Rainbows, and leprechauns and Guinness... Oh My!

Finally! Ireland photos have arrived. Things have been busy busy here since I returned from the Emerald Isle, as I'm trying to squeeze out every last bit of fun and relaxation that I can before heading home.  I have more pictures from the past weekish in and around London and I'll try to get some of those up soon. I've had such a great weekend visiting with friends around here and making new ones and it's making me so sad to be leaving the city. But as today is exactly 1 week from me being back on US soil, I'm also getting really excited to be home to. Freaking bitter sweet experiences.

But, as for Ireland, despite the fact that it rained on us for 3 days and the best day of weather we had was the day we left (of course).... I FREAKING LOVE IRELAND. It is an amazing and beautiful place and I would love to go back someday. They also have a rockin' wildlife park (hmm... job opportunity??) which is sweet.

The girls in our private hostel room chillin' after we just got into Cork from the airport.
First night in Ireland, you HAVE to have a Guinness.
The first full day we started off by taking a bus out to Blarney to visit the Blarney Castle.  This is part of the grounds around the castle.
Teeny me and big Blarney Castle.
Happy little campers
On top of Blarney Castle with the absolutely stunning Irish landscape behind.
Kissing the Blarney Stone!
More of the grounds around the Castle, which were spectacular.

Then we took another bus to a little town called Midleton where the Jameson Whiskey distillery is and took a tour.
Aubs and I (sporting horrible hair which, I apologize now, only gets worse as the pictures and days go on b/c of the freaking rain) in the distillery w/ the world's largest pot still behind us.
The stages of whiskey in their casks, improving w/ age.
Tour a whiskey factory, get free whiskey. Done.
Waiting for the bus back to Cork (see what I mean about the crazy hair??)
We went out that night to a local pub, which turned into a club and we didn't know it, so we danced danced danced.
Day two began with a train ride to Fota island to see the Fota wildlife park, which was awesome even w/ the on and off rain. A bunch of the animals are just free roaming, like the kangaroos behind me here. AWESOME.
Cheetah! So cool.

These girls are awesome! How many people would want to join you constantly in zoos and parks and be excited about it? This is why we're friends (well.... one reason anyways)
Monkey! This guy was right above our heads.
Troopers trekking in the drizzle
Fota not only has the wildlife park, but awesome gardens and an old 18th century house seen here.
Fighting the wind for this one.
Fota was followed by another quick train ride to Cobh.
Loved this little seaside city.

We noticed lots of police and people standing around, so we asked what was going on and apparently the Irish have a version of the Tour de France and the 2nd leg of it was finishing in Cobh while we were there! So we hung out, and here is the guy who was racing in 1st to the finish line!
The top bikers of the leg.
Day 3 was supposed to be spent renting a car and driving around the Ring of Kerry, but we couldn't get a car (just our luck) so we took a train to Kilarney. I took this shot of the amazing countryside from the train.
Heading into Kilarney National Park, unknowingly to a day filled with 5ish hours of non-stop rain that would lead to us being soaked to our knees. Not so awesome.
But the views....
.... totally worth it!

We were just walking along the path and saw this beautiful little deer right next to us!
Ross Castle in Kilarney National Park. We walked 2.6 km to this sucker in the rain and 2.6 back, which is roughly 3.6 miles.... in the rain. Yup.
Which possibly explains why I look so deranged in this photo. Possibly...
No words needed here. Just soak it up.
And finally, last day, and we toured around Cork!
The old city gaol, or prison.

Such a cute city

Remember how I said the best weather was the last day? Well, it was the best, and got better on our drive to the airport. This picture was taken from the bus on that drive. Suck.

And that's Ireland folks. I'll work on filling you in on what I've been doing recently... um, hopefully tomorrow.

Happy Memorial Day weekend ya'll!


Katie said...

Oh, Anna! Such beautiful photos! It looks like you a wonderful time, despite the rain. At least you got to kiss the blarney stone, right? :)

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