LOCATION: Blarney Castle. Cork, Ireland
The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone (the same stone as Stonehenge) built into the Blarney Castle located in Cork, Ireland. Legend has it that kissing the stone will give you the gift of gab for 7 years.
There are several stories surrounding the stone and how it arrived at the castle. Some stories suggest that the stone is half of the original Stone of Scone, which the first King of Scotland was seated on during his coronation in 847. The stone was presented to Cormac McCarthy, the builder of the Blarney Castle, by Robert the Bruce in 1314 as a gift to the Irish for support in the Battle of Bannockburn. Later, McCarthy was involved in a lawsuit and kissed the stone for luck in giving him eloquence in his case. McCarthy won, and decided to incorporate it into the castle.
Regardless of the story behind the stone, it has been kissed in the castle since 1446. Now that is a lot of kissing!
Blarney Castle is set upon a beautiful land of gardens and streams. The day we went to kiss the stone was absolutely perfect out. Not one cloud in the sky, a rarity for Ireland I am sure.
The castle was pretty well preserved for its time and really made the walk to the top for the stone a little nerve-wracking as the stairs were tall, narrow, crumbling and slippery.
The gift of gab was not an easy task! Once at the top, there were vast views of the gardens and town of Cork. In order to kiss the stone, you needed to lie on your back and grab two bars to hold on to.
The stone was located on a small crevasse of rock that dropped out from the castle. Once holding onto the bars, an employee would help lower you backwards for you to kiss the stone. The process was crazy fast and did not allow for any real memory of what this kiss was like, but, I kissed it! However, I think this gift of gab might be on a delay.
*Thank you Lori and Ryan for accompanying me on this adventure.
Would I do this again? Absolutely. We didn’t have enough time to explore all the gardens. It was so beautiful there.
How to do this: We used Paddy Wagon tours to go, but you can drive there on your own. The tour group was $56 and was an all day excursion. http://www.paddywagontours.com/BLARNEY-Day-Tour-From-DUBLIN