Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hey guys Izzy here! Hope you are all OK with all the snow and cold back home. I was so sad to hear about all of it :(

But...I hope to warm you all with my stories of Ireland. Last weekend Sabrina and I headed for Cork on a weekend trip with the student society. Our first stop was Cahir castle on the way to cork. It was such a neat castle that has been around since like the 1100's (at least I think so, I wasn't really paying attention to that). It was so neat to walk the narrow little paths separating the courtyards. It looked just like I thought a castle should look like and was so fun to explore! Sabrina loved it too though she was scared of the hights and non-guardrail stairs. She's so silly :)

 After that we went to explore Blarney castle and kiss the famous stone. It was a really neat castle and grounds but to tell the truth Cahir was a lot more fun. Blarney is older than Cahir but is in a lot worse shape (Cahir was never destroyed by battles or abject disrepair). I could tell Blarney castle had been a lot more impressive in the best. BUT, it was still so cool to go up the really old stares to the very top of the tower and watch Sabrina kiss the Blarney stone. She's supposed to have the gift of gab now but to tell you confidentially I think she had it in spades before :) A really memorable and fun stop!

Me by the murder hole (where they'd drop hot oil on intruders)

After we ventured around Blarney we were driven to Cork to rest. Sabrina and I explored Cork city that night and the next morning. Apparently the natives really love their city but to be honest Sabrina and I sure didn't! It was nice enough but there were way too many creepy areas and absolutely no places for students to eat. Sure it was Valentine's day but even if it hadn't it was really hard to find places to nom on. Restaurants were either McDonald's/ fast food American or super fancy joints with reservations required. There was no middle ground and the only place Sabrina and her traveling companion found to eat was a local Mexican fast food place (which was actually better tasting and cheaper than McDonald's no lie!).  We must have wandered for hours to try and find food but we weren't sucessful and Saturday night we ended up at McDonald's. Ireland has awful McDonald's and the food was yucky and the ketchup/soda WAY too sweet! They even messed up the fries! Anywho, we did get to see this awesome bell tower in Cork called the 4 liars (because each clock on the tower tells the wrong time). At least that was cool.
Saturday we had some fun too. First we went to a small sea-side town and explored for an hour or two. The town was Medieval and pretty neat to explore. After that we headed to a wildlife park (like an outdoor zoo). I had fun getting to see all the animals. I'm just glad Sabrina didn't leave me there! My favorite to see were all the cheetahs. This place had a LOT of cheetahs! There was a really cute baby cheetah with a glass viewing area. He was sooo fluffy and cute (not as much as ME though)! The only downside was the really cold wind blowing the whole time we were there.
After the park we ventured to the Jameston Distillery. The tour was amazing and we walked through the old distillery (used until the 1970's). It was really informative and I sure learned a lot! Sabrina enjoyed trying some of the whiskey and it was a fun trip!

Sunday was a neat day too. We started out visiting the coastal town of Cobh. The town was really stunning and built on a hill. We went to see the beautiful cathedral on the top of the hill and it was breathtaking! After that we went through the Titanic experience (another titanic museum). Later we traveled to another small coastal town on the way home. It was neat but we didn't have long to wander there. Last we went to Killkenny and saw the castle. It was beautiful but kind of pieced together. It's been around since the 1200's and has been modified and re-modified. It was abandoned in the 1930's and was in a state of abject disrepair for years. They restored the inside and it resembles more of a Victorian manor house than a castle. After that we traveled the town. Sabrina and I had the best milkshake a local restaurant. You got to choose your favorite candy bar out of a wall of them and they make it with tasty ice cream. After that tasty break we traveled back to Dublin. It was a great trip and I can't wait for the next one!

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