This past weekend, I traveled south with other Northeastern students to visit County Cork and the seaside village of Cobh. Our first stop was Blarney castle, where we all received the “gift of gab,” or the gift of eloquence, after we hung upside down and kissed the Blarney stone. When researching the Blarney stone, it was interesting to find that no one knows where the custom of kissing the Blarney stone originated and even the origin of the stone itself is a mystery. It was even more interesting to read about the lengths that people used to go to, in order to kiss the stone. Today, there are iron railings to hold on to and a person holding on to you while you hang upside down to kiss the stone, but these safety measures were not always in place. Originally, people had to be held upside down by their ankles in order to kiss the stone that is set below the battlements. (http://www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/kiss-the-blarney-stone) We also got the chance to explore the rest of the grounds and even wandered through the poison gardens, where it was made very clear that we were not to eat, touch, or even smell any of the plants that were growing in the garden. Some plants are so dangerous that they are covered by large metal cages. It was definitely an “enter at your own risk” attraction, but fascinating none the less. After staying the night in Cork, we traveled to the seaside village of Cobh, the last stop for the Titanic before its attempted voyage to America. We visited the Cobh heritage center where we explored the museum and learned about the Irish passengers aboard the Titanic as well as the other ships that stopped in the Cobh port. It was interesting to see that there were two Daly’s aboard the Titanic who actually survived, Eugene and Maggie Daly. Although, a common last name, I would be curious to see if there is any familial connection.
And with that, my gabbing is done.