Blarney - Yeah.. I friggin Kissed it...
Trip Start Apr 01, 2007
51Trip End Ongoing
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So, to get it out of the way first - yeah, I kissed the Blarney stone.. there is a tourist trap that they milk you for everything around the corner. The castle is all broken-ass (not just old, it's just a rubble heap really) and you kiss the blessed stone (that has some lore behind it). What I found hilarious, was that it was just one part of the stone wall in the Blarney castle that is blessed with the 'gift of the gab', yet in the gift shop that they sell 'certified stone from Blarney that (bla bla bla bla)' as a souvenier. Yep, selling people useless rocks. Still trendy to do and it works.
So yeah.. now that I have the negative stuff out of the way, the views on the coastline have been amazing, and the local pub experiences have been different from what I anticipated - which leads me to the philosophy that - if you don't expect ANYTHING, everything you experience has a greater chance of being a good experience. The bigger the hype, the bigger the dissapointment. This is a lesson everyone knows, but I have realized something obvious - people can tell you so many lessons so often (i.e. parents), but until you go through the motions yourself, you just ain't going to get it. Maybe this is why parents struggle so much with raising their kids. I hammer the kids that come into the shop about so much and give them hell, and then I clue into this same realization and I back off on the 'grumpy stick' a little bit.
So yeah.. We have been on a 6 day tour of the middle to south of Ireland, seeing pubs, sights, vistas and all the food and drink I can jam in my belly for on par for price as everything in Canada, times 1.6. So yeah, drinks and food get a leeeeetle bit pricey here.
My tour is definitely a quirky bunch.. we have 13 people. 4 Aussie ladies, a little older, 2 of them play for the 'other side'. Oh yeah, and our bus driver is also a member of the 'bun club'. Our guide is an Irish lass, and we have 1 yank who is not the most talkative of all of them. Another Aussie bloke, an Italian lady, 3 Austrians and a happy go lucky German - Ollie. Well, they are all not named Ollie, just the last one. :)
We have had a fun time and interesting things have happened. But, we have toured many sites, went to many a pub and swilled many, many, many pints of Guinness. We have toured distilleries which I taster 70% / alc whiskey... SMOOOTH... that stuff burned my belly for a good hour afterwards, but I drank over 4oz of this pure firewater as I and the other Aussie bloke volunteered for the 'taste testing'.... it was a feckin' grand time, as they say here.
I could ramble for hours on the things that I have done here, but I don't know what you guys will put yourselves through reading this... hell, I don't know if you can even tolerate what I write here now! So if you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me on what you would like to read about.
We are touring until Sat night, where me and Scotty fly off to France, to Normandy region. This will commence our WWII saga of travels. We are to stay in a small place called 'Le Havre', which is close to the region..
On a side note, I have already made contacts such as an ecclectic old German man named Gerd who owns a cottage in Franksburg(?) Germany who invited me to stay, Irish lass' here who I now have a place to stay in Dublin, a French-Canadian Hostel receptionist who I have gone out on several nights to live up the nightlife, and now a rowdy, hilarious and amazing bunch of Aussie ladies that I will probably stay in good contact with as they are the prime examples of amazing people who I admire and respect. They celebrated their 10th 'Wedding' anniversary together here while in our company, and we hang out together for a good dose of the trip, and get along amazingly well. They are positive people who are travellers at heart and have fantastic morals - these are the people I love surrounding myself with. (They are the initiators of the Nudey run, and I couldn't dissapoint them.... haha)..
Well.. I would ramble on and on, but I jetted out from the group while they are seeing another 'rock mess' (ie Irish Castle), and I thought I would finish up and catch up on the entries... The map pins may be a little screwy as the website is giving me a little hell, but I will sort it out soon. If you see 'Map pin only' in the desc, you can just skip that one as it is just there to plant my trip path on the map. We are going to do a little bit more sight seeing and it is off to party it up again tonight! I have been on a non-stop drinking binge this trip, and it is costing me a fortune, but it is fan-feckin-tastic... Tonight is the night to end all nights!!
One thing I may have mentioned before, is that the one amazing thing travelling does do (only if you want it to), is tear you out of your shell and get you into the mix. I found that in the past, I was the person in the back of the group, just following along - now, I am leading... I am still learning how to handle myself, but It's only been a short period of time, but I couldn't imagine any better trial by fire, than this... life is grand... :D