There are so many things to love about Ireland. The people are incredibly friendly, the scenery is amazing, and there are more things to see and do than we could possibly manage in our short stay here. But there is one thing in particular that stands out, and that's the butter. You might be tempted to think I'm exaggerating, but trust me, I'm not.
Even before you taste it you know there is going to be something different about it. The colour is a deep, deep yellow instead of the pathetically pale stuff we get in Canada. The real treat is when you spread it over your morning toast (gluten-free in my case), and have your first bite. I love this stuff so much that every morning my ratio of butter to bread keeps increasing. Soon I'll be abandoning the bread completely and eating the butter straight out of the foil packets it comes served in. I would love to hear your thoughts about why the butter is so much better here. I'm guessing it's to do with the grass, but then again dairy cows eat grass in Canada as well, so maybe it's something else. What I do know is I wish I could take home pounds of the stuff as a souvenir.
My final two days with my English friends John and Gill seemed to fly by. We went to Blarney Castle, which turned out to be a surprisingly weird experience. I have to confess to a bit of tourist's ignorance, as I hadn't realized the Blarney Stone was in the castle. I had this vision of it being a rock somewhere in the middle of a field. There were hoards of tourists at the castle thanks to a couple tour buses that had just arrived. It was fun to see that a group of local knitters had done some yarn bombing!
We got in a queue at the bottom of the castle, and it slowly moved its way up the skinny circular stairs leading to the top. When you finally arrive at the top you watch as people are quickly placed on their backs, shoved under the stone (it is on the bottom of an open place in the castle wall, which has iron bars under it to keep you from falling through), and sort of lifted up so you can kiss the stone. All of this happens in a shorter amount of time than it would have taken you to read it. There is an automatic camera set up to record the moments, with the photos available down in the castle gift shop for quite a hefty sum. And no, I didn't kiss the stone.
Our travels took us by several interesting ancient ruins.
The scenery continued to be impressive. As we drove along the Ring of Kerry we came to a sign saying there was a short walk to a viewpoint for the most spectacular cliffs along the way. They were right!
And of course, there have been some sheep. I especially liked this one. She's wearing my shade of blue.
That's all for now. My next update should be from somewhere on our walk along the Kerry Way!