It really is a challenge to visit one of the most picturesque places on earth and then expect to come home and give a condensed summary on it! Try it! You’ll see what I mean! Part 1 of our trip to Ireland is right here if you need to catch up, and today, I’m picking up with the drive from Castlecomber to Waterford, which we did on Day 3 of our trip.
This picture is just a glance of the gorgeous roads we traveled almost every day! Every direction you look there is beautiful scenery, abandoned ruins, sheep, cattle, cliffs, and more!
Our main point of interest in Waterford was the Waterford Crystal Factory, and each of us really enjoyed it! From the sparkling showroom to the guided tour of the making of the crystal, it was enchanting!
There were some amazing pieces throughout the tour, including this copy of a 9-11 Memorial Sculpture that was gifted to New York after September 11th.
From Waterford, we got on the road again and headed toward Cork, making some more fun stops along the way for lunch, a few treats, and some more gorgeous scenery!
We even came across a vintage car show in a park somewhere along the way…
A little later, we arrived in Cork, which was really cute. And we were all dazzled when we arrived at our hotel, The Montenotte.
Click here for their site. Not only was it cute and eclectic inside, the outside views were amazing! Highly recommend this hotel!
The next morning, we learned a little tip worth mentioning to anyone who is thinking about visiting Ireland! We woke up to discover it was a bank holiday, which are random holidays selected throughout the year when not only banks are closed, but almost everything else is closed as well to allow for seasonal “holidays” for UK citizens. Keep this in mind when planning your trips because we actually did have to cancel a couple of plans we had and also had a hard time finding a place open for breakfast. (We should have just sprang for breakfast at the hotel!) But, we did head on to Cohb that day and it turned out to be another lovely drive!
When we arrived in Cohb, we were, once again, dazzled at the beauty of it. We learned that the Irish pronounce this “Cove” and the most interesting thing I loved about this town is that it was the last port of call for the Titanic before its tragic end in the Atlantic.
We have been to the Titanic Museum here in East TN in Pigeon Forge, which is very interesting, but it was even more poignant being able to look out at the very pier that the last passengers of the Titanic boarded and to hear their stories.
It was a beautiful town, and we took plenty of pics, including in front of another place named after us!
Our next stop on our list was Blarney Castle, which is, of course, a must-see!
The whole grounds were beautiful, and of course we all climbed to the top of the castle and kissed –or fake kissed- the Blarney Stone! One tip we figured out accidentally: we went for basically the last hour of the day that it was open and it was not crowded at all. We saw signs all along the way marking wait times from the different points where the wait can get up to 90 minutes to get up to the top!
After the castle, we took the short drive to Kenmare where we were staying for the night in an Airbnb. This town was another cute one with colorful storefronts, shops, and pubs with live Irish music.
We had a super-fun and memorable dinner at one place that night right in front of the musician. And when he found out we were from Tennessee, he sang “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, which threw us all into fits of laughter since my husband kept jokingly calling the nearby “Ring of Kerry” the “Ring of Fire.” Memories!
Our house for the night was just one street over and was charming and cute. Find the listing here if you are interested.
We actually spent 2 nights here and did the famous Ring of Kerry drive while we were in this area. It was a beautiful scenic drive, with so much breathtaking scenery, just like you dream of seeing when visiting Ireland. We drove clockwise around the ring, starting in Kenmare and ending in Killarney later in the afternoon.
In Killarney, we loved strolling the streets for a little shopping and of course, more lattes.
After Killarney, we had thought of doing the Muckross House, another beautiful estate and gardens, but decided to just do the nearby Muckross Abbey ruins instead and then head back to Kenmare to enjoy that town for one more evening.
We even “crashed” a wedding at Muckross Abbey!
After that second night in the house, we got some breakfast at one of the little cafes in town and we were off to our next destination!
I’ll be sharing that next, so stay tuned! And let me know if you have any questions about these stops so far. More Ireland to come!