Millions have flocked to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone and receive the gift of eloquence. It is said that by bending over backwards while holding on to an iron railing and giving this legendary stone a smooch, you’ll never be at a loss for words.
That’d be a helpful super power. I could use eloquence.
The Blarney Stone can be found five miles from the city of Cork, at the Blarney Castle. This castle began as a wooden structure built in the tenth century, then was replaced by a stone structure in 1210 A.D. After that was demolished, it was resurrected in 1446.
Though the history of Blarney Castle is quite clear, the origin of the Blarney Stone remains a mystery.
Two days. Two castles. Two bucket list checks. #winning
clothing by prAna
We arrived at the nearly vacant Blarney Castle at 9:30am on a Sunday, a half hour after opening. Apparently, this was a really good time because there were only a couple dozen people walking around the expansive grounds.
Hurrah to that.
Though the area surrounding the castle was the luscious green that you’d expect from Ireland, before exploring the flora I wanted to quickly make my way to the Blarney Stone before there was too many people who would be kissing it prior to myself. I wanted to swap spit with the least amount of people possible, unless, the line was filled with Bradley Cooper clones.
I would bend the sanitation rules for hot celebrities.
We rapidly made our way to the steep, narrow and slippery steps. When we got to the top there were only about a dozen people waiting in line for their opportunity to lay their lips on the stone. Perfect. I will only be exchanging germs with a limited few. Even so, I applied a thick covering of chapstick prior to my peck hoping that the waxy coverage would be a layer of germ protection.
They do not sanitize the Blarney Stone in-between smooches.
In the past, visitors had to be hung by the ankles, over the edge, in order to kiss the Stone. Today it is a much safer and less frightening process. When it was my turn, an attendant instructed me to lay on my back, grab the two bars behind my head, bend backwards and kiss the exact spot where he pointed.
The same spot millions of others had kissed before me.
It took approximately 20 seconds.
The real question was would my germaphobic husband kiss it, he doesn’t even touch the handrails at the local mall.
He took a pass. Big surprise.
Instead, I delegated him the official photographer. I needed proof that this kiss actually happened. Unfortunately, the Blarney Castles’ professional photographer had the best (an just about only) angle for pictures. At the bottom the staff will then sell you these photos for 10 Euros a pop. I bought two.
Though the smooching process was brief, we spent a couple hours afterwards exploring the bright green grounds.
We started with a stroll through the Poison Garden that contains a collection of poisonous plants from around the world. Then walked along the grass, smelling the daffodils along the way, until we reached the Blarney House, a Scottish Baronial mansion.
Though the house was closed on this day, I couldn’t help but fantasize about life in such a lovely place. I could even see myself spending time there now looking out of one of the third story windows, drinking a cocktail and writing this travel blog.
Truth be told, I woke up with a head cold the very next day. I am not saying it was from smooching the stone, but I’m not saying it wasn’t either.