Plagued with vehicle issues after ending up in the ditch and my diagnostic light still on, it was a day of seeing sights and checking out mechanics. What I took away from Tipperary mechanics that you basically just buy a new vehicle as they do not enjoy working on them or making any money.
While not Stonehenge, this Druid Altar known as the Drombeg Stone Circle. Excavations of the site found the cremated remains of a teenager wrapped in cloth dating back to 1100 BC in the center of the circle. Pretty neat!
The fort ultimately fell as it was attacked by land and the placement wasn't very well thought out. While it provided great coverage of the water, the rolling hills around the fort were actually higher than the walls. This provided attackers with a nice vantage point aiming down towards the fort.
The guys that saved my butt, Express Tyre Centre, in Carrigalin. After getting nowhere with numerous mechanics I swung by these guys to help fix up the Duster. The first alignment they did made actually the problem 10x worse and the steering wheel was pointing to 8 o’clock and the dash lights looked like a Christmas tree. Second time around it was 100% and I was on my way with a straight steering wheel again!
Next stop was tourist central. I got a few warnings to avoid Blarney Castle referring to it as a tourist trap. Ultimately I would have regretted going to Ireland and not kissing the Blarney Stone so off I went.
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold from 1446. You can explore the grounds and even crawl through a narrow passage to reach the dungeon.
It was about a 45 minute line from the base to actually making out with the stone. Definitely a tourist hot spot but the experience was worth it. The Blarney Castle grounds are very well kept which is reflective of the admission price. It’s a bit more than your typical castle admission in Ireland.
Slowly going up the stairwells step by step, you get the chance to learn a bit of the design that went into the construction. For example, all of the stairwells go up in a clockwise fashion. This directional choice is so the defenders always have their shields at the ready and can jab with their swords on the right. The attackers heading up the stairs do not get this luxury and their sword arm would be on the inside.
The windows serve the same formidable purpose. While appearing as a small slot on the outside, the inside is cut away in a large cavity. This allows an archer to have a good field of view while only having a small opening to get shot from.
One of the many features in the Blarney Courtyard is the poison garden. Numerous plants that can cause all sorts of pain and itchiness to the body are featured here. The only one in a large steel cage is the marijuana plant.
Also on the grounds and tunneled into the root structure of a large tree is the Witch’s Kitchen. They say if you arrive early enough you can still see the embers of the fire. The fire is lit ever night by the Blarney Castle witch. There is great stone work inside and also a chimney that vents above the tree.
The Dolmen Stone is a megalithic tomb portal. Historians still do not know if this massive rock was rolled into place or lifted as it would weigh a huge amount and not easily moved in any manner. It is said that the stone still rocks on occasion to this day.
Looking up at the Blarney Castle, the Blarney stone is at the very top. You hang upside down over the drop to make out with the stone. There are a few steel bars across the opening for the unlucky person who stretches a bit too far.
Now when I got to the hostel in Cahir, the plan was to quickly drop my bags and get over to Cahir castle to catch the sunset. While unloading I came across a guy who was apparently here for over a week already and knew of a great place to catch the sunset from. With minutes to spare I figured he would be a great asset to save some time.
I told him to jump in the car and we are going for a spin. Turns out he was high as a kite and didn’t know left from right… nor did he know how to even get to the castle. Needless to say we missed the vivid colors of the sunset by only a few minutes.
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