My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

17 June 2009

Ireland Trip Day 3

Day 3 we left Dublin and headed to Blarney, via Kildare, Cashel, and Cobh (pronounced Cove). At Kildare, we visited the National Stud Farm. I had my doubts about how interesting this would be, but I was pleasantly surprised. This farm houses many champion racehorses who are now retired and breed more champion racehorses. Our favorite horse on the farm was actually a Pony named Tommy. His nickname - Tommy the Teaser. He was dubbed this because it is his job to tell if the mare is in heat. If the mare stands still, rather than kicking Tommy away, Tommy is led away (or, rather, dragged) and the mare is taken to the stallion. Our guide, Dee, did assure us that sometimes they do have ponies there for Tommy.
We stopped at Cashel for lunch. The Rock of Cashel is a very old monastery and is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Ireland. We didn't get to go up to the Rock since we ate lunch in the current town (down the hill), but we got good pictures from where we were. This was probably one of the best meals we had on the trip. Ashley and I both had tuna melts while others had Irish stew and Shephard's Pie. My Aunt Diann though it was funny that you could get Shephard's Pie (that has mashed potatoes) with vegetables that included chips and mashed potatoes. Thus, proving that the Irish really love potatoes.
In Cobh, we saw the museum commemorating the emigration of thousands of Irish to the States, Canada, and Australia. The town had been named Queenstown by the British, but once the Irish gained independence, they changed the name back to the original Irish. David told us that the Titanic sailed from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Southampton in England, and on to Queenstown to pick up Leonardo DiCaprio. Outside the museum was a statue of Annie Moore and her siblings. She was the first person to be processed through Ellis Island into America. They also had a lot about the Lusitania, which was a commercial oceanliner that sunk not far from Cobh after being torpedoed by a German submarine.
We then arrived at our hotel in Blarney. We stayed at the Blarney Golf Resort, which was probably the nicest hotel we stayed at. We had a very nice meal, but no dessert so not at the top of my list. :) Each "room" was more like a townhouse and had 2 rooms for 2 people each. After dinner, Ashley, Sarah, Manda, and I stayed at the pub in the hotel since it was fairly far out of town.

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