Tourist trap #2: Blarney. As we already know, I generally find castles to be pretty wicked, and Blarney Castle, though overrun by site-seers of every shape and size, was no exception. It was older and bigger than Bunratty Castle, less “renovated,” and a larger percent of it was open to the public. It was pretty spectacular. If there’s a next time, I’ll have to bring a flashlight to explore the dungeon, which turned pitch black about 6 feet in.
So I’ll admit that my cynicism toward visiting such a popular location melted in the castle interior. It reconstituted upon arrival at our next stop, the Blarney Woolen Mills, a glorified souvenir stand with a specialty in wool products, ceramics and crystal. My mom and sister were in heaven.
Traffic around the castle and Mills was somewhat nightmarish. I recalled a warning I had received to steer clear of Blarney.
Another pub tonight, Blair’s Inn. Friendly people, as I’ve found is usually the case. The owner explained the legend behind the town’s name, which basically originated in a conversation between the queen and the guy who owned the castle. She demanded taxes from him, and he replied with something like, “That’s a load of blarney.” Whatever. At 10:00 PM there were still traces of daylight in the sky.
Tomorrow we leave for Dublin, my most anticipated part of the trip.
Stuck in my head: Iron Maiden – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”