Blarney Castle & Cork

4 Dec

            Last week, at the glowing hour of 6:30 am, I boarded a bus to go to County Cork and the Blarney Castle compound therein. The bus trip flew by just as it did in the way to Galway. Walking the winding dirt path up to Blarney Castle the stark difference from the castles seen around Dublin, Galway and Belfast and the Blarney Castle struck me more than I thought it would; most of the abandoned cathedrals, castles and churches I had seen around the other parts of Ireland that I had been to. There was no water to be seen, and yet the castle built in 1446 seemed was something to behold. While the parts of Ireland I had seen before had been sort of green, the Barney Castle compound was VERY green and seemed to be retrofitted to draw in more and more tourists while still being steeped in Irish lore and history. After climbing the stairs to the top of the castle, bending over backwards over the outer wall, clinging to two iron bars and kissing the fabled Blarney Stone, said to give the gift of the “gab” and give the person kissing the stone unnaturally eloquent speech. Yet, the rest of the grounds were equally rich in ancient Irish folklore, the Druid’s Circle, allowing the person who walks around it a deeper access to the supernatural world. Another significant piece of the grounds is the Wishing Steps, said to grant the walker one wish if they can walk up and down the steps with their eyes closed. The Blarney Castle and it’s surrounding grounds represent how deep Ireland’s folklore truly goes, as well as represents how interested the rest of the world is regarding Ireland’s stories as well as how these stories have been commercialized to draw more and more people in.  Another stop on this day tour was the city of Cork. Recognized as the unofficial capitol of Ireland, as Dublin was simply named by Ireland’s oppressors in the past. However, something that has been imbued into the social fabric of Cork has been the English pieces that were accentuated when Queen Elizabeth II visited in 2011 still remain two years later. 

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