I had the pleasure of taking a day trip to Cork with my roommate a week before I was set to end my time in Dublin, Ireland. It was on my Irish bucket list, and I was determined to do some last minute sight seeing before I said goodbye to the place that I had grown to love so much.
The best part about staying in Dublin is the easy accessibility to the rest of Ireland!
I booked with Irish Day Tours. We met at around 6:30-7 in the morning in front of the Molly Malone Statue off Dame street. The strip was lined with tour buses ready to ship eager tourists off to different parts of Ireland, and we showed our receipts on our phones before hopping on the bus.
We slept through most of our driver’s stories and sing a long’s, stopping at a gas station for coffee and breakfast food.
But alas we finally arrive to our first stop of the day:
Rock of Cashel:
Our first stop was to the ruins of a monastery in the town of Cashel. It was a bit dreary out but that didn’t harm the beauty of the place. In fact it added to the mystery!
One of the things I love about Ireland is how modern towns surround ancient ruins. It is such an intriguing mixture of past and present!
Somehow, human beings built this extravagant archway, and this is hundreds of years before heavy machinery was even a thing.
After checking out the site, we walked back down the hill in search of restrooms, and ended up discovering these beautiful murals!
Then it was back on the bus and off to our next stop:
We only had about an hour here, but it was enough to satisfy us. My roommate and I grabbed lunch at MCD’s….. (don’t judge me please). Then set out to explore the main shopping area, which I guess could be compared to Grafton Street in Dublin.
Lots of cute shops, street buskers, and, because it was mid-November, beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere!
We had just enough time left to explore Cork’s English Market. A colorful alleyway leads the way into a huge assortment of stands housing meats, cheeses, chocolates, pastries, you name it, it’s there.
Then we headed off to Blarney Castle, which turned out to be my favorite part of the trip!
We spent most of the afternoon at Blarney Castle, and I’m glad we did. The ruins itself are attached to a large garden with a pleather of paths to wander through. There is also a shopping center decorated in all things Christmas and a café to stop for a coffee.
My roommate and I got separated for a while which lead me to explore some of the gardens on my own. She was brave enough to continue up the narrow stone stairway to kiss the Blarney Stone. My height-sickness and Claustrophobia guided me back down to explore the lower more open parts of the castle and the surrounding grounds.
The gardens were beautiful and tranquil.
Finished the day with some coffee and christmas shopping :)