Looking through old pictures today, I came across pictures from Ireland. My family visited in early April. The weather is still chilly and most of the days were overcast. But we didn’t mind it one bit. We loved all the different shades of green that surrounded us during our travels from Killarney to Northern Ireland. Our most interesting memory is kissing the famous Blarney Stone.
The Blarney Castle is located in the center of Blarney Village, about 8 km from Cork City. Not having done any research prior to our visit, all we expected to see was a castle ruin and a stone. We were pleasantly surprised to find there’s more to the place than was expected. There are also a number of gardens available for tourists to enjoy. Welcome to Blarney Castle and Gardens.
We only allotted a few hours for this visit so we had to move fast through the gardens.
Visitors are given a handout and they have it in different languages. They also have audio guides available for a fee.
We excitedly climbed the steps only to find a line ahead of us. No big deal though because the line moved pretty fast.
Legend has it that those who kiss the stone will have the power of eloquent speech or “pleasant talk.” The Stone was set under the battlements (design on top of castle walls that has a space to allow archers to fire arrows at approaching enemies). Kissing it proved to be a little tricky.
So here’s how to do it:
- Sit at the edge of the parapet walk
- Lean backwards making sure to hold on to the iron railings
- Allow the man in red to support you
- Plant a kiss on the Stone! (Don’t worry they wipe it off after each visitor)
Notice that there are only a couple of iron bars underneath me and I can see the people walking below. This was the most difficult but memorable kiss I’ve given in my life.
A few tips:
- Plan to spend at half a day to a day exploring the grounds.
- Visitors have the option to buy a picture of kissing the stone with a certificate to go along with it.
- Other sights that see here: Blarney Lake, Rock Close, Poison Garden, Fern Garden and Ice House.
- After leaving Blarney Castle, check out Blarney’s Chocolate Factory near the exit. They have the best chocolate with chili flakes. Spicy, sweet and delicious!
- For more info: https://www.blarneycastle.ie/
Have a great weekend!