Because of a deal made at the Blarney Castle a long time ago, the word blarney has come to mean eloquence, flattery or in plain words “the gift of gab.” If you get to kiss the stone in your life time, you are blessed with this gift. I kissed it twice on the same day, not to mention I had the gift of gab even before I kissed the stone. I remember my Dad talking about kissing the Blarney Stone. He didn’t know much about it, but in my head, I imagined a great, impressive stone that people would lay down on, and kiss. It is nothing like that, and Dad did not mention anything about a castle. Never the less, this was the most important thing for me to see and do while visiting Ireland.
Once through the ticket gate, we started the walk on a pathway surrounded by lush gardens with daffodils popping up all over the place. There was a river that ran by the castle, and as I walked by it, I could see the draw bridge and the horses riding through in high style. Ok, I was seeing scenes from Camelot in my head. But in days gone by this would have been the moat.
As we got closer, and came around a bend, we see this tall stone structure looming in the distance. It wasn’t quite my idea of a castle, more of a tower. When we came to the bottom of the building we saw places that were labeled “dungeons, ” and more movie scenes started popping in my head. Soon we were inside the gloomy castle and began climbing the steep, narrow, (doesn’t even begin to describe it), staircase. There were rope banisters with which you literally pulled your self up step, by step. Did I mention steep?
It winds its way up several levels of what were living quarters. Near the top there was a room labeled,”kitchen.” I couldn’t help thinking how convenient that must have been.
Stepping out of the stairwell onto an open area, we pause to catch our breath, and view the castle grounds. It was beautiful to look out and down. For once on our trip the sun was shining and it was a spectacular sight that was worth that climb.
The next step put us out into the top, open floor of the square structure, with chest high walls surrounding the outside area. You can look straight down to the ground in the open area in the middle. On the far end is the famed blarney stone.
By watching those who were in line before you, everyone knew what to do when it was your turn; take off your glasses, sit down with your back to the stone, beside the guy who is sitting right there to hold you around the waist. Then you grab hold of the two bars above and beside you. Next you lie on your back and put your head under the stone that looks different from all the others.
Looking back you can see all the way to the ground. Looking up you see the blarney stone and put your lips to it to complete the kiss. Be careful when you bring your head up, because you can get a little dizzy. This is clearly documented by the look on my face. The reason I got to kiss it twice, was that there was no film in the camera the first time around.
Looks like Nancy had an easier time coming up than I did.
Just after we had all our pictures and were moving to the other side, a young couple came through, when she came up, he was on his knees proposing to her. She said “Yes,” we all cheered, and began the much easier trek down.
So that’s it for March, by the looks of today we are in high hopes of this unpredictable month going out like a lamb.