Ireland: Dublin, Cork, Blarney, and Kerry
I became an Irish citizen only in the past year and figured I should actually spend some time there.
I left Edinburgh and headed to Dublin where I spent a few days with my mother’s cousin. I ventured around Dublin, which I had been to a few times before and also actually planned ahead for once in my travel life and applied for a Russian visa, a relatively easy process I will recount at a later date. During my week or so in Dublin, my second cousin took me to Wicklow where we went on a nice day hike and I also watched all of Stranger Things which did not impress me much (#ShaniaTwain).
My cousin also took me to Howth, which is just north of Dublin, where we had a meal with my great aunt and uncle and walked around the nice seaside town.
I then left Dublin for Cork and from there I visited Blarney and Cobh with a tour group. I usually dislikes guided tours but in this case it would be the easiest way to see all the things I wanted to see without a car. I visited Blarney Castle, where I kissed the Blarney stone, as you do, and also worried about what diseases I might have caught. Luckily, I have remained healthy despite engaging in the world’s least hygienic tourist attraction. The tour also brought me to Cobh, formerly Cove and formerly Queenstown. The port served as the last stop before the Titanic’s only journey and I visited a “Titanic Experience” museum which was everything I hoped for and more. The museum treats the guests like passengers on the Titanic and even provides them with the identity of a passenger who may or may not have survived the sinking. After going through the boarding process, viewing the different types of cabins and meal rooms, and even standing where passengers stood before embarking on their journey, the visitors find themselves in a room with loads of information including the fate of the passenger on their ticket. The museum was super interesting and I recommend a visit if anyone finds themselves in Cobh.
After another night in Cork, I visited Killarney in County Kerry. Visiting County Kerry was quite the experience. Growing up, I could never find monogrammed stickers, necklaces, mini license plates, pens, pencils, or anything with my name, which particularly annoyed me because my sister Jennifer could always find her name. Never having seen my name on almost anything, I felt like I starred in a crazy version of the Truman Show while in Kerry. I do not have many photos due to a poorly timed and very annoying stupid technological disaster but saw signs for Kerry Radio, Kerry Pharmacy, Kerry Bookstore, Kerry Pub, Kerry on every license plate, not just mini novelty ones, Kerry football team, Kerry hats, Kerry shirts, Kerry socks, Kerry stuffed sheep, Kerry magnets, Kerry bottle openers, Kerry aprons, Kerry postcards, and Kerry playing cards, which I purchased and love to show to people when they suggest card/drinking games.
I signed up for another group tour which took me around the Ring of Kerry, which is the highway that circles the beautiful Kerry peninsula. Again, I do not have many photos but I can assure one that Kerry is absolutely beautiful and definitely worth a visit if one ever finds oneself in Ireland.
I finished her tour of Kerry and headed to Galway, which I would use as a base for more travels around Ireland.