Today started with another early breakfast at McDonald’s (just bagels today, it is Friday after all) and walked up to Busarus to catch our 8am bus to Cork. Unfortunately there weren’t enough people for a second bus, so we were stuck on the non-direct route, which takes about four and a half hours.
We arrived in Cork approximately two minutes before the shuttle to Blarney left, which we luckily caught and got to sit for another 45 minute bus ride. Blarney was beautiful and sunny, and my parents loved the grounds and the castle. We didn’t spend as much time exploring the caves and rooms in and around the castle as I did when I came to Blarney with Danielle, Kelsey, and Libby. Once we got into the castle we pretty much went straight to the top where the famous Blarney Stone is located. Mom didn’t actually know the stone was up at the top which was a little inconvenient since she’s afraid of heights. She freaked out a bit, but she eventually put her faith in the professional trained to keep her from falling, and kissed the Blarney Stone.
Dad didn’t kiss the stone because he’s German and “it’s not part of my heritage.” Whatever, he’s the loser who climbed all the way to the top and didn’t kiss the stone, though he probably doesn’t need help with that gift of gab thing.
We descended the freakishly narrow staircase nearly as quickly as we got to the top, and took a stroll through the poison garden and atop the battlements surrounding the castle, then made our way into the rest of the grounds. They were impressed with the waterfalls and the flowers, though none of us braved the wishing steps. Mom’s favorite part was definitely the Witch’s Kitchen, and she got a pretty sweet souvenir hat. They had a really great time and loved the grounds and the castle.
We barely caught the shuttle back to Cork from Blarney and grabbed lunch in Cork before catching the 4pm bus back to Dublin, again non-direct, again about four and a half hours.
I steered my parents in the general direction of some chippers and went back to Sandymount, where the girls had made a cake, and surprised me with an early birthday present.