Sunday 9 September 2007

Part 3 - Cork

Now this is getting boring, Sunday was sunny too! We were planning to go and have brunch in Ballinspittle, the closest town with shops but we all got up rather late and by the time we had coffee etc we decided to just have breakfast at home. Of course with the sun shining and a whole day ahead of us we decided another trip to the beach was a good call. The girls wanted to go and swim in the gully that they had discovered on our first day so Malcolm took the newspaper, I took my latest book and off we went. The kids had a ball and so did we, it was warm in the sun and the beach was not that busy when we first got there. We sat on the rocks while the kids explored the rock pools and walked up and down the gully/stream. The tide was too low for the same fun as they had on day 1. Malcolm and I had 'spotted' a pub with great views on our first day out called the Speckled Door (ha ha) so we decidedto head their for lunch.As you can see it really was a spectacular day and the venue was not half bad either! We loved the view but sadly the food let us down a bit, the portions were big but the food had that rushed mass produced canteen style twist to it! We did discover a great cool drink for the kids though! We saw all these people drinking pint glasses of dark red juice and asked the waitress about it. She told us it was Finch's cordial and we ordered a taster and it was great! The girls each got a pint and it only cost 1 Euro each, so double bonus. After lunch we headed to Ballinspittle to get some drinks for the evening and their was a GAA all Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Kerry so Malcolm popped into the local pub and I took the girls for an ice cream. While we were sitting their Pat and Isabella arrived, small town....they needed some things from the shop for dinner and they told us to come home and watch the rest of the game. So after our ice cream we went to the pub to collect Malcolm but he had a full beer so we sat and kept him company until the sad conclusion of the game....Dublin lost! Then we set off home and the kids went back into the marsh for some more exploring and Isabella made the most divine pizzas for supper.

Monday, Pat and Isabella had to go to work and we woke to a cloudy day! We were actually not too worried about the weather because we were going into Cork to buy a belated wedding present and a thank you present for Pat and Isabella. After spending a few days with them we had a better idea of what they would use and the unanimous decision after all the great food were things for the kitchen! We wondered around the shops and found what we wanted and as we were done by 14h00 decided to go to Blarney Castle. I was really pleased about that as it was one of the things I had planned for the weekend and I thought that we would not get to do it when we had not done it by Monday! Also it is in my book "1000 places to visit before you die"so I can tick it off the list! And boy were we glad that we went! It really was a fantastic setting and our only regret was that we did not have more time as the little town of Blarney is so charming and we would have loved to have spent some time there too. To get to the top you go up a really windy stair case which gets narrower the higher you go. It was very busy and along the way there are rooms to stop in and have a look with plaques explaining what the rooms were used for as the castle is really a crumbling ruin! We all kissed the stone at the top, thought I would share Malcolm's gift of the gab with you all! Here is a selection of pictures, I think you can click on them to make them bigger. There are so many more pictures, but I think that this page is going to be a bit of a mess if i add anymore! But to summarise......if you come to Ireland, I think that Blarney should be onyour list of things to do! After a fabulous afternoon we head off to Ballinspittle for dinner at a pub called Hurleys. Isabella had a dinner at work so Pat joined us and we had a fantastic meal together, the food really was very good. After dinner Pat went to fetch Isabella and we went home to pack and get ready for an early morning departure. The kids did not enjoy our relaxed attitude on the way to Cork and asked that we drive straight home because they could not stomach the thought of a whole day in the car! We had a drink with our wonderful hosts when they got home and went to bed at a reasonable hour for an early start. When we woke up on Tuesday morning it was another great day AND the tide was in because of the full moon and we were treated to a great view ....

And that was our trip to Cork in a few nutshells! Thank you to Pat and Isabella who were great company and helped ensure that we had a relaxing break. We look forward to reciprocating in the near future!

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