A Weekend in Cork!

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while, things have gotten pretty busy between all my classes and activities. I mean, one of my classes is a Charles Dickens course, and if you haven’t read anything by him you should fix that, but the main problem is that all his books average 700 pages! So it definitely takes a while to get through them.

Anywho…. my week was pretty standard, just had class, went to a couple of investment banking events, fun right? Haha, but actually they were really interesting. Tonight I went to an event put on by the Trinity Cycling club, where Nicholas Roche, an Irish pro cyclist, spoke to us and took questions. It was a phenomenal event! Roche was incredibly passionate about cycling (I mean kinda obvious, it is his job…), but he was also a super nice guy, and very interesting, plus he made quite a few good jokes! The event just reignited my desire to have my bike over here though….soooooooo dealing with that separation right now.

Last weekend was probably more interesting than my classes and events, as my friend Julia and I went to Cork! We left on Saturday evening, so when we arrived we instantly set out for food. We ate and went back to our hostel to get ready for the next day, not exactly a wild or eventful saturday night.

Sunday we woke up at about 8, caught the bus to Blarney Castle and Gardens and proceeded to explore that for several hours. A photo of the castle is below.

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The Castle itself was pretty cool, and seeing it brought my castle count up to 5. That isn’t saying much though, I mean if you are traveling in Europe I think it’s harder not to see a castle than it is to see one. At the top of the Castle Julia and I both got to kiss the Blarney stone, which is actually pretty intense for kissing a rock. You have to lay on your back, bend backwards and kiss the stone, all while holding onto some iron poles. If you kiss the stone it supposedly makes you a more eloquent speaker.  A photo is below

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One interesting thing for me was all the graffiti in the castle, we found one name carved into one of the windows that was incredibly ornate, and it was from 1827! Just goes to show even the Victorians weren’t above a little graffiti, picture is below.

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We kept exploring the grounds, got some photos of cows, almost got murdered by some swans, walked through the poisonous plant garden, saw the lake located a few minutes from the castle, and even got to see the Victorian manor that was about a minute from the castle. While the Manor was closed, it was still an incredibly beautiful building.

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After all this exploring at Blarney, we proceeded to get some wool sweaters, successful shopping? I think so. Then lunch, and it was off to the Old Jameson Distillery just outside of Cork. The tour there was pretty interesting, we learned all about the Whiskey making process. After getting through all the buildings we had a Whiskey tasting, in which a few of us (Myself and Julia included) got to taste a Scotch Whiskey (Johnny Walker Black Label), an Irish Whiskey (Jameson, duh…) and an American Whiskey (Jack Daniels). The main difference between them is that Irish Whiskey is triple distilled (i.e. the alcohol is separated out from the other liquid three times – I think that’s distillation…), the Scotch whiskey is only distilled twice (and it also a lot smokier due to the peat, as opposed to wood, burned to stop the germination of the barley), and American whiskey is only distilled once, sometimes twice. If I had to rank them, I would say the Jameson was the best, then the Scotch Whiskey and then the American. I liked the Johnny Walker and the Jameson, the Jack Daniels was ummmm…. palatable, I guess. After this we got our “Certified Whiskey Taster” certificates and proceeded to catch the bus back to Cork so we could catch our bus there back to Dublin. All in all, it was a pretty successful day of tourism. Below is a photo of the Old Distillery tour entrance (just one of several buildings at the Old Distillery). And then tomorrow it is off to Warsaw in Poland to visit my friend Brian from Georgetown!

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