— Day 17 —

Day 17 was a Saturday, so we were free to go anywhere we wanted. The three of us decided to go to a famous place: the Blarney Castle. We first had breakfast with the group, but then we separated and took the bus to the castle. When we arrived there, everything was so breathtaking. It was so big and beautiful! There was a cave, gardens, and of course, the castle. We first went and explored the castle. We passed by The Court, an eighteenth century Gothic mansion that was built in 1739 by the Jeffereys, who bought the Castle in 1703. Then, we visited the Dungeon, which was beneath the Blarney Castle. We found a really cool labyrinth of underground passages and chambers. We tried to explore everything, but got a little lost. So, we decided to go explore the many gardens. First, we went to the Herbaceous Border. It is a 90-metres-long passage that displays beautiful flowers of different summer colours. The passage also shows a wide range of herbaceous perennials and some more special flower specimens. We then continued with the Poison Garden. Yes, you read right, a poison garden! There, we saw a collection of poisonous plants. They were specimens from all over the world. For example, there was Wolfsbane, Mandrake, Ricin, Opium and Cannabis. We learned about their toxicity and their traditional and modern uses. An interesting fact we learned was that many of those toxic plants were once used as remedy. We also went to see the Fern Garden where we saw the 204-inch-high Dicksonia antartica, which is the tallest kind of its fern in Ireland. We walked and visited the Irish garden and the bog garden.

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Finally, we went to the Blarney Stone. We walked in the small and cramped tower that led us to the famous Blarney Stone. It is said that for over 200 years, literary legends and other famous writer went on pilgrims and climbed the cramped steps to kiss the Blarney Stone to have the gift of eloquence.

Once we were done visiting, we went in the nearby and famous Blarney Chocolate Factory, where we bought and ate a box of delicious chocolate, ate our prepared lunch, and drank some hot chocolate. Since we had spent a lot of time in the Blarney Castle, it was getting late so we had to take the bus back to Mill Little farm, where we ate our comforting supper, which was made of fish they had caught while we were away, vegetables and other savory things. Again, we all fell asleep satisfied of our great adventure and discoveries of the day.

Information:

http://www.blarneycastle.ie/tickets

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g186599-d214817-Reviews-Blarney_Castle_Gardens-Blarney_County_Cork.html

http://www.blarneychocolatefactory.com/

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g186599-d6900015-Reviews-Blarney_Chocolate_Factory-Blarney_County_Cork.html

http://www.buseireann.ie/

http://sunshineonourshoulders2014.blogspot.ca/2014_04_01_archive.html

https://www.google.ca/maps

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