Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Kissed the Blarney Stone!!

Well, here I am Tuesday of my trip (although I had to ask someone earlier what day it was cause I couldn't remember). They are all mushed together in my head and I think it is from the trip over here. I guess I didn't totally avoid the jet lag. But other than that I am doing pretty good. I didn't wake up early this morning but I have found myself snoozing on and off on the coach in the afternoon.

Anyway, enough about that... what about today? Right? Well, we were out of the hotel at 8am again. It was already raining, but that is to be expected in Ireland. Our first stop was at Youghal (pronounced Ya'll). This is the town where they filmed Moby Dick with Gregory Peck. We only had about a half hour there but it was right on the water, a little pretty. On our way there Jim (the Tour Director) was talking about Ireland and the history as usual and today he was asking who had Irish heritage etc, etc. Well, I of course know that I am Irish from my mom's side. So Jim was asking me a little bit later while we were standing there if I had Irish and what the family name was, well I told him that it was Barry but that I wasn't sure where the family was from. He told me that they are from County Cork and then continued on about the family and a whole bunch of stuff that I couldn't begin to remember. I thought that was pretty interesting. He really knows a lot of things and it really astounds me that he remembers all this.

Well, we left Youghal and headed for Blarney and the Blarney Stone. We were going to have two and a half hours here since this was also our lunch stop. The Blarney Castle with the Blarney Stone was the first stop there. There are something like 136 steps to the top and they aren't just any normal steps that you would see in a modern building. No, they are a stone winding stair case. You know how you see the really narrow stair cases... yeah, that's what it was. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was afraid it would be. The one thing that I was concerned about was that since it was raining (still) that the steps would be really slick. They were in spots but you just made sure you held onto the rope that they had there... no railing here as it is too narrow. Then to kiss the stone, you sit down, lean backwards and kiss the stone. At least now I can say I kissed the Blarney Stone and acquired the "gift of eloquence" or the "gift of the gab."

I climbed back down (the staircase going down isn't nearly as narrow and it had a railing on both sides. I then walked over to the Blarney Woollen Mills which is a big store that carries Irish goods and as Jim said some things that were made in China. I tried to make sure I got things that were from Ireland although there are some things that won't be from here. I did a good share of my gift shopping which includes my Christmas shopping. They aren't real big gifts but they are at least something since I couldn't bring everyone with me.

We then loaded up the bus and headed for the hotel in Kenmare. We are here for two nights which will be nice cause since I did a bit of shopping today, I have to rearrange a lot of things. I have two nights to do it. I did wander down to town for a little while. Dinner is included tonight but I haven't decided if I am going to join them. The food hasn't been too impressive and those of you who know me should not be surprised. Dinner last night wasn't too bad. Well, I should get going. Internet isn't free here and I have to catch up on my journal from yesterday still.

I will try to be back tomorrow night!

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