We had a simple morning of waking up when we wanted and checking out of the hotel. Then the navigation game began as we got in the car and tried to figure out how to get to Blarney and it’s famous stone. We used a preloaded Google Map, as well as screen shots, just in case I closed the app.
We were on vacation though, with no real timeline, just a destination to reach where the hotel was waiting. So along the way we stopped. One city we stopped in was Kilkenny. Kilkenny has an amazing castle the was completed in 1213.
You can also stop for a walk down the streets lined with shops. I found a book store with paperbacks for 1 Euro. There are also many churches and cathedrals to stop and see in Kilkenny.
We made our way back to the highway and were headed along when I saw a sign for Dunmore Cave. Having worked archaeology in a cave site, I always like to check out other caves. We made a detour. Dunmore cave is believed to be the site of a Viking massacre in 928AD.
The cave was pretty sizable. It had the normal features of a limestone cave, stalagmites and stalactites, fissures and openings, holes and pools. This cave also turned off all their lights a put on a bit of a laser show. One of the guests was a little girl who got scared and grabbed for people while the lights were one. She ended up holding on to my mom for most of the show. Then it was a trek to climb all the stairs back out of the cave.
After the cave we got back on the road to Blarney. We stop along the way at Cashel, home of the Rock of Cashel. This is home to castle and cathedral. Another building built-in the 12th and 13th century that still stands today. It’s an amazing testament to what people can accomplish.
After we made our way to Cork, which was a lovely town, from what I could see (we were tired and drove straight through). We finally made it to Blarney, which is a tiny town. The main area of town is a square road that goes around a park. The hotel we were at was on the opposite corner from the entrance to Blarney Castle where you find the Blarney Stone. If you kiss the Blarney stone legend says you get the gift of gab.
It was easy to find our hotel, the Muskerry Arms, due to its location at the entrance to the square. We went to check in and had a minor oops as they don’t have mom and dads books but they have the other two that were made at the same time. Not sure they have a free room. They need to check with the manager. I’m freaking out a little, we booked rooms months ago. The room had been recorded incorrectly but it was there. Panic over.
We dropped our stuff in our rooms and went to the restaurant for food. Then we used the rest of the sunlight to walk around the square. We headed to the entrance to Blarney Castle but it was closed for the evening. The shops were also closed so we back to the hotel to have dessert and listen to some live music.