Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ireland: Day 2

Day two in Ireland finds us in Cashel in Tipperary Co. After breakfast we walked to the Rock of Cashel, a complex of ancient buildings on a plateau over Cashel with absolutely breathtaking views of the green and misty countryside.

I wish I could have spent a whole day just rambling around the hills and fields, but we were trying to cram a lot into our time in Ireland, so we moved on to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney stone and leave Ireland with the gift of gab.

Knowing what I do now, I would probably wouldn't have made the trip to Blarney Castle so we could spend more time on the Dingle Peninsula or visit Connemara, which we ended up skipping completely. The castle itself wasn't particularly impressive, and it wasn't located anywhere especially beautiful. It's one of those things that you just have to do when you're a tourist in Ireland, but it's not high on the list of my favorite sights.

Actually kissing the Blarney stone was different than I imagined. You have to climb up a steep spiral stairway in a very narrow tower. It was almost enough to give me an attack of claustrophobia. We were there before the peak of the summer season, so we got to go straight up to the top of the castle without waiting in line. One of my friends casually remarked that people probably have to wait in line for ages on that narrow winding staircase during the summer. Just the thought of being trapped in that tower crammed in with hundreds of people above and behind me still made me hyperventilate days later.

Once you get to the stone kissing area, you have to lie down on your back and hang over the edge backwards and head-down until the attendant tells you to kiss whatever rock happens to be in front of your face. It was very awkward, but kind of thrilling, too. As you can see in the picture, I'm so short that my butt was actually over the edge so I would be able to reach down far enough to reach the stone.

After we were done getting our eloquence on we headed into Cork in search of a Tex-Mex restaurant. As I've mentioned, I am on a quest to eat Tex-Mex food in every part of the world. We found an advertisement for a place called Cafe Mexicana and only with the help of our trusty GPS were we able to track it down. It was actually in an alley off the main street, so we ended up walking around downtown Cork holding the GPS out in front of us as we executed a series of shrinking zig zags getting warmer, cooler, warmer, cooler, warmer, hot, red hot, there it is!

We started off with margaritas, which may have been The Husband's favorite thing about the whole trip if he is to be believed. However, they tasted a little weird to me. Traivor was watching the bartender over my shoulder, and he made the margaritas with Sprite. Sprite infused margaritas might not be too bad actually, but it seemed like every lemon-lime soda type beverage we tried tasted like artificial sweetener. Are those sodas made with saccharine or aspartame or something like that in Europe? Google would neither confirm or deny it.

Anyway, I ordered guacamole and refried bean tacos with a side of rice. It was all very tasty and pretty much what I would expect here at home. The Husband got beef burritos, which sounded kind of weird because the filling was sort of like roast beef, but he seemed to like them. The meals came with red and green salsa. The red was really bland, which I expected, but the green had quite a jalapeƱo-ey kick to it. I actually feel a little disappointed that I don't have a bizarre Irish Tex-Mex experience to report, but at least I enjoyed my lunch. Sealegs and Traivor also had some Tex-Mex in Dublin, I believe. Would either of you care to compare and contrast?

I know the photos suck, but they don't suck as much as the fact that I don't have photos of our next little encounter. Once we left Cork, we headed toward our next B & B in Dingle. (Heh heh. Dingle. How appropriate.) While driving through some small town we stopped in a short line of traffic at an intersection. Walking down the sidewalk towards us was a group of four or five sports fan type guys acting enthusiastic or maybe drunk.

When they spotted the car in front of us, they started jumping up and down, making gestures, and generally hooting and hollering. They were rocking the car and making faces at the driver when one of the guys whips his pants down. His meat and two veg were just flopping all over the place as he simulated sexual congress with this car. Before I could shut my mouth, which was gaping in horror, it was all over. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've seen male genitalia in the full light of day.


witchypoo said...

Meat and two veg, never heard that before, let alone humping a car.

Anonymous said...

1) The margaritas were only one of my favorite things.
2) My actual, most favorite thing was the parking lot (sorry car park) at Giant's Causeway.
3) The diet-Sprite margaritas being so terrible is part of what made it so good.
4) The beef in the burritos was a lot like roast beef but not entirely unlike the barbacoa beef they serve at Chipotle.
5) The gardens at Blarney Castle were kinda fun in a stupid sort of way.
6) The rowdy guys on Lower Bridge St in Killorglin (thank you GPS) were most likely both enthusiastic AND drunk. Their favorite Soccer team had probably just won a game, or something.
7) Never watch Austin Powers, witchypoo?