Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ireland Part 4

Blarney Castle, County Cork

Friday morning, we got up a little late and ate breakfast and headed out. It was our first overcast day. It started off nice in Dublin, but the further south we went, the grayer it got. we arrived around lunchtime in Blarney, just in time for it to rain. :( So we ate at the restaurant at the Blarney Woolen Mills (Joe had Irish Stew, and I had a YUMMY stuffed chicken - I even ate cabbage!!). Afterwards, it was still raining, so we ducked inside Blarney Woolen Mills for some shopping. We made a few purchases and by that time it was not raining anymore, so we headed to Blarney Castle. 

It was 20 euro to enter, and we walked in with maps in hand. The landscape was similar to that of Frederick Law Olmstead's park like feel of the Biltmore Estate's azalea garden, minus the azaleas. 

Around the first bend, the top of the tower could be seen peeking out from behind the trees.

As we approached, more of the castle could be seen. The fall colors were starting to peek through the leaves.

This was the side of the castle. The smaller window is where the guard dogs lived. The Larger door was to the dungeon and the well. It was very important for the castle to have a well running into it so that water could be obtained during a seige. The middle door was for the guardsmen.
From here, you can see the sheer size of the castle. the rock wall is 30 meters high and was where the rock was quarried for the castle. You can clearly see the Earl's bedroom window, the smaller light windows, double windows (near the top) as well as the garderobe shoots.
A closer view of the Earl's bedroom window. Due to it's size and, i complexity of design it showed others that the Earl was very wealthy. 

Joe peeked into the dungeon entrance. We decided against going there since we needed as much daylight as possible to do what we wanted to do. 

The front of the castle. You can look up and see the hole where the Blarney stone is.
oops, I forgot to rotate!! You can see the hole. Notice there are only two bars keeping you from falling through.
The Lord of our manor looking out from the Earl's bedroom window.
The Lady of the Keep. ;)
The lower portion is the family room, and the upper portion is the Great Hall. Notice the outcroppings where the floor joists came out.
A view from the top! Those cows were pretty far away!!
You can see how tiny the stairs were if Joe had to squeeze out of them. they were the servants stairs and are pretty claustrophobic in nature. WE were so glad to go down the family stairs.
the Walled Garden
Looking down from the top on the sheer side of the castle.

More stairs???
I love the "park like" feel of the landscaping.
What the top of the castle looks like
Here is where you kiss the Blarney stone. Notice the person laying down (you can see their legs)
We did it! And we've got it all on film!! Hope we can get the video uploaded to blogger soon.

Waterford, Co. Waterford

We tried to make it to Waterford before the crystal factory closed, but we were unable to. We got some nice shots at dusk of Waterford. 

The streets at night. There were a TON of college kids and high schoolers out shopping. We ate at a wonderful Indian restaurant and headed back to Dublin. The M was deserted as Ireland and Northern Ireland were playing in soccer games that night. We made it back to Dublin at almost 10pm, not bad for a full day.


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