Saturday, May 19, 2012
Saturday's Irish Hunk of the Day!
I felt like taking a nap while all these pictures were uploading. Very long day! We started at 9 and didn't get home until 7. I think I can still see well enough to blog...
The day began with a drive from Sneem through Kenmare toward Cork for our first stop at Blarney Castle.This is taken from the bridge over the small river that runs through the castle grounds.
The weather was chilly and rainy, which suited the castle very well. It looks like there's all kinds of stuff inside, but the floors are mostly gone, leaving only the spiral staircases to climb up to the top and the outer walls.
I thought this one of the guard tower turned out rather well--possibly because for once, I actually took the time to frame the shot.
But then, like everything else in Ireland, it's very difficult to take a bad picture of it.
Instead of writing a synopsis of what this says, I'm posting a picture of the sign. You KNOW how writers hate writing synopses. If you click on the picture, you should be able to read it.
The guard tower.
The view from the top.
The view of the poison garden. Believe it or not, they actually had some marijuana growing in a cage there--along with several other plants that I've grown in my garden, like foxglove, wormwood, and lupines.
And yes, I did kiss the Blarney Stone. I even have a picture and a certificate to prove it. Mike and I both kissed the stone, but Budley and Sam opted out. You have to lie down on your back and pull yourself out with the bars, kiss the stone, and then they drag you back out. The line to kiss the stone backs up all the way down the staircase to the entrance. If you weren't kissing the stone, the tour would've been a lot faster.
This is the kind of staircase you have to climb up to get to the top. Very steep, very narrow, and definitely not for those with bad knees or claustrophobia!
After touring the castle, we strolled around the grounds. This is a red cedar from America, about 100 years old.
Bluebells on the grounds of Blarney Castle.
Blarney House, which was clearly built in a later era than the castle. We were too late for a tour and didn't feel like waiting around in the rain for the next one, so we went to the Stable Yard Cafe for some hot tea and Irish coffee instead.
A trip to the restroom revealed the stable area, which only proved that horses of the 18th century were better housed than a lot of people!
After leaving the castled, we went down the street to the Blarney Castle Hotel Bar for lunch.
Then we took a drive to Midleton to the Jameson distillery. Budley is a Jameson fan, and this was the one place he wanted to be sure to visit.
This is the aqueduct and waterwheel system that provided power to the gristmill until 1975.
And this is the distilling tank, which is the largest in the world.
After the tour, they asked for volunteers. I volunteered, and we did a taste test between Johnny Walker Red, Jack Daniels, and Jameson. We all pretty much agreed that the Jameson was smoother. For volunteering, I received a certificate making me an official whiskey taster!
Not sure I'm truly qualified, particularly since I prefer Quervo Gold Tequila!
Okay, ladies. I'm sure you ALL qualify as official YD tasters. Here's one to test your palate. Is he Irish, or is he not?