A Bit of Blarney, Castle and Gardens
The Castle Hotel in Maccroom was known for its buffet breakfast, so we took a chance.
It was delicious! Sally and I treated ourselves to the little mason jars with local yogurt with raspberries. I added a plate of local cheeses and scones with honey and walnuts – yummy! Then out the door we hurried, we made it to Blarney Castle before 10:30 not crowded at all. The guys went inside the Castle to climb to the top of the tower and kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Sally and I opted to explore the gardens surrounding the castle. We tried the underground cavern but it was so damp and stifling, not a place for 2 asthmatics, so we beat it out of there! The formal garden was pretty but the poison garden was fascinating. That was where the men found us, they decided to ditch waiting 2 hours to slowly climb the steps and kiss the stone. That’s OK; we’re full of blarney already! We spoke to a sweet young Chinese girl, who said “Let’s make a new tradition and kiss this stone here at ground level instead!”
We decided to walk along the river and take in more of the beautiful gardens. We saw a Fairy glen with walls made of moss and ferns and the Witch’s kitchen. The legend goes that a witch was captured stealing wood from the Lord of Blarney’s forest and she would be executed. But because she was a creature of magic, she turned herself into a stone so she could come back each night and light a fire in the Witch’s kitchen to warm her. The Fairy Glen was filled with weeping willow type trees and plush with soft moss and ferns, perfect for fairies’ frolics!
We left just as the crowds and tour buses were pulling into the place.
We skirted the city of Cork on the way to Dungarven and the an Senachai Pub. This thatch – covered Pub was a photo op for Mom and Dad Ward in 1984. We got a picture of Tom outside the Pub and then all enjoyed a wonderful lunch in their courtyard. We met the owner and I showed him the picture from Mom and Dad’s trip. He asked me to post it to their website so that his followers could see the improvements made since he took ownership. Then it was back into the car, we drove the rest of the afternoon because we were headed to the Vale of Avoca. This was another recreation of the Original Loga Saga crew in 1984.