Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Day 2 and 3-Cobh and some castles

Since there was a crumbling road problem, we missed out on seeing Dingle (insert your own joke here). Instead we went to Cobh (say it just like it's spelled...cove). The Queenstown Story at the Cobh Heritage Center included information on the millions of immigrants who left Ireland from Cobe/Queenstown/Cove...famine ships, convict ships, the Titanic and the Lusitania all sailed from Cobh. It's also a very pretty town (more water pictures!). And there were dogs. A good number of dogs. And babies, but they're less interesting to me.

The next day was a castle day...Blarney Castle and the kissing of the Blarney Stone...and Ross Castle and the tour of the lake and a ride in a jaunting cart. It was a good day! Since I talked to someone the other day who had no idea what the Blarney Stone was about, here's a pretty description (borrowed from another web site).

The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. The walls of the castle are 18 feet thick. The stone is believed to be half of the Stone of Scone which originally belonged to Scotland. Scottish Kings were crowned over the stone, because it was believed to have special powers. The stone was given to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in return for his support in a battle. Queen Elizabeth I wanted the Irish chiefs to agree to hold their own lands under title from her. Cormac Teige McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, handled her every Royal wish with clever promises keeping loyalty to the Queen without "giving in". Elizabeth proclaimed that McCarthy was giving her "a lot of Blarney." This is how the story began that if you kiss the blarney stone you will also be able to make clever promises.
Frances, this shot is for you.

One of my castle shots.

The view down the stairs. They should have a "you must be no wider than this" sign at the bottom of the stairs. I could be the model. Near the top, me and my backpack o' stuff was a tight fit.

This is why I didn't kiss the stone. I wasn't sure how to call the Fire Department to get me up in Ireland. It could have taken some reinforcements.

The view from the top.

And back in Killarney, Ross Castle. The weather was nicer then and I have pretty blue skies for these shots. And more water pictures. You knew they were coming!

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