Travelogue: Ireland – Blarney, Cobh, and Cork

July 2022
Where We Stayed: Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City

We started the day with a trip to Blarney Castle – home of the famous Blarney Stone. The Blarney Stone is a block of limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab. The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. We trekked all the way up the claustrophobic spiral staircases to the top so Mike could smooch the stone (I said helllll no to this unsanitary experience)

After Blarney we headed to Cobh (pronounced “cove”, fyi). Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic, which sailed from there on April 14, 1912. It was also an embarkation point for hundreds of thousands of poor Irish men, women, and children headed to a new life in America. There was also a statue of Annie Moore as tribute to those who had to leave Ireland during the Famine years. Annie Moore became the first ever emigrant to be processed in Ellis Island — after she left Ireland in 1892 at age FIFTEEN with her two younger brothers. (though my further Google deep dive tells me her age was up for debate — 15… maybe 16… maybe 17… but no matter what, she was young)

We ended the day in Cork with a bit of shopping and a stop at a pub for a Guinness.
Blarney Castle

View from up top.
It is wild to me that people LIVED HERE at one time. And how cold and stinky and gross it must have been.
One theory about the stone.
Another theory about the stone.
There was no way I was gonna do this. But Mike did.  Gold star for Mike!
*cue ominous music*  And in case you’re wondering, because I was, a murder hole is a hole in the ceiling of a gateway or passageway in a fortification through which the defenders could fire, throw or pour harmful substances or objects such as rocks, arrows, scalding water, hot sand, quicklime, or boiling oil, down on attackers.
Looking up at the Blarney Stone
Welcome to Cobh and all things Titanic
Annie Moore and her brothers.
Fun fact: you’ll see palm trees in Ireland. I wasn’t expecting that, but they’re everywhere.
Colorful Cobh
The TREK to get this photo was one of the more physically demanding things I’ve done for a while. Long walk at what seemed like a 45-degree incline. It was insane!
Stopping to photograph flowers… and catch my breath, tbh.
Okay, look at that steep angle.  San Francisco’s got nothin’ on Cobh.
The former office for the White Star Line. Today the building houses the Titanic Experience Cobh, a heritage attraction.
Heartbreak Pier. This is THE pier. Not much left of it, but this is where people once boarded the Titanic and other ships leaving Cobh.
Welcome to Cork.
The most beautiful and perfect strawberries I’d ever seen.
Mike wanted a pic of the olives.
Hey it’s me!
Mike’s Guinness is so cute… just sittin’ there.
Everything is just cuter here.
We had dinner at our hotel with our tour group. The dessert looked like a face!