We headed out after another great breakfast toward Blarney, in County Cork. The weather was windy, rainy and grey again. SHOCKING! We would have stopped in this town for a pint, but I was afraid it would've been "Knocktopher". See what I did there?
The route to Blarney was full of cute towns (but aren't they all here?) and narrow streets.
We did hit the southern coast, and we're hoping for some clear skies, but no such luck.
Rainy, windy coastline.
Ooooo! Could that be a patch of blue sky? Yes!
Also on the route to Blarney is the town of Midleton.
This is the home of the Jameson distillery! You know these O'Brien girls like a good whisky drink, so we thought the tour here would be well worth the money.
The tour mostly explained how they used to make whiskey long ago. These old buildings aren't used in production today, but it's cool how they've preserved them. This building was used to store the barley when farmers would bring them in on their horse drawn carts only once per year. The reason for so many windows was to keep the dust circulating and prevent it from catching on fire.
This is The old water mill that was used to power the whole operation at one time. It still functions, but isn't used for power anymore.
This is the largest one of these jobbies in the world. I don't remember what it's called. Feel free to remind me. :)
The largest of the old chimneys on the grounds...
Here is a display of some of the old casks. They wouldn't let us take pictures of the actual ones aging right now. Ancient Chinese Secret er something.
Kelly partook in the taste test at the end of the tour. She got to sample Jameson, Jack Daniels, and Johnny Walker. I would have done it, but someone had to take the pictures. We did get a free Jamison drink at the end, so that was enough for me!
She's a certified taste tester, folks. This is serious.
Here are the differences. Johnny Walker (Scottish) is on the left, Jameson in the middle, and Jack Daniels (American) on the right. She said she liked the Jameson the best, but would you tell your tour guide something different either?
The tour was very fun. I wish we could have seen some of the modern factory and how they make it today, but that wasn't included. Still cool though. And they had a great gift shop that we didn't leave empty handed from.
Back in the car to finish the journey to Blarney, and more blue skies!
My friend Madelyn recommended the Banoffee pie at the Blarney Woolen Mills cafe, and it was soooo good! It's an English dessert made from bananas, cream, and toffee on a pastry crust. Deeeeelish! Good thing I'm not counting Weight Watchers points on this trip. I don't want to know how many a pint of Guinness is, either.
Here is the cafe we had lunch in. There may or may not have been another yarn purchase made in the attached woolen mill shop. My suitcase is getting tighter every day. Yikes.
Now, some will probably be disappointed in us, but we decided against the tour at the Blarney Castle. It would have cost us €30 for a self guided tour to go kiss a stone that millions have also kissed (kinda Grody!) and rumor has it that the locals go and pee on it. Though why would a local pay money to go in and do that? I don't know. Whatever. Call me cheap, but I'd rather spend my money on a tour of O'Brien castle, which we will see in a few days. So this is the best picture I could get of Blarney castle from the parking lot. Again like Guinness, they wouldn't even let us into their gift shop without buying admission, so I guess they won't be getting any of our money at all. Sorry, Blarney!
I realized that I haven't really shared a picture of the luxury vehicle that's getting us through the country. Here she is. She doesn't have much pick-up when we need her to get up a hill quickly, but she gets the job done. She fits through the narrow streets and in small parking spots, and is great on mileage. We've only stopped to fill up twice so far.
It's a bit of a mystery to us exactly what kind it is though. I don't recognize this logo, or the model of Mii. Anyone seen it before? It's not much bigger than a fiat. Also, we can't figure out why you have to turn the key, then turn it back to off, then turn it on again, and THEN it will start. I'm sure there's a trick we can't figure out. Oh well. We are getting around.
We checked into the Ashcroft B&B and headed out for dinner and to check out a few local pubs.
Dinner tonight was cottage pie, chips, and salad. Sooo good. Again, no Weight Watchers points in sight! Pretty sure they don't convert right in foreign countries. That's my story.
Muskarry Arms Pub
And a lovely Jameson to cap off the night at the Blarney Castle Hotel.
At least they didn't charge me an admission to come in here and have a drink.
Thanks Blarney! We had fun!