We went to Blarney Castle first thing in the morning, after breakfast in the hotel. We made it over there not long after it opened, but there was already a massive line to kiss the Blarney Stone. So we waited for over an hour, but it wasn't too bad. We had lots of opportunities on the way up to get pictures, and we chatted to the people around us in line, who were all very nice. It rained off and on a little while we waited, but nothing major. It was one of those rains where the sun is still shining - which according to the lady in front of us in line means that the Devil is beating his wife (Jade and I both thought at first that she said it meant the Devil was beating off...and were somewhat alarmed that a 60 year old woman would tell us something like that!).
We wound around outside the castle and then up through all of the steps inside. Near the top it was ridiculous. The stairway just kept getting steeper and narrower, and by the very top it was pretty much vertical. I was hanging on for dear life to the rope that was there for a handrail, while trying to keep one hand on my camera so it didn't go plummeting down to the bottom. But we made it up there. The view from the top was awesome. We kissed the Blarney Stone (gift of eloquence, my ass) and headed back down. Thankfully the stairway down wasn't nearly as bad as the one we went up.
After a quick stop in town for stamps so I could mail postcards, we packed up the car and headed west to the Lakes of Killarney. We didn't realize before we got there just how big the lakes or the park would be. We parked near one of them - I have no idea which, and wandered around for a couple of hours. There were some breathtaking views, though it was a bit cloudy out so we couldn't see the mountains around the lake clearly.
While we were walking through the park, we came across Muckross Abbey, completely by accident. I'd never even heard of the place but it ended up being a blast. It was the first place we'd been that wasn't a regular tourist attraction. There were no tours or anything, and we were able to just wander around the entire thing, even upstairs. It reminded me a bit of Hogwarts, which was really cool.
We were heading back to the car after that when it started pouring. We'd initially considered going to at least one of the other lakes, but we were cold and drenched and weren't sure when the rain would stop, so we continued along for the day. Our next destination wasn't a stop really; we just went on a drive around the Dingle Peninsula. It's a very scenic drive with a lot of spectacular views, so we would randomly pull over, or I'd take pictures out the window (I did that a lot, all week...I was surprised how well some of the pictures actually turned out).
We were going to go one more place that day, but by the time we were done driving around the peninsula it was getting a bit late (and the place closed at 8pm) so we decided to save it for the following morning. We headed to our second hotel, the Auburn Lodge Hotel in Ennis. It was a nice place, but it was a bit odd. We had to walk down a ton of hallways to find our room, and it reminded us of the hotel from The Shining. I seriously expected those creepy twin girls to be waiting for me when I turned the corner. And with that, I'll leave you with a video we made getting to our hotel room (again, sorry for the watermark, though I managed to get the quality to be much better this time...). Pictures will be posted soon.
1. Blarney Castle
2. A view from the top of Blarney Castle
3. The Lakes of Killarney - again, not sure which one
4. Muckross Abbey
5. One random picture from the Dingle Peninsula