Getting Stoned in Blarney
GAELIC GETAWAY, CHAPTER 9: IN WHICH WE KISS THE GIFT OF GAB GOODBYE
Day 10: Waterford to Cork. Feeling refreshed after a few days in Ireland's oldest city, we packed up and left Waterford just before 9 a.m. Driving southwest on the N25, we were surprised to see a brief hint of blue in the sky and thankful that for the moment our featherweight little SEAT Mii wasn't being battered by high winds.
Before 10 a.m., we reached the coast with a view of the Irish Sea. When we stopped at a scenic overlook just past Dungarvan, a chill air greeted us as we stepped out of the car to check out the view. At 43°, the temperature on the coast was a good 12 degrees lower than when we left the inland city of Waterford.
|Overlooking the Irish Sea|
In response to our inquiry about what we should see in the town as we were passing briefly through, Sean eagerly gave us a 20-minute history lesson and virtual tour of the town. After he loaded us down with the first three reams of brochures, we saw him pause for breath. Wasting no time, we grabbed the opening, darted out the door, and dashed to our car. Though we appreciated his energetic assistance, we didn't expect to spend more than hour in town and he had already given us more than enough to work with.
|St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal - Where's the door?|
Patrick, a St. Mary's caretaker, was just arriving himself and offered some friendly guidance, pointing us to the entrance, ushering us inside, and offering a guided tour of what he described as the oldest church in continuous use as a house of worship in Ireland. A native of Limerick, Patrick moved to Youghal 42 years ago and has clearly developed a passion for his adopted town.
Before returning to the N25 toward Cork, we stopped at a local Lidl (rhymes with needle), a discount supermarket chain, and loaded up on supplies. Grocery shopping in another country is always so interesting. Like Aldi, Lidl stocks only the most popular items, offers little to no brand choices for any type of product, and sells their products at surprisingly low prices.
As in many other countries we have visited, cashiers here do not bag your purchases, nor do they supply bags for you unless you purchase them. The items you're purchasing are scanned and handed back to you. It's up to you to figure out how to package them to get them home. A customer in front of us must have had more than 100 items in her cart. As they were scanned, she returned them to the cart. Then she paid her bill and walked out of the store with the full grocery cart. Wish we'd followed to see how she dealt with all those loose groceries in her car.
|A very large order|
As we were to learn, the current Blarney Castle is the third structure to have been erected on this site. A wooden hunting lodge occupied the spot in the tenth century, replaced around 1210 by a stone structure, which itself was demolished for this third castle built by Cormac MacCarthy in 1446.
|Heart (added) indicates location of blarney stone|
It was after 4:00, and the sun was drifting toward the horizon by the time we left Blarney Castle, not exactly picnic conditions. Besides, the restaurant at our hotel would begin serving dinner at 5:00. So we made the logical choice, drove back to Cork, and had our last meal of the day.
Tomorrow we'll drive south and explore the coast south of Cork.
- Started in Waterford, ended in Cork
- Mileage - 116 (Trip total: 5,384)
- Weather - 41° to 52° - cloudy, partly cloudy, light rain
- Sunrise - 8:30, Sunset - 4:22
- Letterboxes - planted 1, found 0
- Kisses on the blarney stone - 0
THURSDAY, 10 DECEMBER, 2015
More Photos from Today
|St. Mary's chancel|
|St. Mary's nave. Timbers have been carbon dated to 1140.|
|Heart (added) indicates location of blarney stone.|
|The proper way to reach the stone for a full kiss (photo from internet)|