North Wales: Caernarfon 

     We used the town of Caernarfon as our home base while exploring the hikes and castles of northern Wales. Because it was over the bank holiday, places booked up quickly and we ended up at the Premier Inn. It was reasonably priced and convenient to walk into town. I wouldn’t recommend the breakfast as…

Hardknott Pass

Everyone in the Lake District makes this terrifying drive eventually, and the panoramic views of the fells make it worth the 30% grade on the roads and the hairpin switchbacks. Oh, and the road is only one car wide so you have to pull over on occasion to let cars pass in the opposite direction….

Ireland Part II: From Cork to Waterford via Distillery, Factory and Castle

So, in a lot of guides and reviews, I found that Blarney Castle gets a bit of a bad rap, often called a tourist trap or not a very good castle. Since we were in the area on a Sunday (and nothing else was open besides this and the Jameson Distillery) we gave it a go. It was definitely worth a morning of exploring. The castle itself is somewhat deteriorated, and yes, some of the humor on the signs may be a bit tacky but the view from the top of the castle is quite impressive and while it is a ruin, I have been to castles/cathedrals in far worse condition than this one. We did kiss the Blarney Stone, I know, ultimate tourist, but we were there anyway so what the hell. A man holds you as you lean backward, not quite dangling, to kiss said stone while photos are snapped to be sold in the gift shop. Don’t worry there are safety bars to prevent you from actually falling. The exhibits on the history/lore surrounding the castle are quite interesting, and the Poison Garden