Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ireland: Blarney Castle, Stone and Grounds

This morning, I set my alarm to wake me up early so I could beat all the tours/coaches full of people to the Blarney Stone. Job done. I was punctual (as always) and the third one into the Blarney Castle Grounds which are about 20km of walking paths and interesting gardens.

Since my goal was to Kiss the Blarney Stone, I started there and beat the other two up the many narrow winding stairs. 

The view from the top of Blarney Castle
Green green green views!
I'd heard that you had to kiss the Blarney Stone upside down, but I had no idea that you had to get upside down and then lowered into a crevasse that would surely kill you, if you fell down it. But I didn't climb up all those stairs for nothing. So, I took off my glasses, put my phone in my bag, emptied my pockets and trusted this Irishman to hang on tight. Back I went. Tight I held to the iron bars and DOWN I went to kiss the stone!

Legend has it that whoever kisses the Blarney Stone will be endowed with the "gift of the gab". After reading up on it, I think this means that if you kiss the Blarney Stone you'll be able to talk a lot of shit without ever actually making a point. Either way, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. 

Smiling, but not wanting to let go of the safety bar. =)
See the very top? See that hole with the iron bars.
Yup, that's where I was hanging on for dear life to kiss a rock. Ha!
The Blarney Stone isn't even the coolest (or deadliest) thing here. There are miles of paths to walk. I decided to try my luck in the Poison Garden!

Some poisonous plants made me think of Harry Potter
Wore my ear muffs for this one

This one made me think of Dracula
After surviving the Poison Garden, I took a leisurely walk through the greenest of green places. The Fern Garden.

The weather held out for me this morning, though it was due to rain. Not a drop hit me while touring around in Blarney. The drive to Killarney was not so dry, but it was beautiful. More green to see. Winding roads. Cute towns and even a train crossing. My camera didn't process those photos for some reason.

I've checked into the Riverside Killarney Hotel where I'm watching the rain out my window. Yesterday, I was warned that the Ring of Kerry (which I want to drive tomorrow) is lousy if it's raining. A thick fog blankets the drive and you can't see anything. I believe the warning, as there is fog out, even now. Keep your fingers crossed for beautiful weather in the morning.  

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