Today we make our way from Dingle to our final city of our PaddyWagon Tour. We’re all feeling a bit sad that it’s coming to an end. It felt like just yesterday we were all meeting each other for the first time and starting off this adventure.
We arrived with plenty of free time in Killarney. A few of us had booked a horse drawn carriage tour of the city. As soon as we parked at the hostel, we jumped on a carriage and made our way to the National Park in Killarney.
It was a beautiful night. The tour was a nice way to spend an evening in the city. We made our way through the park at a leisurely pace and learned tidbits of history along the way. We were dropped off in the city centre and we all realized how hungry we were. So we grabbed a quick bite to eat and made our way back to the hostel afterwards.
Once all of us were back, the party began. It would be our last night together as a family, so we had to make it good! It was Josh’s birthday that day so we made sure to pick up some decorations and costume stuff for him to wear. He was pretty surprised we had thought of it. But that’s what families do! 🙂
The night was more fun than I can say. We partied all night, with the exception of one. He was a little more inebriated than the rest of us and ended up being kicked out of the pub. When we eventually got home around 2am, we had to put him to bed properly. Poor guy. It was a rough night for him that’s for sure.
By the time we hit the hay, it was 3am. Tomorrow would be a brutal start!
We’re all waking up to the very last day together. The feeling on the bus was pretty low, and we were all quiet. I slept for most of the way to Blarney Castle. My cold had gotten even worse despite the meds I was taking. Rest is exactly what I needed!
We arrived at Blarney Castle and it was a beautiful day! We were warned to go straight to the Blarney Stone first because it would que up quite long as more tourists showed up. So off the bus we went and we headed straight for the stone. It started to rain at one point. It wouldn’t be Ireland without a bit of rain! But just as quick as it had come, it was gone. The sun popped out again.
We waited in the short line to kiss the Blarney Stone. As you approach, they have you lie down on your back and slide over the edge of the castle. There are two handle bars behind your head that you grab on to, and then you lower yourself down the side of the castle to kiss the stone. It was great! Although, I felt bad for whoever was after me. I was pretty sick, and I’m sure they would soon be after they kissed the stone. Whoops!
After the stone, we wandered the castle and the grounds. They have a poison garden where everything growing in it can kill you. It was pretty interesting! We were careful not to touch anything…haha!
After the castle we had some time to kill, so we ended up in a pub to have some lunch. Time was running out with our tour and we didn’t want it to end. But sadly, we had to get on the bus and race back to Dublin. We had admission tickets to the Guinness Storehouse and we would be making it just in time before it closed for the day.
The museum was great. I’m not a big fan of Guinness myself, but it does have a pretty good history. We wandered around until we saw all there was to see, and then Sandra and I made our way back to the bus. Once everyone was back on the bus, our last stop would be Paddy’s Palace.
Most everyone was leaving the next day. A few of us were sticking around until Friday. We tried to meet everyone for one last family meal, but it just didn’t work out. I was sick, and hungry and no one could make up their minds. Sandra and I ended up leaving the group and grabbed a quick dinner.
The next morning we met some of the others for a walking tour of Dublin. Although it got off to a rough start, my meds started to kick in and I got into it a bit more. It was a great tour actually. I do recommend it! Our guide walked us all over the city regaling us with it’s history.
At the end of the tour, we broke away from the group and made our way back to O’Connell Street. Sandra and I grabbed some lunch and wandered through some of the touristy shops. Later that evening, we met Jason for some drinks one last time. We were the last of the PaddyWagon crew still in Ireland. It was so sad to see everyone go. It was the absolute best trip I had been on since coming to England. I hope I get to see these new friends again!
So today is the last day Sandra and I are in Ireland. Our flight was late this evening, so we have all day to kill before getting to the airport. We started our day at Christ Church Cathedral. Based on early manuscripts, the Church dates back to about 1030. It is gorgeous from the outside. What brought us to this place was what we were told lay inside; the skeletal remains of a cat and a mouse. Most notoriously known as Tom and Jerry. The story goes like this….The mouse was trying to run from the cat and hid inside the organ. The cat, none too smart, went into the organ after the mouse and sadly got stuck. Unfortunately, the cat blocked the only way the mouse could escape. Both eventually died inside the organ. Years went by without the remains being found. When the organ was being tuned one day, they couldn’t get it to sound right. The took a part the pieces and found the remains of Tom and Jerry. They ended up keeping them, entombing them in a glass case for visitors to admire. So when you visit Christ Church, head down to the crypt and there you’ll find Tom and Jerry laying side by side.
After the church, we made our way to Kilmainham Gaol. Now this was a fantastic tour. If you’re in Dublin, make this a must see/do! It is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in all of Europe. It opened in 1796 and was considered the most modern prison in Ireland. Throughout the years, many members of the rebellions were held here, along with those of the Irish Rebellion in the 1920s. If walls could talk, this place would have thousands of stories of the many men, women and children that were held here. Many of those stories have a gruesome ending to them. This gaol played an important role in Ireland’s emergence as a modern nation.
After the guided tour, we made our way back to the hostel to grab our things. It was time to get to the airport and make our way back to London. Ireland is an amazing country. I couldn’t get enough of its beauty, culture and history. If you’re on the fence about visiting Ireland, it truly is the best adventure I have been on! You really can’t go wrong planning a trip here. PaddyWagon Tours was a fun way to see Ireland, and I would definitely do it again! I’ve had the absolute pleasure meeting all these new people and experiencing Ireland in true Irish fashion. I’ve got a lot of great memories from this trip, and some pretty fantastic photos as well. I hope to one day return to this majestic country!
Until next time Ireland….☘