When we arrived in Dublin, I let Magpie know which places I wanted for us to go to and let the choice of which order be his. I am not so sure, that receiving the gift of gab first, was the way to go, knowing him.
Blarney Castle it was. Our guide definitely had the gift of gab, to the point that Magpie was wishing our guide/driver would take a break. Our guide was fun though and full of information. He even learned some Irish songs from our driver, only one stuck.
Since the tours go rain or shine, there are more than one site to visit to ensure people feel they got their money worth. We did not have any issue with weather and our first stop was Blarney Castle.
The grounds were beautiful and the cherry blossoms were in bloom. It is a great picnic area and very tranquil, but that is not why people come here.
The legendary stone of Eloquence – Blarney Stone – is the main attraction. By kissing the stone – if you didn’t fall to your death in trying to – you are never to be at a lost of words.
The stone is part of the castle and is found at the top. Some of the stairways are quite narrow, I was feeling crowded going up. Of course they are all circular. At the top their are railings to prevent fallings and allow the line to wrap. Our line up was not too long.
It is a production now. There are two gents by the stone. One to take your picture and the other to ensure you do not fall. You must be a certain height to kiss the stone. Little ones cannot. I seriously am not kidding about sliding down and landing on your head.
When our turn arrives, Magpie goes first and must take off anything that will fall off. You are literally doing a back flip on stone. They do have a metal bar to hold onto and some blankets to cushion your back and the guy to hold you. You have to slide down well to kiss the stone.
Don’t even think about whether the stone is being dis-infected. Trust me, it was discussed, in length.
The whole process is over in a couple of minutes. It was fun and cool. This is a castle that is nearly 600 years old. The history of Blarney Castle and how the “gift of gab” is associated with the Blarney Stone is one of those neat trivia pieces. If I remember right Queen Elizabeth I is involved.
Once back down at ground level we found a sign that stated to watch out as many a person had fallen head first trying to kiss the Blarney Stone.
Within the grounds is also the Rock Close where the Wishing Steps are. Supposedly a witch lived on the grounds and superstition states you must walk up the steps backwards with eyes closed only thinking about your wish and then down again. If you succeed then your wish is to come true within a year. Magpie was definitely doing this. Note the steps are slippery and worn. Scary watching yes for a helicopter parent. Success for both of us, though I doubt either one of us can remember our wishes. Oh well……
Exploring Blarney Castle was lots of fun. We bypassed the Poisonous Garden as we had gone through one in Alnwick and it was not in full blown now.
It was time to get back to the bus for our next stop…. Cork.