Subject: Re: Re: Southwestern Ireland
Hello: Yes, I highly recommend southwestern Ireland, too. My father's family came from County Cork, so I may be prejudiced, but it definitely is warmer and sunnier and so beautiful.

Blarney Castle is very interesting, but beware the steep narrow steps without a bannister -- typical of these old castles. And to kiss the Blarney Stone, you have to lean way out over the ground, which is a long way down. They hold onto you, but I just didn't have the nerve. And be sure and go to the Blarney Woolen Mills nearby for bargains in Irish woolens.

The mention of ringing the church bells in Cork reminds me of when my daughter and I went with her penpal to St. Anne's. He took us up to the bell tower and told us we could ring the bells. I couldn't believe it at first, because these bells sound out all over the city. They even had little songbooks from which you could pick out a song to play. After the kids did it, I decided to try, but felt very embarrassed at the whole town hearing my attempts at bell-ringing.

Be sure and go to County Kerry, the next county west of Cork. It is so lovely, and the Ring of Kerry is a gorgeous drive. Also, Kylemore Abbey is so beautiful across a small lake. I could go on and on, but believe me that this is such a wonderful part of Ireland.

Diana San Diego, California