October 9-14, 2023

“In Ireland, every place you visit and every person you meet has a story. And they love to tell you their stories. Everyone is interested in everything; in a land of storytellers, you will never be bored.” – Maeve Binchy

During our Europe travels we decided to road trip around Ireland. We had 5 days to take in this exquisite country and that wasn’t nearly enough time. 


The last stop on our Ireland road trip was Cork.  We wanted to make sure we saw the Cliffs of Moher so we left Galway early in the morning and headed to Doolin to catch the morning ferry.  This ferry ride is about 1 hour round trip. It was a bit breezy on the water but beautiful sunny skies the day we went so we were lucky to have a fabulous view.  The cliffs stretch for about 14 kilometres and reach 214 metres (702 feet) at their highest point, just north of O’Brien’s Tower, a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O’Brien.  They are a popular tourist attractions in Ireland and a signature point on the Wild Atlantic Way.  

From there we headed onward to Cork.  Our Friend Timmy from Seans Bar told us to take the Tarbert Ferry and skip Limerick for faster travels.  Which we did!  That was our first time on a car ferry. From Doolin to Cork Via Ferry its about a 4 hour drive.  It quite stunning, full of rolling green hills, coos, tree lined roads, and gorgeous stone homes.  

We arrived in Cork late afternoon and checked into the Imperial Hotel.  This hotel was beautiful and centrally located. They have a spa so if you plan ahead you can fit in a treatment, which is always needed when traveling.  The bar/lounge was upbeat and had live music while we were visiting, which we loved. 

Cork is the second largest city in Ireland, located in the south-west of the country. It’s known for its rich history, vibrant cultural scene, and its friendly, welcoming atmosphere.  Also, known as the “Rebel City”, Cork has a strong local culture, with a vibrant music scene, a strong theatrical tradition with several famous actors, and a host of festivals throughout the year. It is also home to University College Cork, contributing to the city’s youthful and lively atmosphere

Per usual with only one night to take in the city we went out in search of food and entertainment.  Wandering the streets and alley ways as it always is on that side of the pond.  We found and lively spot that had great service and good food.  As we were coming to the end of our Ireland adventure we sat back and took in the evening.  From there we explored a few other watering holes until we found a local rock band (Kane’s Basement) playing, tucked away in an upstairs bar venue, called Fred Zeppelin’s.  Who knows maybe we just came across the next U2!

The follow day we packed up and went to kiss the famous Blarney Stone.  I mean who doesn’t need the gift of eloquence?  Lucky for us we were the first ones there.  That was a treat for sure.  The grounds are absolutely breathtaking and with no one around it was like taking a trip back in time.  The castle, a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracts visitors from all over the world to kiss the stone and tour the castle and its gardens. The castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by Cormac MacCarthy, one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains.

The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446, but its origins are the subject of many legends. Some say it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned—others believe it may be the stone that Jacob used as a pillow, and it was brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah. Another legend suggests it was a traveling stone brought to Ireland by the Crusaders. The truth of the stone’s origin is unknown, adding to the mystery and allure of the Blarney Stone. 

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