The Bussers Missed the Blarney Stone

We left The River Lee behind sometime shortly after sunrise on the fourth day and headed up through the busy winding streets of Cork towards Blarney Castle. The tour bus was pulling into the castle lot  just ahead of us making Amanda and me groan a bit as we looked at the long lines we would have to stand in just to get onto the grounds. We groaned, that is, until we heard the tour guide tell the bussers that they had  just one hour on the grounds before the bus pulled out. It was not the first nor the last time I was glad to be on a self-guided tour. Amanda and I may not have seen as many hot spots on this trip to Ireland as the bussers did, but what we did see we actually had time to process.


We spent four hours at Blarney and could still go back to see more. All in all we felt bad for the people on the bus tour. They didn’t so much kiss the Blarney stone but miss the Blarney stone and so much more. My sister commented on the fate of the bussers when we were explaining it to her. She told us in Europe they call it seeing the world as an American, which means you go to a place, step out of the vehicle, snap a picture, get back in the vehicle, drive away and then tell the world you’ve seen it.”

I have been thinking this is how I often do life and maybe just maybe that has to change.


2 thoughts on “The Bussers Missed the Blarney Stone

  1. Beautiful photos. We tend to do self-guided visits to places too. It takes more pre-trip research but we’re always rewarded. Slowing the process down and being able to process what you’ve seen makes the remembering more meaningful and detailed.

    • Yes it does. I have done bus tours before. This was the first self-guided tour I had done. We had the tour company book our hotels and take care of the rental car arrangements as well as the plane tickets. The rest was up to us and we found that a nice blend.

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