WWW Day 24: The Bus Tour That Almost Killed Me.
You guys, YOU GUYS, I’m going to NEW YORK CITY this weekend!! I wrote an extra long post to tide you over in my absence – it’s one heckuva story!
What better way to get out of the house and see more of Ireland than a bus tour? Safe, predictable, easy travel, right?
First, choosing a tour out of the dozens of pamphlets was a chore, but we finally settled on one that looked promising -“Extreme Ireland Tour” to Rock Cashel, the Blarney Stone, and on to Cork, PLUS, the pamphlet promised us a “charming, sexy tour guide.” Sold!
We arrived bright and early to see rows upon rows of shiny new tour buses, like this:
We stopped at each one and asked if they were the Extreme Ireland tour, until finally someone smirked and pointed out our “bus” hiding behind all the other mammoth beauties:
We should have known, right then and there, to throw out all expectations, yet foolishly we clung to the hope of our “charming, sexy tour guide.”
“Welcome aboard ladies!”:
Strong foreboding warned us to walk away, but our down payment was non refundable, naturally.
At the first rest stop, driver man blatantly hit on Sus and I (which we narrowly avoided).
Back on the road things deteriorated quickly: our driver was a maniac, swerving all over the road, and rolling down his window to shout at a runaway horse:
Rumble strips meant nothing to this man, let alone the center line! Let me tell you, getting off that bus again was a blessed relief. This was our first stop:
Unfortunately for us, the castle was under construction, so we were limited in what we could see. Also, the weather was FREEZING, and our driver creeped on Susie and I hardcore:
Once we ran away from Driver Dave, it was pretty beautiful there:
Blarney Castle came next, and was far and away my favorite stop. The wind had died down a little, nothing was under construction, and we successfully evaded Driver Dave! Plus, it looked like this:
Here is the unique thing about our visit to the Blarney Castle: Susie and I didn’t kiss the stone. Not only was the queue an hour’s wait, an Irish friend told us a rumor that locals pee on the the stone at night to laugh at tourists. Next.
Instead we went to the magical gardens, called the Rock Close. I can’t think of a better way to spend our brief hour there: not only did we avoid standing behind a French couple who were making out the whole time (in line to the Blarney Stone), but we found a gorgeous tropical oasis that swirled with misty magic, where the legends were as dense as the undergrowth.
I don’t have the room to post all those pictures here, but I will give you a guided tour of the lush garden in a separate post.
Back to the bus we trudged, not eager to re-enter our cramped-bus reality. On the ride down to Cork, our driver talked nonstop through a garbled mike that rendered us incapable of deciphering his stories anyway. Here’s Cork, where Driver Dave recommended a bar for us (no thanks Dave!):
And with that, we made the long trek back to Dublin. Driver Dave sang us Irish love songs, which was a nice change, and before we knew it, we were stumbling off the bus, dazed, amused, and shocked that we were home in one piece. I’m pretty sure I lost a couple pounds laughing all day, leaving my shoulders and abs equally sore!
Would I reccomend this tour?