Monday, May 17, 2010
Blarney Castle and kissing the Blarney Stone!
The activities today were so much fun! I loved Blarney Castle. There was a breakfast buffet this morning at our hotel, so I woke at 7 and ate there. Our group met at 9 and hopped in the coach tour bus to the city of Cork. It looked similar to Dublin because of the river and shops, except it is much, much smaller.
We stopped at Red FM, a local radio station in Cork that has been around for almost 10 years. It had a very laid-back, fun atmosphere. Many people there talked to us, so I learned a lot about the station. It targets ages 15 to 35 and must advertise solely to this group. The average time of an ad is 30 seconds. They play a new pop artist and once that artist becomes popular, they move on to someone new because they believes this brings a unique edge to the station. It also has part of its airtime in the Irish language. Their site launched one year ago and is a work in progress. I think this is because the Internet is not as popular in Ireland as it is in America.
After this, we traveled to Blarney and had three hours at the Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills. Gabby, Angelica, and I headed to the castle first. It was really cool to see. Then it was time to climb the castle. There was a small line, so it moved fairly slow, but I understand why. The staircase spiraled up and was tight and very rocky. It was not fun for someone who is afraid of heights like me! Nevertheless, I was very excited when I made it to the top! The view was gorgeous of all of the greenland.
Here, there was a small line around the top of the castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. When it was finally my turn, I laid on the ground, grabbed the bars, and leaned in to kiss the stone. It was crazy being so high up and leaning over the castle like this! Now I can finally say I kissed the Blarney Stone. It was definitely a good experience to have.
After climbing down the castle's exit staircase, I saw my photo on the screen. I secretly took a picture with my camera instead of buying it. Gabby, Angelica, and I looked around at the shops after this and then had lunch at a cute cafe. Then we headed to Blarney Woolen Mills, which is a huge shop of Irish things, like handcrafted clothes, postcards, food, and more. I bought a few postcards and something for my family. After buying a few things, we headed over to a few other shops we saw. One was called Erin Giftstore, so I got a photo with me in it just for laughs!
We drove back, had a group meeting, and had time to relax. Gabby, Angelica, and I explored Cobh and had dinner together. At dinner, we bumped into a few others from our group. Then the three of us got some ice-cream. It was a fun night. Tomorrow, we are leaving Cobh and heading to Killarney!