Peter and I kicked off our Great Irish Roadtrip by leaving the quaint town of Cork for Blarney, home of Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone.
The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, nestled about 90 ft / 27 m above the ground. It was set into its place in the castle in 1446 and has never been moved.
Getting to the stone is a bit of an adventure.
First, you must ascend a narrow spiral staircase. If you are claustrophobic or scared of heights, kissing the Blarney Stone is probably not your thing.
Once you’ve reached the top of the castle, you’ll walk across a narrow stone catwalk across the castle to where the stone is located.
Here’s a photo of the catwalk. To the left of the railing is a large drop to the castle’s family room. To the right is the exterior wall on the top of the castle.
Legend has it that kissing the stone endows the kisser with the “gift of the gab.”
Ironically, kissing the stone made Peter and I silent instead of being full of gab. I think it’s probably because all of our blood rushed to our heads when we leaned backward and kissed the stone.
Peter is scared of heights so descended the spiral staircase almost immediately after kissing the stone.
The weather was cooperating so we spent about 20 minutes strolling the estate and taking photos.
Somehow we veered off of the estate and found ourselves in Rock Close. Rock Close is a very peaceful ancient garden located a few steps from Blarney Castle.
Due to it being off-season, there were only four other people at Blarney Castle and we were the only people in Rock Close. It was great!
Here are a few photos of Rock Close.
Tomorrow our plan is to drive west to the Ring of Kerry and visit Torc Waterfall.