Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day in Cork with Paddy Wagon Adventures

For Valentine's Day this year we headed south by train to the second largest city in Ireland, Cork City!  It was a short two night, three day trip, which was plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with the bustling, youthful town.  With our time ticking down here in Ireland, we are trying to take all the last trips around this beautiful country while we still have the chance.  We knew we couldn't leave Ireland without partaking in a cheesy, tourist trap tour, so with enthusiasm, we booked a day trip with Paddy Wagon Tours to Blarney Castle and Cobh.  

Upon boarding our bus, our driver energetically greeted us in his thick Cork accent.  As we drove toward Blarney, he gave us the history of all that we passed and saw along the way. Upon arriving at Blarney Castle, Ross and I deliberated for quite some time as to whether or not we were actually going to take the risk of kissing the Blarney Stone.  I mean, who wants to contract a lip fungus?!  Hundreds of thousands of tourists have kissed this same spot, but we agreed that we had to take the risk and so we went for it.  And woohoo for doing it, we won a box of Butler's chocolates as the lucky Valentine's Day, ?th people to kiss the stone.  We must have been doubly lucky that day, because neither of us discovered anything funky on our lips the next day.  Although that might have been due to the fact that we immediately scrubbed our lips with warm, soupy water after the big smooch! :)  All that to say, there was no harm done, and we've a greatmemory in our pockets!

Next, we re-boarded our bus and headed to Cobh, the last port of call for emigrants heading to America during the Potato Famine, as well as the those aboard the Titanic.  It was a colorful, seaside town, with many historic museums to choose from.  

We ended our evening with a delicious meal together.  All in all, Cork was a pleasant town for a weekend visit.

Beautiful sunrise in Cork City

Waiting for our tour bus to leave
The cheesier the better as we fully embraced the cliche bus tour!

Walking up to Blarney Castle

We're amped to get a lip fungus!

Puckered up!
Big winners!

I did it and have the gift of the gab to prove it!
Icky icky!  Time to wash those lips!

The hole you see at the very top is where you lean from to kiss the Blarney Stone

The current, private residence of the family who owns Blarney Castle

View from the top of Blarney Castle

Cobh's angled houses

St. Coleman's Cathedral, Cobh

View of the last port of call for the Titanic before it sank

A statue commemorating all the emigrants who left from Cobh to make a new life in America

Titanic Museum

Colorful Cobh City

The last view for those on the Titanic and emigrants moving to America

Cobh Harbor Ships