We finally made our first trip to Ireland! Trying to see a representative portion of the country in six short days took a considerable amount of planning. We considered a road trip, but I was a bit nervous about driving on the opposite side of the road. After a lot of discussion, we decided to base ourselves out of Dublin and take a day trip from Dublin to other parts of the country every other day and leave the driving to someone else. We could get a taste of what Ireland had to offer and maybe even discover places we wanted to visit again.
One of the things everyone said we HAD to do while in Ireland was to kiss the Blarney Stone. My first thought was “why do people kiss the blarney stone?” I wasn’t sure I wanted to put my lips on something thousands of other people have kissed, but as a veteran traveler you have to be game for almost anything. Besides, we would be visiting a castle to kiss it and that is one place I think all kids like to explore.
The day after arriving in Dublin, we jumped on board a comfortable coach with Extreme Ireland to visit Blarney Castle and Cork. The day started off EARLY – with the bus leaving at 6:50am! We had a lot to pack into one day.
Our guide, Jennifer, greeted us and gave a brief itinerary for the day. I was thrilled to learn of a coffee stop planned about an hour into our drive as I was in desperate need of my morning caffeine. The apartment we rented didn’t have a coffee maker and none of the coffee shops opened before 7am. You do NOT want to be around me when I haven’t had coffee!
As we drove out of the city, Jennifer gave us a bit of Dublin history. Of course, some of that history included Guinness. In 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease. I thought maybe I had heard that number wrong. Who in their right mind signsa lease for 9,000 years? I did a google search the next day and sure enough, Mr. Guinness was an optimistic man. Only 8743 years left!