Irish Honeymoon: Stop 5 – The Blarney Stone and Cork

The next morning we headed to Cork which was unlike any city we had visited so far. It was very industrial, much more urban, and an absolute maze to navigate. We stayed at Hotel Isaacs, which was in a good location, but a nightmare for parking and the rooms were pretty average. Once we got all checked-in, we headed to the Blarney Castle to cross “Kissing the Blarney Stone” off our to do list and explore Druid’s Circle. The grounds of the Blarney Castle were beautiful and the castle was huge. We climbed the many stairs to the top of the castle, hung upside down, and kissed the stone. The legend is that once kissed, the stone bestows the gift of eloquence. Now if only there were stones for gracefulness and patience…

After this the Husband wanted to stop to visit the City Gaol in Cork, the historic prison that is now a museum. (He did not get any objections from me because I have a fascination with almost all things prison related – I seriously DVR like 7 crime shows a week). It was a really neat tour (though fairly creepy). But Ireland has such a tumultuous political history that there were a lot of really interesting stories being retold about why the prisoners were there and how they were treated.

Their fake prison guards and prisoners looked like zombies. Shudder.

We then went to spruce ourselves up a little and headed to an excellent dinner at Cornstore. This was a restaurant the Husband found/searched for after he discovered chateaubriand at my birthday dinner. So when he heard this place had it, we of course had to go, but I’m so glad we did. The food was awesome, the décor was amazing and it was right in the mix of things. I was admittedly not crazy about Cork at first, but it had a pretty awesome nightlife. We tried several pubs after dinner and heard some great live music.

The next morning I wanted to punch my new Husband in the stomach because he made me get up at 7am to go watch the Ireland v. Italy rugby game. The Husband is a new but avid rugby fan and he wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to watch his favorite team in their home country with their home fans even if it was 7am. So we went to a pub/sports bar a few blocks away, had some tea and an Irish breakfast and cheered them on. (By the way the bar was packed and we barely got a seat even that early in the morning. I’m very thankful that college football doesn’t start that early).

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