I wasn’t that bothered about visiting Blarney Castle after reading a few reviews that said it was overcrowded, overhyped and overpriced. But it was raining and we needed somewhere to go that wasn’t a million miles from Cork where we were still based, so we made our way there praying that the weather would improve.
I have never experienced rain like Irish rain. It is dense, thick drops that get into every crevice and is totally unforgiving. It comes from nowhere and stays sometime for minutes but often for hours, never letting up, just pummelling you until you feel like standing still and just bloody dealing with it. In our case we sat in the car in Blarney Castle car park and waited until it wasn’t quite as bad and luckily we’d packed wellies and waterproof coats so we were definitely more prepared than most other people.
I think the combination of the rain and the time of year meant that we were really lucky with the crowds. There were quite a few people but it was definitely not busy, and we were able to roam the grounds and castle easily without coming upon huge tour groups or, Heaven forbid, a school trip. I love a good castle. The grounds were full of misshapen trees, caves, a poison garden (which was fascinating and had actual marijuana being grown there!), and a graveyard for the owner’s horses. Aww. But this castle, of course, comes with one of the most famous legends in modern Western history.
It is said that kissing the Blarney Stone gives one the gift of the gab. Famous orators including Winston Churchill have made the slightly treacherous climb up the narrow, winding, stone stairs to the top of the castle where the stone sits. To get to the stone you have to lie on your back, and stretch all the way back to kiss the stone on the bottom. It is bloody high up and I let out a shriek as I was helped to reach it. Apparently the stone has been used as a urinal hundreds of years ago and lord knows who else has planted their lips on it, but it wouldn’t have been right to not do it.
So now I’ve done that and the gift of the gab is on its way to me any minute now, expect my blogging to be on point in the near future! Check out more of my Ireland Road Trip Diaries and watch this space for more coming up soon.