Cork, Ireland

Falmouth | Cork | Dublin EdinburghHamburg

The next morning we managed to get our wake up call and enjoyed a nice breakfast before we started the tour.  The tour buses they used are a little smaller than the tour buses in the states.  It is apparent that the seats were designed for someone no taller than about 5'8" and about 130 lbs.  When I sat in the seats, I could not put my legs in front of me, they had to stick out in the aisle as the distance between the seats was about two inches shorter than the bones in my legs.  If that were not enough, my shoulders spilled into nearly half of the other seat.  So if I had to sit in a seat next to someone, I had to sit in a very crooked position with my shoulders spilling into the aisle and my big old feet also in the aisle.  I sometimes thought I would be more comfortable just sitting on the floor in the aisle.

The Best of Ireland was our second tour.  It began with a scenic tour around Kinsale which was a nice town.  After the tour of Kinsale we stopped in Kinsale for a shopping and restroom break.  A very nice place with some very colorful flowers where Karen and I wandered into a grocery store and Karen was able to purchase some things for  her Irish friends at work.

The Fishing village of Kinsale


The Charles Fort, a 17th century fort to protect Kinsale harbor


More of Charles Fort


Colorful Houses in Kinsale


A close up of the painted Kinsale Homes


Who has the Prettiest Flowers?


My Bride in Ireland


Irish Countryside


Lush Green Fields and a Lazy River


Sheep Grazing


The Irish Countryside was Beautiful!

We stopped at a three star Irish hotel for lunch where some local girls were performing folk dancing.  The girls were very enthusiastic and did very well.  Sometimes their jumps put them over two feet off the ground, I was waiting for them to slip when they landed but none did.  The lunch was good despite the large chunks of mushrooms which Karen gladly accepted.  After lunch that we  headed over to Blarney Castle and the Blarney Woolen Mills.

Young Irish Dancers


Our Lunch Time Entertainment


She is actually almost two feet off of the floor!


Colorful Irish Costumes


What a Smile!


My Kind of Sign!

After lunch we continued to Blarney Castle which is actually a very old castle nearly in ruin.  There were no lavish appointments, just a bare rock castle and various empty rooms.  The attraction at the Blarney Castle of course is to kiss the Blarney Stone which is supposed to give you the gift of eloquence.  Karen elected to not climb the 200 some odd stair steps up to the top of the castle.  I on the other hand went on my way.  About 100 steps or so up I was questioning my choice.  The stairs consisted of a spiral stone staircase.  The steps were about 4" wide at the outer edge and under 2" at the center.  The steps were about 18" high.  So not only were the steps high, they were very difficult to gain solid footing.  Once on the top I had spectacular views where I took a number of pictures.  And I did kiss the Blarney Stone.  Upon my descent which was nearly as rough as the ascent, my left knee began feeling very poorly.  It continued to worsen the rest of the day until I was in too much pain to even climb the small stairs or steps on the ship.  After visiting the Blarney castle we went to the Blarney Woolen Mills where Karen shopped and shopped and shopped.

View from the Blarney Castle 


Folks getting ready to kiss the Blarney Stone.




Close up of an Irish house from atop the Blarney Castle.


Same house, without a zoom lens.


More views from atop Blarney castle


Another View from the Blarney Castle.


The Woolen Mills from atop the Castle.


People waiting to climb the stairs.


The big rolls of hay from atop the castle.


The path leading up to the Blarney Castle.


Looking back up toward the Blarney Stone.


Zooming in on somebody kissing the Blarney Stone.


A foreboding picture of the castle.


Karen waiting on me.


A parting shot of the castle.


Blarney Schmarney, let's go shopping!

When shopping time was over it was back to the ship for dinner and a very funny after dinner show.

On to Dublin Back to the Ramblings