In the middle of November, a brisk and chilly weekend, Phil and I caught a plane to Ireland. It was my first trip to the Emerald Isle and Phils’ second – having previously been to Galway. Now, you’re humming Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl in your head. I am too.
For this trip we headed to Cork. The town itself is quaint yet bustling. The houses layer up the sides of a hill, painted in bright colours.
We stayed centrally and spent the first afternoon walking around the city exploring. I wouldn’t say it’s an action-packed city, but they were getting ready for Christmas with decorations and lights going up everywhere which seemed to have everyone buzzed.
The next day we caught a train to Cobh (pronounced Cove, not cob) – previously known as Queenstown (because Queen Victoria loved the seaside town) to explore and visit the Titanic experience. The Titanic experience was awesome – we learned a lot. Cobh was the last stop before the ship headed towards New York (which I never knew – a few British and Irish people actually got off at Cobh because they were already homesick!). At the start of the experience we were given a real person’s ticket and identity and had to follow their trip throughout, I was first class, naturally, and poor Phil was third. Needless to say, I survived and he didn’t.
After the history lesson we hit a small pub for a Guinness and a sit down. Five pints of Guinness later, I was off my face and starving. We’d eaten bags of chips while drinking but they did little (read: NOTHING) to help soak up the stout. Phil ran across the road and booked us a table for dinner. But honestly, I don’t remember much about the dinner. Except that we ordered a whole bottle of prosecco and I think I had one glass. Phil managed to finish it off because he doesn’t like waste but I have zero clue how he was still walking. I felt sozzled.
The next day, feeling slightly worse for wear (I was, Phil was still absolutely fine, how?!) I stocked up on coffee and we jumped on a bus to Blarney.
Both Blarney Castle and the surrounding gardens are beautiful. We got ourselves a recorded guide to share and listened as we strolled towards the castle. It was nice to do something so relaxed together. I often think that when you travel for a weekend it’s just go, go, go. You don’t stop and take in your surroundings.
The kissing of the Blarney Stone is an infamous act to give one the gift of the gab. Many writers have been to the top of Blarney Castle to do it. I know it’s all made up magic and storytelling, but ever since I kissed that Blarney Stone (terrifying act so it was) on November 19th, I have been a blogging machine. So I believe there’s some sort of magic in it.
It was a chilly day so after we walked through the gardens we stopped for a hot drink and the most amazing carrot cake ever.
I would definitely recommend Cork and the surrounding towns for a weekend getaway, the people were lovely and it wasn’t too busy this time of year. I’d love to go back and see more of Ireland.