Saturday, June 22, 2013

I've kissed the Blarney Stone.

At one of the gates to the grounds of the Blarney Castle.
Yup. I kissed the Blarney Stone - which legend says will give me the gift of persuasive and charming speech. But, you know, I've kind of always had that, so I'm not sure it was worth bending over backwards for.

(And, no, I didn't get a picture of myself kissing the stone because the line-up to buy the official one was too long and I didn't think to get someone to take a picture for me. But here's one of Steve.)
It's tricky to understand.
Here's a fancy illustration to help you understand the posture.
Ignore the basketball.
The stone is roughly where the lightning bolt is pointing. To reach it, you have to lie on your back across the floor and reach your upper body across the multi-story gap. In modern times, there are wrought-iron grills to prevent your falling to your death. They also have a couple of burly men to help you out. I was also told that the men spritz the stone with disinfectant after each kiss.

It was not fun. But I did it.

I was surprised by how beautiful the grounds are.
I think these are blue poppies! Can you imagine?
I need these.

Another perspective.
I also was not expecting to find that the interior is actually very, very small. Not at all like the castles you see in movies.
One of the main bedrooms. 
The bedrooms were barely big enough for a modern double bed. The windows, of course, were unglazed.
There were two uneven stone staircases, polished by many thousands of footsteps.
Much of the stonework was, of course, covered in lichen and moss.
The Banqueting Hall
You can see where the floor/ceiling would have been. This picture really doesn't show how small the "great hall" was. It might have been just a little larger than our living room, which is about 12' x 18'.

Here's another view of the Banqueting Hall.
View from the top floor.
In the centre of the picture is the fireplace.

This picture of the fireplace (in one of the bedrooms, I believe). You can see the stones that extrude from the wall; these would have supported the wooden floor.

There were, of course, other tourist amenities nearby - restaurants and shops. One of the restaurants had a charming old tinker's caravan on display.

It looks like it would have been very cozy in there!
We continued on to Waterford that afternoon (pictures of that in my next post), but I want to leave you with these two funny little pictures we snapped.
Yah, that looks safe.
Holy crap! How do you lose a unicorn!

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