out the window.**

It's an early day and we're off toward Cork, or final city. County Clare has the best roads in all of Ireland. They are more frequently marked, paved, and have lines painted on them. Praise be Clare! On our way to Blarney Castle, we pass this bit of ruin on the side of the road. No sign, no anything until you park. It was beautiful.

We finally stopped to eat in a small town called Buttevant (tee hee) at Lyla's Kitchen on the main road. Good, full Irish vegetarian breakfast. I think I'm going to turn into an egg after all the ones I've eaten. Every morning, it's what's for breakfast. I never want to see another delicious egg for months! The bathroom is a venerable outhouse. You have to wind your way outside, it's kind of cool.

The sun comes back out (we really lucked out for weather) when we reach Blarney. I don't think I knew what to expect, but I was surprised at how vast the grounds were. We have the most fun climbing all through the castle, up to the top to kiss the stone. I had been warned by multiple people not to actually kiss it, but I don't think I would have needed to be told. I just have to close my eyes and think of the tens of thousands of people that come through there, not to mention local trouble makers, to never want to physically touch the stone. It's amazing how far back you have to lean. Were it not for the guy holding on to me, I think hundreds would fall to their death annually. It was actually a bit scary!

Our B&B in Cork City is located outside the downtown area, which is an island. Kent House turned out to be one of our larger rooms, but the view was of the train station. Who cares really? I'm not here to sit in my room. If it's clean, I'm happy. We take another nap, a reoccurring theme, then are off in search of dinner. Cork is largely industrial, though there is a college there and some nice shopping. The downtown area reminded us of the Santa Monica Promenade- mostly fashion chains and some fast food. No bars. Are we still in Ireland?! Once again we get lost trying to find our restaurant but thankfully it is still open when we get there.

The Quay Co-op was the other vegetarian restaurant on my list of musts. It was recommended by several people as well. Again, we are served a heaping plate of food and no way to take it back with us. Such a bummer. I had a spinach and cottage cheese quiche, coleslaw, and green salad. I tried this Elderflower soda and it was amazing! Slightly sweet with only a hint of the floral taste you might expect. I wish we sold it here in the states! Everything was super yummy.

We walked about a bit and tried to remember where we were told a couple bars were at. In keeping with our themes, we left our pocket map at the B&B. Giving up, we head back towards sleep and stop in at a pub along the way. It must be 8-2 male. Of course, all the big rugby matches are going on the same week we're there as well as horse racing, so the sports bars have been packed. We met a fiance at his bachelor party dressed as a leprechaun, poor thing.

All in all, Galway has been the best city so far. It's location is perfect to explore the whole west coast of Ireland and the night life can't be beat.


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