This was the morning to drive the Ring of Kerry, but we stopped at Ardfert Cathedral first - completely in ruins, but the structure is still there - it must have been very impressive back in the day. Then on to the Ring of Kerry, which is as beautiful a drive as everyone says. Poor Greg was on the wrong side of the car - I kept handing him my camera to get shots out the window, although we did stop, mostly when we were near the water. It's interesting how many tiny little towns there are out on that peninsula, and they're all B&B oriented and crowded. We saw a few bikers and a few people walking - I'll bet there are t-shirts in some of those shops labeled "I walked the Ring of Kerry."
Afterwards, we decided to skip lunch and head straight to Blarney Castle I have an impression in my head of what castles should look like, and Blarney fit right in - tall and imposing, full of winding staircases, alcoves, and a murder hole over the entrance from which to drop boiling oil on unwelcome guests. This castle even had an oubliette, where you drop people when you want to forget about them. We explored the grounds - the poison garden, the battlements, then the interior, making our way up to the top, where the Blarney Stone rests. Jim and Greg decided to kiss the stone. I talk far too much, so I declined - besides, you have to basically hang upside down to reach it - not my thing a hundred feet up, even if there are iron bars between you and the vast nothingness below. Back on the ground, we took a quick tour of the rock close - the extended grounds, and Jason walked the wishing steps with his eyes closed. The legend goes that the witch who takes the Blarney wood for her fire has to grant wishes to those who go up and down the steps without looking.
Once we were Blarneyed out, we headed to Cork, which is only five miles or so down the road. Our B&B was a good fifteen minute walk from the city center, so we got to see a bit of everything. Cork is a bigger, busy place - a university, tons of hostels and hotels, but industry and traffic, too. We trekked over to St. Finbar's, but the cathedral was closed - got some great shots of the outside, though. Then we decided to go take a quick picture of one of the only synagogues in Ireland, just a few blocks away - there are six total. Finally, dinner at a nearby restaurant and back for some well-deserved rest.
Tomorrow is our last truly planned out day in Ireland - Saturday will be a bit of a hodgepodge, but I'm sure we'll come up with something fun to do on our way back to Dublin.