Ireland: Day 3 (Blarney Castle Gardens)
The sprawling grounds at Blarney Castle are filled with beautiful gardens. A pity we did not have enough time nor good weather to see them all. But we did try. And what we saw was enough to satisfy - for the meantime. The visit here only made us want to return for another visit.
In the back we found the Blarney House which was closed for the season.
Around the time we were by the Blarney House, the sprinkle turned a little hard and we were forced to quit the survey of the grounds. On the way out we exited through the gift shop but we did not buy. Just outside the entrance there is another gift shop that I wanted to visit. However, the husband said we will have to check it out on the way back.
So we crossed the street to a line of stores one of which was a chocolate shop. I wanted to go in and sample some deliciousness, but husband reminded me that we have to maximize our daylight time, which was rapidly disappearing. We saw a sign for mill and thought best to see the mill first. As it turned out, what used to be a mill, now houses retail shops. Inside we found a local coffee chain, Insomnia, and a cup of coffee was much needed. After the brief coffee break, we browsed the merchandise and marveled at the woolen sweaters, but wasn't keen on buying something above my budget.
When we were ready to leave, it was very dark and damp. The chocolate shop I wanted to see earlier was already closed, so did the gift shop. As a matter of fact even the Blarney Castle parking lot was locked up. I got very worried. How can we get out of here? I did not see another way of getting in. However, there were 2 other cars in the parking lot and the people there were also wondering how we could all get out. Eventually, one of the cars figured out that the only way out right now is to drive wrong way in the side entrance, which was not locked up. And all of us exited that way.
Now going to back to Limerick from Galway was a real adventure. The GPS gave us direction to take a country lane and we missed the right turn. When we did that we had t drive the lane for a long distance. These are country lanes, single lanes in the middle of nowhere. More like a well worn path than a road where overgrown grasses and bushes line both sides. The husband was getting irritated, more like worried. I did not get why he was feeling that way. But he explained that should we blow a tire, because the country lane is more of a pebble path, we might be stuck here all night. It was dark and no help in sight. That's when I understood him. At the end of the long lane, the GPS instructed us to take another right and thankfully we did. But it took us to another long country lane until we reached the national road. It was so scary.
When we got back to Limerick, it was past dinner time. Someone referred us to the Curragower Pub across the Shannon River and St. John's Castle. The pub's dining area was full, but they had a covered outdoor seating with picnic tables and benches and open on one side that overlooks the river. Two of the tables were taken and just like us they want to be cold while eating, kidding!
The food is terrific. We ordered more food than we normally eat. Midway through dinner, people started coming out to smoke. Then we realized, that this was the smoking area. Oh well.
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