Almost a week ago, some friends and I took a day trip that included visiting places like Rock of Cashel, Cork, and Blarney Castle. In true Ireland fashion, it was raining a little bit on and off but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our day. I was not going to come study at Ireland and not visit Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney stone at the top, so I was finally able to check that off my list two weeks prior to me departing Ireland.
The stone in the town of the Blarney Castle dates back to the late 1400s. When one kisses the stone after they have climbed to the top, they have successfully earned the Gift of the Gab – meaning they becoming coaxing when they speak and exhibit flattery. Literally millions of individuals travel to this castle to take part in the ritual. Of course the stone is not placed somewhere on the wall that’s easy to reach. One has to really earn it! You have to lay down on your back and lean backwards over an opening in the in order to kiss the stone. When people started going to Blarney Castle to kiss the stone, there were no railings to hold onto while leaning over the edge and it really was risking you life to get this gift. Now when you arrive at the top and queue to kiss the stone, there are two workers there to help and give you directions. When you lay down on your back and lean to hold onto the rails, one of the assistants hold onto you so it is relatively safe to do now. Even though there are assistants there to help along the way, people still get nervous and fearful since it is a long way down.
The castle is beautiful and cool to explore with its spiral staircases and even has a dungeon that you can attempt to crawl through – although you can’t really do so without hitting your head on the ceiling and getting a little dirty in the process. The grounds are the castle are very picturesque, especially this time of the year with springs flowers blooming.