So, without further ado, here is a photo tour!
|Christopher and I took in a free walking tour
|The General Post Office on O'Connell Street became famous leading up to the Irish fight for independence when it was used by the organizers of the rebellion for meetings and such
|Father Mathew, the temperance reformer, with an advert for what one might presume his suggested drug of choice would have been for the members of his flock who just couldn't keep off the booze.
|In what appears to be a confessional right outside the main entrance to the Royal Palace in Dublin
|Inside the Portrait Hall in the Royal Palace
|The ceiling of the main hall, where important diplomats and head of state are entertained (including President Obama on May 23rd of this year)
|Christ Church Cathedral, founded c. 1030 after the Norse king Sigtrygg Silkbeard, decedent of the original viking founders of Dublin, made a pilgrimage to Rome.
|St. Patrick's Cathedral founded 1191
|The very popular, self-guided, 11 euro Guinness Brewery tour
|In the cylindrical "Gravity Bar" on the top floor, with windows all around offering a nice view of Dublin.
|The Brewery from above
|Cafe en Seine is a really, huge cool art deco style bar with great decorations and a range of (albeit quite pricey) food and drinks
|A burger joint
|A drag show with touring American comedy team called the "Screw You Review." Very funny!
|Doors of row houses are often all painted different colors. It is said that this was to help the drunken men remember which house was theirs as they stumbled home from the bars in the evenings.
|Christopher over the river Liffey
|Traditional fare: lamb stew and Yorkshire beef pudding with Bulmers ciders
|Stuffed and a wee bit potty, we were back at our hotel - saying goodbye to Dublin. The next morning: packing up to head across the island to Cork.
|On the road from Dublin to Cork
|Approaching the famous Blarney castle, about 10 km from Cork
|The MacCarthys remain one of the most ancient clans of Ireland. St Patrick himself converted one of the MacCarthy ancestors to Christianity. Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) is credited with coining the term "blarney" when she learned that the MacCarthy chieftain would not relinquish his ancient rights and accept the authority of the English throne. He would offer lavish praise of the queen to her emissary, but never agreed to her terms.
|The stone spiral staircase gets narrower and steeper as you go up
|Not for the faint of heart
|Christopher kissing the Blarney stone: I hope the "gift of the gab" comes in handy as he completes the final draft of his master's thesis!
|Yours truly, having just enjoyed my brush with death and anticipated eloquence
|What we very well may have looked like from below, while hanging over the edge of the castle roof, kissing the Blarney Stone!
|We learned the difference between blarney and baloney:
"Baloney is when you tell a 50 year old woman that she looks 18.
Blarney is when you ask a woman how old he is, because you want to know at what age women are most beautiful."
|Poised for defensive action in an arrow hole
|"The murder hole: When the outer doors had been battered down, assailants entering the lobby below were easily 'dispatched from here' [ie: disposed of, rubbed out, sent to meet their maker] by boiling liquids, stones or other missiles."
|The Poison Garden from above
|Fellow tourists and probable Blarney Stone survivors
|Back in Cork, we discovered this strange window arrangement while exploring the town.
|The English Market in Cork
|Drisheen and tripe: local specialties...
|Old books on display at Shandon
|Where we played the bells of Shandon. Set list from our free concert included such timeless hits as "Oh! Susanna," "The Last Rose of Summer" and "The Final Countdown!"
|In the bell tower at Shandon
|18th century bells, each with a different inscribed dedication
|The view from the top: Cork city
|Leaving the Emerald Isle