If you kiss it, you’ll never be lost for words again.
On today’s trip, don’t expect some amazing wonders of nature, but you know what you could expect? Interesting myths and legends. Castles. And a bit of history.
So, this trip was a bit different. I thought it wasn’t going to be anything special, but I was wrong. I loved it, because I got to do such an unusual thing, something I wouldn’t even thought of doing in my wildest dreams.
On that trip I realized that it’s not only important seing new places, but experiencing new things, doing something you’ve never done before. And that really is a remarkable feeling. This was my small adrenaline trip to the history of Ireland. So let’s go.
As a good old habit, I woke up at 5 in the morning, again, ate my breakfast and headed to the city centre of Dublin to catch a bus.
Kiss it and get the gift of eloquence.
Now we’re coming to an interesting part. Who do we kiss and why?
Blarney Castle was built by Irish king Cormac MacCarthy of Munster, 600 years ago. There’s a legendary Stone of Scone or so called Blarney Stone at the top of the tower. Legend says if you kiss that rock, you’ll get the gift of eloquence.
MacCarthy got it as a gift from Robert Bruce from Scotland for helping him in the battle at Bannockburn in 1314 by sending him 4000 of his souldiers.
The castle originates from the 10th century and people think there was a wooden hunters shack on that place which was replaced by the stone fortress in 1210 and then destroyed in 1446, so McCarthy built a castle there. During all these years, this castle was owned by many people.
Now, it’s just a partial ruin with a few rooms you can access.
At the top, there’s a famous Blarney Stone which is built in the walls. There are a few theories about the origin of the stone, including the most important one – it’s the stone upon which Irish kings were crowned. The legend says that a few years after, the witch that MacCarthy saved from drowning revealed the powers of the stone to him.
And now the legend about the stone’s name. Queen Elisabeth I ordered Earl of Leicester to take over the castle. Every time Earl would try to negotiate with Cormac about the castle, Cormac would always suggest some kind of festivity or a feast to postpone it. And when Queen would ask for a report about taking over, he would always sent her a long letter, after which the castle still remained untaken. So she was irritated by Earls’s reports and called it ‘Blarney’ (flattering/embellishment).
And how does it all look like? Eventhough it’s all a huge estate full of parks and gardens, when we got out of a bus, the first thing we did is we went to see the stone. I remember one girl saying how this is so unsanitary, kissing the stone that thousands and thousands people kissed. Well ok, it might be a little yayks, but there’s no chance I would miss this opportunity. Even if there was some grandpa in front of me. And there was.
After almost 1.5 hour waiting in this huge line and climbing up the castle by the narrow stairs towards the top, 27 m later, there it was. The Blarney Stone. In the most interesting moment there’s a little digression. When you are down on the ground and looking up towards the top of the castle, you can see people being held to kiss the stone. And because it’s so high, you get the adrenaline rush.
After we finally climbed up, the view around us was beautiful, green meadows and beautiful nature. We moved quicly to see what was waiting for us. How does this kissing look like? And why is there a man sitting there to hold the people?
The line was slowly getting smaller, and the adrenalin bigger. When it was finally our turn, everything was finished in matter of seconds. I layed down, and the man held my waist, while I leaned backwards and kissed the stone. 1.5 hours in line and everything finished so fast.
We had this bad luck to come in such a busy day. The tour guide told us that the day before people waited only 5 min for the queue.
Why is this stone being kissed in such an unusual way? Well see, not all that you see is the Blarney stone, only the small part where my head is leaned. And as you can see, it’s built in on a really awkward place, so I guess this is the easiest way to kiss it. And it’s kind of cool to say I was hanging upside down to kiss it. But before, there were no bars, so you had to risk your life if you wanted to kiss it.
And here’s a short video of me kissing it https://www.facebook.com/Gate32travelblog/videos/1043111382409008/
While we were waiting in line I saw a girl who did all that, but didn’t actually kiss the stone. I was thinking, geez, why were you waiting for so long and didn’t get to kiss it. I guess she didn’t lay down properly and couldn’t reach the stone or she was under such a rush she didn’t even notice. Why am I telling you this? Well, because if you ever go there, don’t be that girl. Sit down properly and if necessary do it again, while you’re already there. But kiss it. It’s an opportunity you don’t miss.
So I went for my gift of eloquence. And let me tell you, I was pretty chatty after it, maybe beacuse of the excitement of doing something so unusual, being a part of the myth, going on a journey to Irish history or maybe the legend is really true. I’ll leave it to you to find out yourselves.
But, when you get there, Blarney castle is not the only thing you can see. Around the castle there’s plenty of beautiful gardens, lakes, caves and just a lovely nature. Unfortunately I can’t really tell you much about it because of the long line for the stone we didn’t get much time to explore the rest of it all. And I just sat my eyes on the horse graveyard.
But nevertheless, such a great experience. I would definitely recommend it if you ever find yourselves in Ireland.
One more amazing tour by Extreme Ireland – https://www.extremeireland.ie/