Travel Journal April 14, 1999


Enough laying around, today is a day to go out and explore.

First item on the agenda is the Ballincollig Gunpower Mills. The museum and exhibits were closed for the season, unfortunately, but they said that I could walk around the outlying buildings.


Next on my list was Blarney Castle.

Here's a shot of the castle. The people in the photograph were getting their picture taken by another friend.


Blarney castle is one of the most interesting and pretty set of ruins I have visited so far. Here's the entrance to the "dungeons".

The Badger Cave.

One of the outlying towers, and a shot from the inside.


More shots of the main castle.


No castle would be complete without a cheesy little tourist shop built into it.

A shot from one of the ramparts.

Various architectural bits.


From the top. It's high up here!

The walkway at the top.


Kissing the famous rock. Note that your head is hanging upside down, five stories in the air, with nothing between you and the ground but two rusty iron bars.

I don't know why it's called the Stone of Eloquence; I would think most people would be scared speechless!

Here's the same location as viewed from the ground. Note the interesting architecture of Blarney castle - the battlements are actually hanging in mid-air, supported by a series of buttress.

More battlements on the ground, adjoining the castle.

The entrance to the "fairy grove" area.

The tunnel is a series of enchantingly beautiful footpaths.


I can almost imaging Snow White (or Lily Tomlin, from the dream sequence in "Nine to Five") sitting on a rock, surrounded by deer, squirrels, rabbits, and other furry mammals.


This feature is called "The Witches Kitchen".

The "wishing steps".

There are little signs around, about a dozen all told, which give various names to sections of the forest: "Druid's Circle", "Sacraficial Altar", "Witch Stone", "Fairy Grove", etc.



What would a trip to a castle be without a texture?

I have to say that Blarney Castle was one of the most fun places to explore that I have been to so far.

Next, I went to Cobh [pronounced "cove"] which used to be called Queenstown. Cobh is famous as a departure point for emigrating Irish. Cobh was also the last stop of the Titanic before hitting the Iceberg.


The Irish-American Heritage Museum has lots of displays about Irish Emigration: The Coffin Ships, The White Star Line, etc.


Some interesting facts:

The White Star Line (the operators of the Titanic) had many, many ships, all which had names ending it "-ic". The Titanic had two sister ships, the Olympic and the Britannic (both of which I believe also sank); Earlier ships included the Celtic.

The other great line was the Cunard line, operators of the Lusitania (which was torpedoed and sunk just 8 km. from Cobh.) All of their ship names ended in the suffix "-ia", such as the Mauretania.