Cork & Ring of Kerry

Monday, July 2, 2012

My wonderful friend Mags invited us to visit her home town of Cork this past weekend.  I had driven through the city on my way to see the Blarney Stone, but I didn't actually get to stop and see the city itself.

We decided to leave around 4pm on Friday.  Anyone who lives in or around a city (or has ever been to a city) will know that this was silly of us.  It took us about 4.5 hours to do what we could have done in less than three.  Luckily it's a scenic drive and we had each other to keep ourselves entertained.

Because we arrived later than planned, we decided that our best option was to buy a bottle of wine and spend the evening chatting on the couch.  After a long day of driving this was the perfect way to end the evening.

We woke up fairly early on Saturday to pick up a few more friends at the bus stop and then we hit the road to see the Ring of Kerry.  The Ring of Kerry is a scenic 110 mile loop around the county of Kerry.  From the road there are some amazing views of the sea along with mountains, cliffs, and lots of sheep.  We were also able to make stops in several quintessential Irish villages along the way.


I'm not sure how long the loop took us but we eventually made our way into the city centre of Cork. We had some dinner and a quick drink at a very interesting cocktail bar with some highly entertaining patrons.  If the music wasn't blasting out my ear drums I could have easily sat there and watched those people for a few hours.

On Sunday, before making our way to the bus back to Dublin, we visited the Church of Saint Anne which houses the Bells of Shandon.  I had never heard of these bells and, because we were traveling with a local, I hadn't even bothered to look at a guide book.  After entering this old church we were given plastic ear muffs and were warned to make sure we wore them past the third floor.  At this point I still didn't realize what we were doing but after ascending some stairs we were met with eight ropes.  Each rope was attached to a bell high above and we were able to pull each one to make it ring.  They even provided a little song book so we could attempt to make a real song!  I thought it was great.

From there we continued up a few more floors until we were basically in the bells.  Finally, at the top of the tower, we were able to go outside and get an amazing view of the entire city.  On the way back down we encountered some two way traffic on the narrow stairs and had to take refuge under one of the giant bells.  Of course a group of people on the floors below decided that was the perfect time to attempt playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy." I would have enjoyed the music much more if I wasn't two inches away from getting scalped by a six ton bell.  

(Ironically they played Amazing Grace just moments before our near death experience under the bells)
video
Payback time!
Cork City

11 comments:

  1. What lovely photos! I'd love to visit Cork, or Dublin for that matter. Just found your blog from the gfc hop and following along on your adventures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would highly recommend both Cork and Dublin if you ever get the chance to visit! Thanks for the follow!

      Delete
  2. Oh my gosh jealous!! I've always wanted to visit Ireland and your pictures are making the urge worse! ;) LOVE the green especially since I live in a fracking desert (Arizona) and can't wait to hear more from you!

    Came from the blog hop!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How beautiful, I would love to visit Ireland someday. I am a new follower from the GFC blog hop. And I am so excited to follow along your adventures.

    Morgan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found my blog! If you ever get an opportunity to visit Ireland take it!

      Delete
  4. Here from the blog hop (and followeing!)
    Love,
    Elisabeth
    i'd love for you to say hi over at: lavitaebella-elisabeth.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome! I hope you enjoy my blog. I'm off to check out yours now!

      Delete
  5. Lovely photos!! I have been to Ireland many times (my other half is Irish) but never to Cork so far.

    It's such a beautiful place.

    Sarah
    http://acatlikecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk

    ps Here from the GFC blog hop!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really love it! I'm going to be sad to leave at the end of August.

      Delete
  6. Beautiful photos! I've always wanted to visit Ireland, and seeing these pictures just makes me want to go there even more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is an amazing place. There are very few places I'd recommend more!

      Delete