Before I recount today, I would be remiss no to discuss the possibility of mishaps while traveling in hostels and with the young and carefree. Apparently, one of the young Aussies last night got a little bit drunk and decided, in the middle of the night, to use the sleeping bag and bags of the girl in the bunk below as a toilet. This did not go over well, though I must say that it was handled much better then I would have expected. The perpetrator was a bit sheepish all day and the girls have a story but a warning to others.
First stop this morning was Killarney National Park for a bit more of a tour. WE got out an walked to Torc Falls, a real nice spot and very reminiscent of falls you would see in western Canada. There were quite a few of the red deer along the way to see. Usually the group would have spent more time in the park touring but we decided to visit one of the few cave systems in Ireland. We went to the Mitchelstown Caves (sorry, no pictures...not allowed) and they were very cool. Calcite is still forming making the stalagmites so it is a very active cave (active is a relative term when discussing caves!) FRom there we made our way to Blarbney castle to kiss the stone and explore the area. Kind of wish we had more time there as there is much more to see then the castle but I can now say I kissed the stone. By kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, it is claimed that one can receive the "Gift of the Gab" (eloquence, or skill at flattery or persuasion). The legend has its roots in the response of the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth I to Cormac Teige McCarthy's attempt to blandish his way out of a difficult situation, during negotiations of the takeover of the Blarney Castle by the occupying English forces. Cormac himself was the King of Munster, living in the Blarney Castle around the 14th century. The stone itself is rumoured to have been created by a witch during the Middle Ages.
From here we went for photos at the Rock of Cashel, no tour just pictures from outside as it was getting late. The Rock of Cashel served as the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion, though few remnants if any of the early structures survive. The majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century A.D. It looks like a really neat place so will have to go back on the next trip.
Spending the night in a really bad hostel. Leanne is not happy as we are no longer in a private room and she is the sole girl with 7 guys.