a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

Blarney and Kinsale

CK and FE stayed up way too late playing boardgames last night, so they bailed on the day. Since I had enjoyed my sleep, I went off with the group to Blarney Castle and Kinsale. I rode with Q_Goat and D_Mage, which was tons of fun and generally made sure I had a good time regardless of weather. Which was a good thing, since the first half of Blarney Castle was pretty much rain, rain and more rain. The grounds were pretty, as was the castle. This also was the only time we visited a castle with complete and distinct enter/path/exit markings in order to make the entire castle tour one-way traffic. I expect it was due to the pouring rain and timing, but there was no line when D_Mage went to kiss the Blarney Stone. (I did not do it, nor did anyone else in our little group. Blarney Bird Flu seemed like a bad idea to me.) The grounds of the castle included plenty of garden walk, in which we saw a huge interesting tree and a private house that was fantastic to admire from a distance. We decided on the longer lake walk, during which the weather cleared up somewhat. We ended with the Rock Close, which had lots of nifty stuff in it. The water garden, waterfall, dolmen, wishing steps, witches kitchen, druids cave, witches stone, druids circle, woodland walk, sentry post, sacrificial altar, and fairy glade were all on the official listing. We also enjoyed a fun tire swing and a wacky tree that had grown into the shape of a harp.

From Blarney Castle we drove down through Cork to Kinsale, a seaside town that offered a pretty view of boats, an interesting old church and cemetery, and another newer church. We ate in one of the local restaurants, where my miscellaneous fried fish dish had miscellaneous winners and one major loser. It tasted like salted smoked low tide. Ugh. Fortunately, we ate first and then went wandering, so my memories of Kinsale are more of the happy wander with the group than the wacky food. St. Multose’s Church was built in 1190 and is reputed to be on the site of an even earlier church. The cemetery was not huge, but was lovely and interesting in ways that are hard to describe. Desmond Castle was actually a customs house, so once you get over the “castle” label, it’s a pretty cool building. The nifty thing about the outside of the customs house is the obvious settling that the building is suffering, and the monitoring that someone is doing as a result. One other interesting thing that we encountered in Kinsale but that I did not catch in my photos was a pair of wandering golden lab dogs. They had almost a Where the Red Fern Grows feeling about them, in that they were obviously a pair, with a leader and a follower, and we encountered them twice in our wanderings through town.
Tags: otp, travel

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