UK & Ireland, Day 9: Kissing the Blarney Stone

Thursday, 6/2/16

Our flight out of Glasgow to Ireland was at 8:40 AM, so we were downstairs for breakfast as soon as it opened. I didn't have much of an appetite yet. :-P We weren't far from the airport [and the car drop-off location], which we had driven to the evening before for practice.
Normandy Hotel Breakfast
It always feels so old school to board the plane from the tarmac lol.  We were flying RyanAir, and the flight to Dublin was only an hour.
But then when we got to Dublin, everything started taking longer than we had planned. The lines for Immigration were long. The Immigration officer asked about our plans in Ireland, and Francisco roughly explained where we would be traveling. The guy laughed and said "the island's not THAT small." [He definitely underestimated us.]
We took the shuttle to pick up our rental car from Dollar Rent a Car. There was a long line at the checkout counter, so we had a sizable wait. We finally get the keys to the car, but we're told that we have to wait for another staff member to come around to take pictures of the car. We wait a while, and finally Francisco goes to find an employee who tells him that the system is broken and they're working on bringing it back up. Growing increasingly impatient, we sit for another half-hour until I finally manage to corral a guy to get us situated so we can finally leave. Only then does Francisco attempt to start the car and realize he has no idea how to turn it on. I flag down the guy again to say that we don't know how to start the car. The car was almost like a pseudo-manual, so you had to have the parking brake engaged and the car in neutral to start it. Not exactly the most intuitive process, but finally we were ready to hit the road in our little Skoda Citigo - unfortunately, we were at least a full hour behind schedule with all of these delays.
Skoda Citigo
We grabbed a sandwich and some water at a gas station.
With such limited time, we essentially did a drive-by of Kilkenny Castle and the Rock of Cashel, so we really only had one major attraction for the day.
Kilkenny Castle
And that was Blarney Castle House & Gardens.
Blarney Castle House & Gardens
These castles were perhaps not made for the broad-shouldered.
Francisco braved this precarious position to kiss the Blarney Stone, which is set in the wall below the battlements. Once kissed, the stone bestows the gift of eloquence.  I can be a bit of a germaphobe, so I decided I was perfectly okay with not putting my lips in the same place millions of other visitors have.
We set off to explore the rest of the grounds, which were pretty sizable.
They even have a cave on the premises.
We stopped at a Supermac's for dinner, an Irish fast food restaurant chain. We shared a Veggie Burger and some Garlic & Cheese Fries.
We stayed at a Travelodge in Limerick. The rooms were spacious and up-to-date, but with no air conditioning, we were thankful that we at least had two beds so we could space ourselves out. Interestingly enough, when we went to check out in the morning, the attendant asked if we had any feedback about our stay "besides air conditioning". That was literally on the tip of my tongue. She said they had applied for whatever permit that was necessary to have a/c, so hopefully they will have this up and running soon.  Truth be told, I don't think we stayed at a single place that had a/c, and we definitely could've used it.
Travelodge in Limerick


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