Blarney Travel Blog› entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
Well, it finally happened. I finally saw Blarney Castle. I have no idea what my fascination has been with it, but I did it! I even played tourist and kissed the Blarney Stone.
However, Blarney is more than just the castle and beautiful grounds. It is a quaint, beautiful village with some very wonderful people!
First of all, I must say the castle was gorgeous. The grounds are very well maintained so that when you walk in the gates it doesn't take much imagination to see ladies in gowns and chivalrous knights. It was an overwhelming site to see Blarney Castle in the background, surrounded by such beauty. But as you get closer you can actually see the castle is part of the rock at one point. The dungeon was open, however, pitch black and I had no torch of any kind.
Walking up the stairs in the castle brings to mind how small the people were back in 900 AD. Yes, I'm a tall woman, but literally I had to walk sideways to get my shoulders through these long, winding narrow staircases. The stairs leading up are for the servants, so how they ever carried trays and such in that stairwell is beyond me. However, going down was the main stairway for the gentry. I can't say it was any better. There are ropes along the side to help keep your balance, as the stairs are circular, narrow and extremely steep.
At the top of the keep is the most amazing view! You can look out over the entire countryside, which was lush and green. The wall/rampart is still standing in some places and you can see how it protected the castle.
Within the castle the "windows" are so small that you can barely see sunlight coming through. Though they were kept small for protection reasons, I cannot imagine living in a castle with so little light or air!
Though the floors are now gone (wood), you can easily see what was there, including the smoke marks from the fireplaces.
In the village we when to a great pub, O'Connors Muskery Arms Hotel & Pub. The local musician, Andy Dunne, was a one man band and really was fun to listen to. By the end of the evening, we were locked in after hours with the pub owner, John O'Connor and his staff, as well as Andy. We didn't drag in until after 2:00 am. What a great, Great day!!!!