“Disgusting.  Nasty.  You’re not actually going to kiss the stone, are you?  Do you know what the locals do the stone at night?”  All of these seemed to be on the minds of the travelers on our tour.  Quite honestly, we didn’t know if we would kiss the stone.

Blarney Stone map

Blarney Castle map

“So, what’s the big deal concerning said stone?” you might wonder.  The Irish folklore states that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you will gain the gift of gab…or eloquence, take your pick.  Our tour guide, Evelyn, gave us a bit lengthier story that involved Queen Elizabeth.  One thing is certain…we didn’t notice any enhanced eloquence with our words.

Blarney

Right about now, you might be wondering if we kissed the stone.  The answer: YES!  We realized if we left Blarney Castle without kissing the stone, we’d regret it.  We weren’t willing to take such chances. We had a small wait, but for the amount of people wanting to kiss the stone, we were surprised how quickly the line moved.

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As we waited at the top of the castle, we passed the time by reading fun signage.

BlarneySign1

Blarney2

Blarney3

And, ten minutes later, whallah, we were kissing a stone.

 

By the way, it is not allowed to take pictures from the good angle…a photographer takes the photo and you can buy it in the gift shop.  However, you can take pictures from the bad angle all you like.

Blarney Stone Kiss

John kissing the stone.

Kissing the stone is not as easy as it seems.  You have to climb many steps in a stairwell to get to the top, and then once it’s your turn you have to lie down, scoot back, hold onto two metal bars, and stretch your neck back so you can kiss the stones.  Okay, it’s not the most difficult of tasks, but if you find it tedious to move around you might opt out.

The castle is fascinating and the property surrounding it is heavenly.  We actually visited the castle twice, but only kissed the stone once.  Our first time visiting the castle, we took our time exploring just the castle.

Looking toward the castle a little ways outside the entrance.

Looking toward the castle a little ways outside the entrance.

Standing directly in front of the castle.

Standing directly in front of the castle.

Another view of the castle, this time from the side where caves reside.

Another view of the castle, this time from the side where caves reside.

Taking a moment to enjoy the castle bench - Trenquilla is holding Flat Sadie (our niece's school project).

A moment to enjoy the castle bench – Trenquilla holding Flat Sadie (our niece’s school project).

Once inside the castle, the visitor can explore a variety of rooms.  Of course, you have to use your imagination since the rooms are just rock walls, but it still gives an opportunity to appreciate a time come and gone.

Visiting the living room.

Visiting the living room.

A view from one of the windows - the property is gorgeous.

A view from one of the windows – the property is gorgeous.

Looking over the lookout.

Looking out over the lookout.

Small windows to look through - a nice view.

Small windows to look through – a nice view.

Some seriously old graffiti inside the castle walls.

Some seriously old graffiti inside the castle walls.

Looking out over the surrounding area, the Blarney House came into view...not shabby.

From the top of the castle, the Blarney House came into view…not shabby.

It would be easy to spend hours hanging out in the gardens on the property.  Not only is it beautiful, it is magical too.  On our second visit we spent time wandering the nature side of the castle and it captured our imagination.  Great fun!

Strolling along we came upon this gauntlet of twine.  Adorable.

Strolling along we came upon this gauntlet of twine. Adorable.

Beauty at every turn in the gardens of Blarney Castle.

Beauty at every turn in the gardens of Blarney Castle.

According to the sign outside of these steps, if you make a wish and walk up and down the stairs backward with your eyes closed, the wish will be granted.

According to the sign outside of the wishing stairs, if you “walk down and back up these steps with your eyes closed – some suggest walking backwards – and without for one moment thinking of anything other than the wish, then that wish will come true within a year.”  Hmmm?     What would you wish?

We couldn't help but think of the fairies and how they must use this furniture during festivities.

We couldn’t help but think of the fairies and how they must use this furniture during festivities.

TIP:  If you visit the castle and have limited time, make sure you take care of kissing the stone first.  You will kick yourself in the pants if you don’t get the opportunity because you thought you could just run up the stairs and not wait in a queue.

 

What will we share next? The Titanic experience.

Peace out, The Franci