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“What butter and whisky won’t cure, there is no cure for.” ~ Irish Saying

June 19, 2018

After another wonderful breakfast we met our Vagabond tour guide Edwina, and began our journey though Ireland.  From what we could see as we sped though Dublin, the city is pretty much similar to other big cities.  People were hustling and bustling about on their way to work.

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Today was to be the day we spent our longest journey time on the road and our first stop was a lovely spot (albeit a bit touristy) called the Rock of Cashel.  According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devils Bit which is a mountain 20 miles north.  When St. Patrick banished  Satan from a cave the result was  Rock’s landing in Cashel.  The entire plateau on which the buildings and graveyard lie is walled.  There are remains of a cathedral, graveyards, a chapel and beautiful grounds.  We spent some time here and it was just beautiful.

The views were stunning and at every turn there was another picture perfect moment.

Just outside of the ruins on the way to the parking lot were two sheep that were begging to be photographed and I obliged.

“The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.” 

~ Stendhal

We herded back in the van towards Blarney Castle and Gardens which is near Cork.  The castle is now a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and battlements. At the top of the castle lies the Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone.  Tourists visiting Blarney Castle may hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of  eloquence.  We chose not to see the stone as the wait was over an hour and we wanted to spend our time viewing the gardens and not wait in the queue.

The gardens are extensive and magical.  They include a Rock Close and Water Garden, a Poison Garden, a Fern Garden and more.

 

“Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels.  But their magic sparkles in nature.” 

~Lynn Holland

What could be more magical than the sight of Tom appearing at the top of the wishing steps followed by Pat, Barbara and Rich!

We strolled though the beautiful gardens and through the lovely but deadly gardens.

It was well worth the trip and we soon headed on to our hotel for the night The Gougane Barra Hotel, in County Cork where we wined and dined on one of the most delicious dinners of this trip!

“May your troubles be less, your blessings be more.  And nothing but happiness, come through your door.” 

~ Dorien Kelly,  The Last Bride in Ballymuir 

 

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