Rock of Cashel
After an exhausting but rewarding first day in Ireland, it was time to start the first full day of an adventure of a lifetime. After waking up at the crack of dawn after a very long nights sleep, thanks jet lag, my Mom & I were ready to explore the grounds of Hotel Minella & try our very first Irish breakfast. I would definitely recommend Hotel Minella to anyone traveling to Ireland. The breakfast was quiet & perfect in so many ways. My Mom couldn’t resist trying the porridge while I had my first full Irish breakfast of many. My Mother is still wanting to know where they get their coffee because it was so delicious. After filling our stomaches & grabbing our bags it was time to hit the road. We had a full day ahead of ourselves.
Stopping at a gas station was something I had been looking forward to while planning the trip. I love trying local drinks & sweets. Just think, you can’t get anymore local than a gas station hidden away in the countryside. After visiting the Emerald Isle, I am hooked on a few local treats. Digestives, Tayto chips, & anything Irish breakfast related has found a place in my palette.
I must say it’s never too early for a Crunchie bar. Anyone else hooked on treats that are hard to find in the states? Anyway, we only had a 30 minute drive to the Rock of Cashel. Located in the quaint city of Cashel, this 12th century castle was once home to the kings of Munster & later donated to the Catholic Church of Ireland. The Rock of Cashel is a grand & exquisite site that should be a requisite for anyone who has trekked to Ireland from a far away land.Upon entering the Castle, you are exposed to astonishing landscapes & a sporadic graveyard that is in no way eerie. By far, the Rock of Cashel holds my favorite views of Irelands mind blowing landscapes.
A bit later we were done exploring the grounds & decided that it was time to what possibly was the best part of the day. It involved whisky. Any ideas?
Yes, you were right. Irish whiskey. Specifically, Jameson Whiskey. My Mom insisted that we had to visit the Jameson Experience outside of Cork. She really had to pull my leg to make me visit the distillery… kidding. Where whisky is, I follow. Jameson Experience is like Disneyland for alcoholics. There a restaurant, gift shop, & for 14 Euro you can even take a tour of the distillery that ends in a taste test. You can’t get more boozy than that. We decided to opt out of the tour. Instead, we took advantage of the restaurant & gift shop. We couldn’t help but each order an Irish Coffee. It was warm, rich, & perfect for a rainy day.
30 minutes or so later & after fitting our tiny car in compact parking spot in what might be the smallest parking garage in the planet, it was time to explore cork. We explored the wonderful & quirky English Market, stopping to take pictures of fish with sharp teeth & visually delicious baked goods. Later I found the perfect dress at Evans, & we couldn’t help but stop at LUSH. If you didn’t already know, my day job is working at LUSH in Phoenix. I try & visit a LUSH in any new country I visit. Cork wasn’t all it was chalked up to be though. I think it was a mix of rain & lots of crowds that sealed the deal to head towards the hotel. After spending a bit in the country, crowds can be a little off-putting. I’d love to visit Cork on a sunny Monday morning.
Another day & done. We had checked off everything on our list, plus some. The trek from Cork to Kinsale was perfect. It was only a hop & a skip away. With a perfect waterfront entrance & a bridge to the little fishing town. We chose to stay at the Actons Hotel; a beautiful hotel that sits right on the harbor. Perfect for watching the sunset from your room in the morning. 4 hours later, 5 walking rounds of a block to find a particular restaurant, 2 pints of Guinness, & a donut later, it was time to fall asleep & get ready for the craziest day of the road trip. Day 3 involves kissing a stone & putting a ring on driving. Any guesses?
Thank you Actons Hotel for providing a beautiful room to rest our heads.