by corinne iaia

February 08, 2017

Ireland Day 3: Cashel, Blarney & Cork

Day 3 in Ireland was a busy one at that. We started off early in the morning headed into County Tipperary with the goal of seeing the Rock of Cashel, a beautiful historic site where St. Patrick began his work converting the Irish to Catholicism. It was absolutely breathtaking to see; this cathedral-esque structure sitting atop a hill in the midst of rolling green hills and surrounded by Celtic crosses. It was truly the most peaceful site, quiet and abandoned but still a site that attracts visitors from all over the world and, of course, religious pilgrims. This is a place that is definitely not to be missed if you are within a few hours drive in Ireland. I could have spent all day admiring the ancient architecture and gawking at the 10th century tower, but onward to Blarney we went. 

You know the reason for my visit to Blarney; having the "gift of the gab" bestowed upon me in return for a kiss. It was a beautiful, cool day and the castle looked so at home in the rolling green hill upon which it was perched. I really have to say people don't make a big enough deal about the castle itself; it really is a stunner of a tower, and the gardens surrounding it speak for themselves. After exploring we headed into town for some lunch and shopping at the famous Blarney Woolen Mills - a must for buying beautiful Irish wool pieces. 

After Blarney, we drove the short distance to Cork, and crammed in a few of the sights in the short span of an afternoon. The most impressive was St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, and I personally fell for the stunning array of colored buildings lining the streets and flowing together up the hill. I really wish I had been able to explore a bit more, but I'm glad I got a (short, but sweet) taste for the city. 

On our way back we stopped in a Medieval town called Abbeyleix, where the main purpose for our visit was to visit the much talked about Victorian pub, Morrissey's. This pub was so well preserved, it looked as though time had not touched the space at all. I'd highly recommend a stop and a pint (or two) if you visit Cork from Dublin. 
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