Yeah I kissed it!

Blarney Travel Blog

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Blarney Castle

Today was our last day of the tour.  Fortunately, we still had a lot of neat things to do!  We reached Cork early in the morning and made a quick jaunt over to Blarney.  It is there, as I am sure you all know, that Blarney Castle sits, surrounded by mystery and intrigue.  The myth I had heard on the tour said that a witch put a spell on the Blarney Stone, and that whoever kissed it will have many years of eloquent speech.  I think I'm living proof that that's not the case, but anyway...

The castle itself is a very neat experience.  Since the stone sits on the top of the castle, you're given the opportunity to walk through the entire thing.  If you've ever done this before, you soon learn that castles are not easy to maneuver through.

Blarney Castle
  After walking through narrow passageways with uneven floors and going up almost vertical staircases with steps of all different sizes, I really started to wonder why this was the case.  After all, didn't kings and other well off people live here?  Build your castle a little better, for crying out loud!  I think I lost track of my thoughts after I banged my head on the walls a few times, but the answer was revealed to me later.

Castles were build for defense.  They were the last line of defense if all other forms of defense had failed.  If troops got inside the castle, it was necessary to have ways to slow them down.  You didn't want the enemy leader waltzing through your fine castle and quickly killing everyone, did you?  So, the narrow hallways.

View from Blarney Castle
..hard to get through.  The uneven floors...good luck walking on those very quickly.  The vertical stairs with different size steps?  You have to go through one at a time and very slowly...you could have one soldier at the top of the stairs and he could pick off an invader very easily.

Anyway, back to Blarney.  After going up all those stairs and through all those walkways, you come out on top of the castle.  Literally, on the top of the castle.  There are great views in each direction you look, it was a simply beautiful sight.  You then have to wait in line for a bit to kiss the stone.  As you may or may not know, the stone is actually...how to explain it...on the side of the castle, below where you lay to kiss it.  Simply put, you have to lay down and bend backwards to kiss the stone.  You're trusting some guy with your life, as he holds your legs during this process.  There are little bars for your hands as well, but it's still quite the experience.

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Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle
View from Blarney Castle
View from Blarney Castle
Blarney
photo by: hanleyscot