Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ireland:part 2

Dan and I were hoping to start our morning with a sightseeing walk of Kilkenny, but waking to the sound of pouring rain put a bit of a damper on those plans.  After eating a full Irish breakfast (we even tried the black and white pudding) we headed for our next destination, The Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Distillery.

I am not a huge whiskey drinker and due to my current state, I did not think I would truly appreciate this tour.  I was definitely wrong.  It was so interesting to see how Jameson was made, right there from the late 1700's through to the 1970's.  Our tour guide was very enthusiastic about whiskey and made this non-whiskey drinker want to sit down with a glass.  It poured during our tour and parts of it were outside.  Thankfully, the folks at Jameson supplied us with ponchos that came in handy throughout our trip.  At the end of the tour everyone gets a good-sized sample.  You have a choice of straight Jameson or a Jameson and ginger with lime.  I tried a few sips of the latter and it was delicous; I may have found my new drink after this baby comes.  The tour guide also asks for volunteers to do a comparison tasting.  Brian was lucky enough to be one of the official tasters.

We are all so proud
 After eating a scrumptious lunch at distillery restaurant, we headed about 15 minutes away to Cork for our 2nd night.  I must say that I was not overly impressed with the city of Cork.  I found it to be slightly seedy and being we were there during the week a lot of the stores and sights were closing down as we set out to explore.  The only benefit I found to staying in Cork is its location to the Old Midleton Distillery and to the Blarney Castle. We did find a decent apartment that was right on the river.

View from apartment living room

Ava really liked the coffee table- please note the Santa Ana Star water bottle that my mother has been reusing since we lived in New Mexico; I am sure that is safe.

The next morning we woke to more rain, but we braved the storm and headed for the Blarney Castle.  By the way, the next group of pictures are courtesy of my brother, Brian. I didn't want to take out my camera in the rain.
Yea, we look good.  Thank you Jameson Whiskey for the free poncho, it came in handy.
I read so many mixed reviews about the castle, mainly complaints that it is simply a huge tourist trap. Sure it was touristy, but it was also beautiful and well worth the visit.

Blarney Estate, built in 1704.  Unfortunatly you can only view the house with a tour.  We didn't feel like paying more for the tour.

View from the top of the castle.  The Blarney Stone is located at the top of the castle.

So...these are the stairs to get up to the top.  They were extra scary when wet.

I had to put in this beautiful picture.

After hearing stories about people peeing on the stone and thinking of all the germs I swore I would not kiss the stone.  Well, you can see how well that worked it.  It was raining, so it had to be clean...right?

After drying off we headed to Killarney were we would spend the next two nights.  I already bored you to tears with this post, so to be continued...I will leave you with a picture of this cute little girl I saw trying on hats.

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