We were wide awake and decided that maybe a bus tour would be fun so we hurried up and got ready. The only horribly awkward and sad part was that Chris's belongings are in a cubby under the bed (locked for safe keeping) and whenever he pulls it out... all you here is S-C-R-E-A-C-H. Everyone in the room either rolled over or put pillows over their heads :/ Sorry!!
When we left the hostel, the sun was just barely starting to come up. Even the coffee shops weren't open yet. We walked all the way to the Dublin Tourism Centre that we passed yesterday, and they weren't open. All that walking at dawn and we wouldn't even be able to get on a tourbus. Just in case, we walked around to the Christ Church and saw a bunch of buses and people waiting. We asked if we could get on the bus to Blarney Castle and Cork and the tour guide, Tony, asked for the gift of 5 minutes to see if his other passengers would show. To our luck, they didn't!! We were crammed in this little retro tourbus, with aqua carpeting all over the seats and cieling that only seats about 16 people. What does our dear tour guide do about 3 minutes after leaving? He stops at a little store for a drink and a snack. He bought some Werthers Originals and passed them around to everyone. About five minutes later, he stopped by the paperboy and got papers for the "loong rayde" ;)
|Us on the bus to Cork & Blarney Castle|
Do you know why Ireland is SO green?
Because it never snows, there's only about six days of sun per year, and it rains nearly twice a day, every day. Tourguide Tony is 38 years old and he said he saw snow for the first time in Ireland last year and the whole city shut down for two weeks. No one had snow plows or salt, cars couldn't drive, businesses were closed.
Can you believe that?
Here is a video of the incredible countryside :)
First stop was Blarney Castle - Home of the Blarney Stone! We walked around the Poison Garden where they had Mandrake, which according to folklore, the screeches from pulling up the root are fatal (remember Harry Potter?). They also had Wolfsbane and Belladonna. They were also supposed to have Cannibas, but we found that the Irish Garda Police had confiscated it:
Here is our little video going up to the Blarney Stone. Sorry for the silly recording skills... Hopefully by the end of the trip, I'll be a little more professional about it ;)
According to the legend, whoever kisses the stone is blessed with the gift of gab for seven years. That seems fair after the narrow 100 step winding staircase you had to work up! My next date with the stone will be on 9/8/2018.. :)
Something else we learned, is that there is a difference between blarney and bologna. Blarney is flattery laid on just thin enough to touch your lips, therefore giving you the gift of gab; the gift of flattery and eloquence and ever-persuasiveness. Bologna is flattery laid on so thick it's just plain rude.
We saw this and thought of Erin.... obviously :)
Next stop was Cork, where the majority actually do speak Irish. We ate lunch at a pub - huge bacon cheeseburgers! One piece of advice: DO NOT try the English Mustard >_< It's like tobasco sauce mixed with mustard seeds. Afterwards, we went to the English Market, a.k.a. the black market for any kind of weirdy meat, fish, or poultry. Supposedly you can buy Kangaroo, Squid, Liver, Black Sausage (?), and even whole pigs heads labeled as "Pet Food".
During our little market adventure, we walked around with Deena. She was on our tourbus. She's from Australia and she's been traveling for months now BY HERSELF. She's already been to Jerusalem and the Middle East. She's a brave girl and from what she said, the world isn't as scary as everyone makes it out to be :)
Afterwards, we went to the Rock of Cashel. To be honest, we're still trying to figure out what it even is.. or what the importance of it is. What we do know is that it's from medieval times and here was a beautiful view from the top.
On the bus ride home, we stopped at a gas station to stretch our legs. I could see that Chris was grumpy, sleepy, hungry, and thirsty.. and what cheers him up more than anything on this planet?!
That's right. Snacks! Dublin Style.
A few things we learned today: white coffee means coffee with creamer - order anything else, and it tastes like water mixed with lumpy coffee grounds. All Irish exit signs consist of a green sign with a little white man running towards a little white door. Do not ask for the bathroom, ask for the TOILET.
One last thing.. a little message from our favorite tourguide.
Alicia & Chris