At 2:00 in the morning we boarded the ferry bound for Rosslare, Ireland. We arrived in Rosslare at 6:30 for breakfast at a hotel right by the port. Right as we were finishing up out breakfast, the sun began to rise and so, naturally, everyone went out to the bluffs to take pictures of the coastal sunrise.
Of course, the sunrise was much more beautiful than my photograph (or even my camera) could ever capture.
Next, we boarded the coach again and headed for the town of Blarney to see Blarney Castle and be tourists. It was about a 2.5 hour drive and we arrived in Blarney at noon and ate lunch on the castle grounds. The lunch was, of course, the infamous sack lunches provided by the most excellent chefs at Harlaxton Manor of PB and J. We had fun feeding a little feathered friend our crackers that had fruit in them. After our lunch, we walked to the castle and prepared for the ascent to the Blarney Stone. Or, rather, Veronica and I prepared for the ascent. I soon discovered that the "stairs" were extremely narrow and tight-winding spiral that was accompanied by a rope to help pull yourself up. Brilliant, right? It was worse once we got up there to kiss the darn stone, though. A fear of heights isn't very helpful when you're leaning over a wall backwards to kiss a stone that's some 100 m above the ground. Plus, I had to pay 13 US dollars for a picture of me puckering up. Of course, once I was back on the ground looking up at where I had been, I was awfully proud of myself.
After seeing the castle, we headed back into the town of Blarney for a bit of souvenir shopping. We went into the Blarney Mills place, but everything there was so expensive that if I had bought something I would have had maybe 20 of the 80 euro I'd taken out left for the rest of the trip. So, instead, I bought a couple of little souvenirs for the family at a cheaper place and also got myself a St. Patrick rosary. The one that I really wanted had shamrocks on the beads, but it was closer to 20 euro, so I settled for one with just simple green beads. I like it a lot, though, and now I have a rosary at school.
Along about 4:00 we re-boarded the bus and headed for Killarney, which is a fairly charming large-sized town, although it was a bit expensive. Plus, all of the shops (besides restaurants, etc) closed at 6:00 for the night. We had dinner at a cheap pizzeria-type place, which wasn't too bad and we certainly got enough food for our money. I paid 6 euro for an entire cod with my fish and chips. Afterwards, we went down the street to McSweeny's Bar and Restaurant for dessert and a few drinks. I didn't actually drink anything; but I did have plenty of the Death by Chocolate (a.k.a the best chocolate cake I've had since I got here) that I split with Carly. If you go to Killarney, I highly recommend McSweeny's. Then, we headed back to our hotel rooms. Apparently those of us staying at Murphy's B&B got the better end of the stick, even though we only got 5 channels on the TV and there were hole in the ceiling and scorch marks around the smoke detector.
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