day 11 -- cobh to limerick

we woke up to an absolutely beautiful sunrise over the harbor.

sunrise over cobh harbour

unfortunately it was raining again. good news is that the rain stopped after our breakfast. and we were back on the road.

we drove through cork city. briefly.

in/around cork

cork was about as lovely as newark, nj. so we continued on to blarney. alison had promised a partner at her law firm that she would kiss the blarney stone to get the gift of gab.

blarney castle - blarney

blarney castle, other than being an enormous tourist trap, was nearly as cool as trim castle. and the grounds were gorgeous. you must must must check out all the pics. the blarney stone, for those that do not know, is at the very top of the castle, on an outer precipice.

blarney castle - blarney

which means... first you must climb to the top of the castle on the very narrow, uneven, spiral staircases. it is a treacherous climb, and an even worse descent. once you reach the top, you must lay down on your back and lean over a wide gap between the castle and the outer wall over a considerable drop. luckily they have a kind man that sits there all day and holds on to you while you do this craziness. it is highly recommended that you tip him generously! eric and alison both braved any fear of heights and kissed the blarney stone. are we now more eloquent? who knows...

alison on the grounds - blarney castle - blarney

after making the descent we wandered the grounds for a bit, bought some postcards and headed away from the rest of the tourists.

we got back on the road, and heard on the radio that there was a bomb threat in dublin on the north end of o'connell street, near the gresham hotel where we had stayed. we were glad to have missed that - we are sure it made traffic even more of a nightmare! (there was no bomb...)

we passed through cork again and the murphy's brewery.

in/around cork

unfortunately we had been brewery'ed and distillery'ed out and decided not to stop.

we drove straight through to cashel, to visit the rock of cashel.

rock of cashel - cashel

the rock of cashel is an historic site in ireland's province of munster, county tipperary. the rock of cashel served as the traditional seat of the kings of munster for several hundred years prior to the norman invasion.

rock of cashel - cashel

the entire site is walled, and the grounds around the buildings are home to an extensive graveyard, which includes a number of high crosses. the ruins are extensive and you are given total access to the grounds.

rock of cashel - cashel

we spent a considerable amount of time here and took many photos.

after walking a bit around the town of cashel, we were back on the road.

in/around cashel

we drove through tipperary on our way to limerick, our destination for the night. limerick was much more urban than we thought it would be after all of our travels. we chose limerick for its close proximity to shannon and the airport. we arrived late and did not see much of the town other than driving through it to our hotel.

in/around limerick

it was our final night in ireland. we ended up staying in a clarion, a high-rise hotel that was a modern looking building sticking up like a sore thumb in this old city. it was the only big chain like hotel we stayed in for the entire honeymoon. although the spa in enfield was run by marriott, it was uniquely irish in that it was in an old manor house and very quaint. we suppose the clarion was a good transition back to manhattan life, but it didn't have much character to speak of. the room was incredibly nice and being on a high floor we had a great view of the city and the river shannon.

views from our room over the river shannon - clarion limerick - limerick

the evening was uneventful. we ordered room service and spent a good amount of time creatively packing all the things we picked up along our journeys. our plane departed around 900am in the morning, so the goal was to get some sleep, as we needed to be up very very early to drive to the airport in shannon. this called for room service and an early night. it was sad to know the trip was nearing its end.