Happy Birthday Opa. Unfortunately, we did not get a good night’s sleep. We found out that the heat was turned off at night consequently, our cold room and hard beds made it a jagged night. Nevertheless after a hearty breakfast and great conversation with fellow “bed and breakfasters” we were off to explore the County Cork.
Today was a day of long narrow steps. We started with the Blarney Castle. What a gorgeous old homestead. We walked up the steps to the top of the castle and kissed the Blarney stone. Not as easy as it sounds. You have to lay down and bend over backwards to reach the illusive stone. Not to be left behind, both Paul and I succeeded; now we both will be endowed with the gift of the gab.
We also visited the ground’s poison garden which included a marijuana plant. Then we explored the castle caves. Blarney is a very nice national treasure to view and learn about.
Then we were off to the Bells of Shandon. Driving a car down those impossibly tapered streets was a challenge. St. Anne’s houses the 18th Century Bells and is a beautiful little church. After climbing up the steps you can pick a song and ring the bells yourself. Not as easy as it sounds (again), you have to give quite a tug on the ropes. I played George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun.”
We headed towards Kinsale for our lunch at Fishy Fishy. Everywhere we eat, the cooks take special care to accommodate Paul’s “no meat” diet. They made him a huge salad with a side order of “chips.” I had Fish and Chips. Everything was yummy.
Our shopping turned successful when I found the perfect Aran sweater coat at “Kinsale Woollen Mills.” So much to choose from and the sales assistants were very helpful.
It was still a bit early to return to the B&B, so off to Fort Charles we drove. I am so glad we did. The estate was fantastic and the weather mild. I think that the sun even peered out for a second or two. Again flooded with history, this relic is the perfect spot for urban hiking. All in all, Paul and I trekked over five miles and worked up quite the appetite.
We eat at Viaduct Inn, a family restaurant. Again the service was enthusiastic and food very good. Tonight is our last night at Ardfield Farmhouse and we would give it four out of five stars. The lack of the final star due mostly to the sparseness of internet availability. So if the internet is not important to you and you can stay under your covers at night, you will probably find Ardfield Farmhouse to be a five star. The farmhouse is centrally located and close to almost everything you might want to see.
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