County Cork, Ireland

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County Cork   Irish: Contae Chorcaí is the largest county in Southern Ireland. Cork has a major international airport which accesses many non-stop routes from US and European cities. The holiday home we selected sits perched up on a cliff overlooking the  endless view of the ocean and is only 10 minutes away from Clonakilty and Inchydoney Island. We stayed in a quaint, quiet, modern yet minimalistic home in a neighborhood called Ballinglanna. The view was one that begged for you to have tea several times each morning, afternoon and evening while the girls ran around befriending many holiday home dogs.

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Trek in front of our holiday home and our new friend, Lucky.                                                         Steve and I fell in love with the area and with in a day or two, started planning for a plot of land up the hill to serve as a possible retirement spot.

Things to do:

Clonakilty  Irish: Cloich na Coillte
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Clonakilty- So many places to have tea and scones.
  While planning our trip to County Cork, the girls studied the Easter Rebellion, Michael Collins biography and the history of Ireland dating back to the Vikings.  A few kilometers away from our home was the famous yet tiny town called Clonakilty, Michael Collins hometown . The majority of the restaurants inside town have menus that are a unique hybrid of organic greens, home-made lemonade, fish and chips, green juice and any beer you can think of on tap. Happy kids, Happy Mom… Happy Husband. The Michael Collins House/Museum  is in the town square. My husband and thus children are Irish American so it was exciting and interesting to be in Michael Collins home learning about the incredible strides and accomplishments he made for the short time he was on this earth.
 
Blarney Castle   Irish: Bhlarna 
Blarney is about 8 kilometres from Cork and a 20 minute drive from the Cork Airport.  The Blarney Castle grounds overflow in gardens. There is even a plot of “poison gardens”. You can have an ice cream while wandering through the trails, gardens and the crossing rivers.
The Blarney Stone-
cork2After making the 127 steps to the top of the castle, you will decide wether or not you dare to dangle from 37 feet by a man collecting euros who may or may not work for the facility. He is in all black clothing so you may even mistake him for a priest. He is very “friendly” with the women and he may leave you without words for a few minutes. Yet, legend has it that if you kiss the legendary stone at the top of the tower that you’ll never again be at a loss for words. According to legend, kissing the stone gives the kisser the gift of eloquence (gab).
Bantry    Irish: Beanntraí
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Midway through our trip, we drove out to to do  horse-back riding with Bantry Pony Trekking. Bantry is a town on the coast of West County Cork, Ireland. It is positioned at the top of Bantry Bay with endless manicured hill country. The views were stunning and reminded us of Tuscany. The staff was so professional and knowledgeable and very attentive with the girls. It was magical and one of our very favorite experiences.
Kinsale   Irish: Cionn tSáile
kinsale1Kinsale is a quaint fishing town. The entrance to the town sits on a historic port covered in sailboats. While walking into the square, we observed an accepting , free-thinking culture. We noticed a couple doing acrobatic yoga in the lawn. There were also several kids playgrounds sprinkled throughout the lawn. The Lemon Leaf Cafe in Kinsale goes on our top 5 lunch places in the world. The cafe had a broad selection of unique, high-quality, mouth-watering meals. You can enjoy your short wait time for your meal in the garden patio. The drink menu includes Elderflower Tonic, Almond Milk Cappuccinos and Fresh Pressed Green Juice. The food menu ranges from a quinoa patty decorated with a beet juice puree or a Grass fed burger and chips (fries). The service is friendly, sincere and warm.Lemonleafcafe.ie  
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Gallery Kinsale- If you’re looking for a unique Art piece or enjoy admiring art, step into Gallery Kinsale. All pieces displayed are from Irish Artists and tell a unique story of their own. www.gallerykinsale.com
cliffsofmoherThe best time to travel to Ireland if you want sunny blue skies is in June or July. There is an occasional shower but that is why everything is so gorgeous and green! The Irish people are thoughtful, friendly and helpful. Time slows down in County Cork, yet you are still surrounded by free thinking, friendly warm people everywhere you go. County Cork will be a once a year trip for our family from now on.

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read our blog. If you have any comments, questions or need further tips to travel to Ireland, please leave a comment. – 4TT

 

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