Kissing The Blarney Stone… Or Not….

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So we finally made it to Blarney Castle. At first, it was one of those things that we thought we would do only if we had some extra time. But instead, we made the time for it, and I’m so glad we did. I think so far, this has been one of the best parts of our trip!

An image looking up at Blarney Castle.

A view from the side of the castle. It’s pretty breathtaking when you arrive at its base. The walls were built to lean inwards, giving the castle a much more foreboding appearance. It was built that way to make the castle look larger and taller than it actually is. The blarney was apparently also installed in the architecture!

A view of Blarney Castle from the grounds.

This is the side view of the castle. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures! Construction on Blarney Castle began sometime in the 1400s. Pretty impressive the way they built these large buildings with none of the equipment we have today.

Old walls and windows of Blarney Castle.

This was a room reserved for young girls or priests when staying at the castle. It was fairly small, but I suppose for those times, it was comfortable accommodations.

Here you are looking up at the second-floor fireplace. There is an exact duplicate on the other side of the room. Those pieces sticking out of the wall were the supports for the floor, which has obviously not lasted through the years.

The view from Blarney Castle.

This is a view of the castle from the Battlements wall. This would have been part of your view if you were defending the castle against invaders.

Looking up from the ground at the blarney stone at the top of the castle tower.

The hole at the top of the tower, in the middle, is where the Blarney stone is. They lower you down, upside down, and backward so you can kiss the stone. Apparently, the iron grate you see there is a recent addition. Before that, you really took your life into your own hands (or at least the person holding onto you did!) just to kiss a stone that is reportedly good at making you eloquent. If you’d like to read more about the history of the stone, this is a good place to start.

Just for the record, I did NOT kiss the stone! I made it up to about the third floor level in that very narrow and extremely steep staircase with only a rope to hang onto, and my phobias kicked in. It was too high and too confined. I turned around and very carefully went back down. Maybe next time…

This is just one of the incredible views of the grounds surrounding the castle. The beauty here is unmatched.
And in case you’ve ever wondered where the term “full of blarney” came from, here’s how it all began…

In frustration, Elizabeth said, “The earl’s reports were all Blarney. And thus, a new word was born.

And lastly, there is a postcard we bought that I just loved. It describes the difference between boloney and blarney. Here’s what it said…

Baloney is when you tell a 50-year old woman that she looks 18.
Blarney is when you ask a woman how old she is because you want to know at what age women are most beautiful.

Maybe I should have kissed that stone after all…

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