So today began with another bus ride with Paddywagon Tours. Originally we were going to do the Ring of Kerry. However, since I didn't physically feel up to another 12 hour day, we switched to the local Cork area tour.
And so after breakfast we headed off to Blarney Castle. Of course we went there to kiss the Blarney stone. But there is also much more to see. The castle itself is kinda in shambles. It's not really the draw of the estate. But the views from it are breathtaking.
The Castle and grounds
Kissing the Blarney Stone
The poison garden was certainly a cool idea. It's full of information on plants that are known to be poisonous. Some can even make you sick just by smelling them! Although have no fear here. They've taken the liberty of making all of the plants in the garden harmless.
We spent about 2 hours exploring the area and then hopped on the bus to our next stop, Cobh. Cobh is probably best known for being the last passenger pickup point of the Titanic and for helping when the Lusitania was sunk.
For those not in the know. Here's what Wikipedia tells us about the Lusitania. It's seriously an important part of history and amazing what the townspeople did.
"A tragically notable ship to be associated with the town, the Cunard passenger liner RMS Lusitania, was sunk by a German U-boat off the Old Head of Kinsale while en route from the US to Liverpool on 7 May 1915. 1,198 passengers died, while 700 were rescued.
The survivors and the dead alike were brought to Cobh, and the bodies of over 100 who perished in the disaster lie buried in the Old Church Cemetery just north of the town. The Lusitania Peace Memorial is located in Casement Square, opposite the arched building housing the Cobh Library and Courthouse."
And for your last bit of history today, there's also a pretty cool statue in Cobh. The statue is on the waterfront and is of Annie Moore and her brothers. Annie Moore was the first person to be admitted to the United States of America through the new immigration centre at Ellis Island, New York on 1 January 1892. Apparently on Ellis Island there is a statue pointing back to this one.
Lee with Statue
And for our final stop of the day we did a quick photo op at the Jameson Whiskey distillery.
Jameson photo op
We spent the next day much more leisurely. We walked around the town of Cork and took it easy. We had a fantastic lunch at the Old Oak Pub. Seriously check this place out if you're in town. The lunch was cheap and filling and just overall delicious. The place is like the Tardis, MUCH bigger on the inside. And it was just overall a good place to get away from the shopping crowds.
Our only touristy stop in Cork was at Saint Finbarre's Cathedral.
Overall, a great couple of days sightseeing in and around Cork.