Kissing the Blarney Stone

1174633_10151781155242272_559686706_nKissing the Blarney Stone, a fairly nondescript block of limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle near Cork in Ireland in 1446, is said to give one ‘the gift of the gab’, that is, fantastic eloquence and the ability to flatter.

In order to reach the stone you must climb through the castle up onto the aforementioned battlements. This would have been quite a feat in itself back in the day but for us it consisted primarily of patient queuing for the best part of an hour. Don’t be disheartened though. Once you reach the top the views are incredible and ultimately you’re about to take part in something unique, so stick with it.

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Tombstone Tourism

305902_10151245284192272_592417716_nTaphophile is the technical term for someone who has an appreciation for graveyards, and I consider myself something of a taphophile.

On the surface it perhaps seems a somewhat macabre hobby, but it’s often the story of the person buried there that I find more interesting than anything, and visiting their grave is just an interesting way to remember them.

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Gap of Dunloe

945822_10151781159767272_589755104_nTouring the Gap of Dunloe was a bit of risk. We were told we’d be picked up in the car park of a Killarney hotel, then we’d be transported by bus to nearby Ross Castle where we’d board a boat to someone called Lord Brandon’s cottage, then there’d be a pony and trap waiting to carry us on the seven mile journey through the Gap of Dunloe. In all honestly I think we were half-expecting it to be a bit of a pensioners trip, which is all good and well, but not when you’re 23.

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The Dead Zoo

tumblr_mrot5z0C5x1rnseozo7_1280The Natural History Museum of Ireland, sometimes called The Dead Zoo, is a branch of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin which houses around 10,000 taxidermy specimens from around the world, some of which have since gone extinct.

Remaining largely unaltered since it opened in 1857, leading some to call it a ‘museum of a museum’, many of the specimens are faded and display the bullet holes that originally killed the animal.

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