Thursday, June 27, 2013
Rock of Cashel
We woke up in Killarney. After a long day, I was ready for some good news today. After waking up, I decided to go figure out the baggage situation. I went downstairs to ask to use the phone, and I called the Shannon Airport. They knew it was me since I had called them twice now. After calling them and giving them the address to deliver the bags to in Dublin, we all had breakfast together. The breakfasts here are always toast with jam and cereal . Today they had apples, so I had one of those as well. After that, I called both Blarney Castle and Rock of Cashel to confirm our visits. We drove to Blarney. The line at Blarney was about an hour and half. We ran into a woman from England who had a long-time wish to kiss the stone. She didn’t get to kiss it since the line was too long. We were waiting in the line for about an hour and a half. We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to kiss the actual stone, so I kissed several stones in between. I was in line with a couple of people from my group. We were all very eager to get the gift of the gab. The castle itself had a lot of winding stairs and some interesting rooms. Everything in Ireland points to a past where people were midgets. It seems like every step, every bed, and every room is just smaller. I imagine that our level of nutrition has lead to increased height and weight. We had lunch at the Castle before heading out for Rock of Cashel.
Rock of Cashel has been one of my favorite things that we have seen so far in Ireland. It was a beautiful church with some ribbed vaulting, beautiful windows, and a lovely view of the countryside. A few of us decided to walk down to the ruins of a Sisteritian Abbey from the 13th century. It is amazing to think how old everything here is. We got some great pictures. And made some new friends (namely a cow).
After Rock of Cashel, we began the long trek to Dublin. It was about a two hour ride. The first thing you will notice about Dublin is its size. It is a larger city than anyplace we have been. There are lots of businesses and hostels, pubs and grocery stores. I arrived at Jacobs Inn to find that my bags had been delivered! I have been waiting for several days to be able to shave; I was starting to grow a beard. I finally shaved it off tonight after a dinner of beef stew at the local pub- it was delicious! It had Irish beef, potatoes, carrots, and peas. The woman at the bar was amused when we asked to get a picture of us with our glasses full of water rather than Guinness, the local beer of Ireland. She was teasing the other boy on the study abroad who asked her about one of items on the menu. After our dinner at the nearby pub, we went walking around. Dublin reminds me a lot of New York. Diverse, large, and very much city-like. As for now, I think it is time for me to hit the hay and prepare to see the Book of Kells tomorrow!