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A Trip Around Ireland | Part 2: Cork & Blarney

The honeymoon saga continues! After two nights in Dublin (both spent with the fun and crowd-energizing musicians at O'Donoghue's Bar), we packed up our things and boarded our first of many, many intercity bus. The next destination? Cork.

Our itinerary in Cork was twofold: to enjoy as many trad sessions as possible, and to explore the famous Blarney Castle!

The Blarney [Castle] Pilgrim(s)

Some locations on our trip, we chose because they are must-see for tourists visiting Ireland for the first time. Others, we chose because we are deeply nerdy and Irish trad tunes are riddled with references to particular locations across the country. Blarney was both for us!

(You can listen to us lilting the tune "The Blarney Pilgrim" while standing in front of Blarney Castle by clicking the video.)

Our trip to Blarney Castle was strangely and luckily see, we just happened to be passing through town on Easter Sunday. It was now or never—holiday or not—so we jumped on a bus and made our way there.

And we practically had the place to ourselves. Perhaps it was the holiday. Perhaps it was the fact that we visited in April. Perhaps it was the greys skies and light drizzle. Whatever it was, we walked around the grounds like we were striding through time, climbing well-trodden stone steps in matters of minutes rather than hours.

But we know what you're really here for...the pictures! The day moved from lightly overcast to drizzling with rain, which made for some gorgeous photo ops. We hope you have fun exploring the grounds with us!

And, of course, it wouldn't be a trip to Blarney Castle without a smooch with the famous stone! Again, we can't stress how lucky we were to have the place practically to ourselves...we only waited in line behind one person to meet the Blarney Stone. Both of us planted a kiss, but Josh gets to be the star of this video:

Sin É

Of all of the sessions we visited in Ireland—a whopping 22 in total—our number one, absolute favorite of the whole trip was Sin É in Cork. The pub's name translates to "That's it" in English, which is a cheeky reference to the funeral parlor next-door. The bar was intimate and cozy, with a little table in the back where the session musicians played. And what fantastic music! You can hear us wax poetic about this session in our blog about our top five favorite pubs in Ireland.

The first night we visited the pub, an Argentinian pipe band happened to be enjoying a drink. They eventually tuned up their pipes and regaled the room with several sets. What a treat!

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