Earl and I and Rick and Helen took the day and headed south toward Cork, as we went to tour Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone. The weather was beautiful today, with sunny skies and the temperature around 17 degrees (62 fahrenheit).
The drive was only two hours or so and was quite enjoyable. Only a short section was along dual carriageway (freeway/expressway), the rest was along two lane roads through the countryside. I really like the way Ireland marks the roadways; the signs are simple to follow and you always know where you’re headed. I hope it’s a trend that continues throughout the entire country. We also stopped at a fast food restaurant much like McDonalds for a quick bite to eat, it’s called SuperMac’s.
Blarney Castle is about a five minute walk from the entrance to the grounds.
We found the castle to be quite impressive. The grounds are beautiful and the castle itself is beautiful. Unlike Runbatty Castle we were in yesterday, there’s no furnishings at all in Blarney Castle. This gives the touring experience a more “raw” feel.
Here’s Earl standing next to the watch tower, found along the walk to the castle.
After a climb up a very narrow, very steep spiral staircase, we made it to the top of the castle, where the Blarney Stone is found. Here we are on the roof.
The line for the honour of kissing the Blarney Stone was short. There was little debate amongst the four of us. I ended up being the only one in the group to actually kiss the Blarney Stone. Make a tick mark next to one more thing accomplished in my life. I have a souvenir photo of my actual kiss, Earl snapped this photo after I was being brought back up to the surface.
For those unaware, you just don’t lean over and give this stone a kiss. A man sits there as you lie on your back and spidey your way a little bit down the wall, where the ground is a distant site many stories away, and then you give this stone in the wall a peck. Another older gentleman snaps your photo and you’re given a ticket with your file number. Grand things are to happen as you’re bestowed the gift of gab from kissing the stone. Earl said I was gabby enough. Apparently I now have extra gab.
After Blarney Castle we did some touring around the City of Cork a bit, which is a very nice city, before heading back to Ennis for supper and hanging out before calling it a night.
There are more pictures on my flickr page, just click one of the photos about to get there.