You have heard that expression, “Kissing the Blarney Stone?” Well, the Hawaii Masterworks Chorus is here in Blarney, Ireland, and we indeed visited Blarney Castle, originally built in 1210, but the current structure dates from 1446. It is the home of the famous Blarney Stone. The castle was located just a 5-minute walk from our hotel.
Legend has it that if you kiss it, you will never be at a loss for words. It is also called the Stone of Eloquence, and for over 200 years, “world statesmen, literary Giants and legends of the silver screen have climbed the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence,” according to Wikipedia.
The trouble is, getting to the Blarney Stone involves climbing 100 narrow and steep steps, up winding, small pie-shaped steps to the top of Blarney Castle. Yes, I and a bunch in our group did this. But to actually lie on my back with my neck over a narrow grate? Are you kidding me? No, thanks, although I took pictures of other people doing it. Do they wash off the rock? No. (Ewwww!)
The 60 acres of gardens surrounding the castle were so beautiful and I took many pictures. I was especially interested in the colorful knitted “sweaters” the trees were wearing. Here is just a sampling: