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37 travelers at this place

  • Day16

    Day 16 - Kissing the Blarney Stone

    August 16, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Jackie slept in until 9.30am, three hours after me, but I didn’t blame her it had been raining hard all morning. It wasn’t until 11.30am that there was a little break in the rain, so we threw our motorcycle gear on & set out for the day.

    No sooner were we on our way when the heavens opened up again. We started on the N72, but my SatNav had other ideas & took me off down country roads to pick up the R628. We were progressing at a decent pace, when an oncoming van started flashing me. I slowed down as I went round the next corner & came face to face with the Fire Brigade controlling the traffic. When we were let through, we saw that a car was smashed in at the front, which was a sobering reminder to stay vigilant.

    We continued to the M8 motorway, where we paid our €1 toll fee, then rode down towards Cork, whilst being battered by heavy rain & high winds. Before reaching Cork City centre, we came off & passed through Glanmire & the scruffy suburbs of Cork. We next joined the N20 that took us to Blarney & it’s Castle.

    We rode into the official Blarney Castle car park after taking a ticket to raise the barrier. I then had a heart attack when I realised we may have to pay. What a schoolboy error!

    Upon parking up, it had eventually stopped raining & the sun had come out. We stripped of the motorcycle togs, put them in the panniers, then headed to the entrance. We paid our €18 admission fee & I asked the cashier if motorcyclists had to pay for the car park. We wasn’t initially sure where I was going with this question, but once he realised we were motorcyclists, my guinea pig hair probably gave it away, he said that officially we had to pay, but if we drove around the barrier no-one would chase after us. That brightened up my day!

    We celebrated with a cup of coffee & half an egg sandwich each. We then headed straight to the castle & joined the queue to kiss the Blarney Stone. At the end of the queue was a sign that told us that it would take approximately 30 minutes to reach the Blarney Stone, which was less time than we expected.

    The queue started just outside the castle, then went in to the castle, up a wooden staircase for two flights, then we ascended a narrow steep spiral stone staircase. Before reaching the spiral staircase there were plaques on the walls providing information about the castle & the Blarney Stone.

    The current Blarney Castle was built in 1446, but earlier fortifications were built on the site. At the top of the now ruins of Blarney Castle is the Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. It is said that those ‘brave enough’ to hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, will receive the gift of eloquence.

    Queen Elizabeth l is credited with introducing the word ‘Blarney’ to the English language. Whilst frustrated with the then owner of the Castle, MacCarthy, refusing to accept the authority of the English throne, she exclaimed, “This is all Blarney. What he says he never means”. And a new word was born.

    The actual process was a bit of an undignified affair, well certainly for me. Jackie went first, lay down, leant back & kissed the Blarney Stone, which was all captured by me on video. It was then my turn & I did the same thing, well nearly, I’m not quite so flexible, so as I struggled to get to crane my neck back for the kiss, my T-shirt flew up exposing my 6-pack to the world. I did kiss the Blarney Stone, but I shouldn’t have worn such a baggy T-shirt having lost so much weight on this trip!

    It was interesting to note that a lot of people queued & got all the way to the top, then either failed to kiss the Blarney Stone or just refused to attempt it.

    We then proceeded to negotiate the much more treacherous steps down, stopping to look at Murder Hole. We didn’t however stop to look at the official photos of our kisses. Jackie was keen to, but I wouldn’t let her. Nothing to see there!

    After, we strolled around the various gardens, including the Poison Garden, Himalayan Garden, Rock Garden amongst others & we took the lake walk, well part of it. The whole afternoon had been in sunshine which made for a very pleasant experience & all in all probably worth the money. On the way out we passed through the gift shop & Jackie bought herself a Pandora shamrock ☘️ charm for her bracelet with the birthday money she had been given.

    It was 4.00pm, when we saddled up, then sped around the car park ticket barrier, thus evading the €2 parking fee! My plan was to stop along the coast, back at Youghal, to the explore the town’s rich history further. Unfortunately, what I had not taken into account was that it was Friday afternoon rush-hour & everyone was coming out of Cork, completely choking up all the roads.

    Despite conducting a few sneaky manoeuvres, it was still gone 5.00pm & Youghal was in total gridlock. We decided it just wasn’t worth the pain of stopping, so apart from passing under the Clock Gate Tower at about 1mph, we didn’t see anything else.

    Instead we decided to go back to Lismore & pick up a Chinese Takeaway. I’m not sure why, but instead of putting Lismore into the SatNav, I entered Tallow. As a result we avoided the quick direct route to Lismore, but took a ridiculously long winded way to get there, funnily enough via Tallow.

    We arrived in Lismore about 6.15pm, with a sore & not so happy Jackie on the back, particularly as she had pointed out the quick road to Lismore, but I ignored her for the more ‘scenic’ route!

    We got off & walked to the Chopsticks Takeaway & ordered our favourite dishes, then decided we needed a drink, so arranged to collect it at 7.00pm. We went over the road to The Classroom Bar ordered a pint each & sat outside in the dying sun. The landlord was very welcoming, albeit slightly pissed, and his customers as they went in & out of the pub to bookmakers next door were all very friendly & said “Hello” to us. It reinforced our view that Lismore was a very lovely town & definitely worth going out of your way to visit.

    The happiness, serenity & peace was soon to be shattered by Hoisin Sauce Gate!

    At 7.00pm, we collected our takeaway & returned to the bike. I put the bulging carrier into a side pannier & did my best to secure it safely. I was just about to get a jacket to pack out the pannier & so hold everything firmly in place, when Jackie bellowed “Hurry up, it’s going to get cold”. There then was a ‘minor’ disagreement, resulting in me closing the pannier without said jacket to pack it tight.

    We then proceeded home without incident, parked up & when I opened the pannier, lo & behold the now lidless Hoisin sauce pot had tipped up & was empty. There was Hoisin sauce running over all the other dishes in the bag & worse still, Hoisin Sauce has nicely coated the inside of my pannier & formed a pool at the bottom.

    Needless to say, I wasn’t best pleased & our very dry Aromatic Duck Pancakes were eaten in stony silence. As it happens the meal turned out to be generally very nice.

    We played another game of Cribbage with a bottle of red & had an early night.

    Song of the Day - Kiss by Prince.
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  • Oct11

    Blarney Castle and Gardens

    October 11, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We spent a couple of hours at Blarney Castle The Blarney stone is 123 steps up into a tower via a narrow spiral passageway. There are views through the bars to the garden below for those who care to look down!
    The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab. Yes Bruce and Sam kissed it!
    The gardens were amazing with streams separating the various areas. I could have spent hours there but we needed to get to Rosslare to catch the ferry back to Wales the next morning
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  • Day9

    Ein Hoch auf unseren Busfahrer!

    March 12 in Ireland ⋅ 🌬 8 °C

    Froh der Unterkunft entfliehen zu können, hatten wir uns vorgenommen zwei Castles zu besichtigen. Zuerst steuerten wir das Blarney Castle an. Es ist wohl die berühmteste Sehenswürdigkeit Corks. Das Castle hat zudem noch eine große Gartenanlage, in der man munter spazieren kann. Mit dem Bus fuhren wir ca. eine halbe Stunde. Die Haltestelle war gleich vor unserer Tür. Einen Fahrplan gab es nicht. Dort standen wir gegen 9 Uhr morgens und warteten. Und warteten und warteten… Irgendwann wurden wir ungeduldig und fragten andere Busfahrer, wann unser Bus denn kommen mag oder ob sie zufälligerweise auch zum Blarney Castle fahren. Die meisten gaben keine Antwort oder verneinten kurz und fuhren weiter. Der vierte Busfahrer, den wir fragten, teilte uns zumindest mit, dass unser Bus 10 nach 10 kommen wird. Skeptisch, aber mit Hoffnung warteten wir und der Busfahrer fuhr weiter. Er kam aber nicht weit. Rasch hielt er wieder an, stieg aus und rannte auf uns zu. „Es tut mir leid!“ „Ich hatte es total vergessen!“ „Ihr Bus wird heute nicht an dieser Haltestelle bedient, da gebaut wird!“ „Sie müssen zur Hauptstraße!“, rief er uns zu. Wir nahmen die Beine in die Hand und rannten die Treppen runter zur Hauptstraße. Eine Haltestelle war nicht in Sicht. Wir liefen entlang der Hauptstraße in Richtung Castle. Es dauerte mindestens eine halbe Stunde, bis wir eine Haltestelle erblickten. Dort warteten wir noch einmal 10 Minuten, bis wir endlich im Bus saßen. Die Sonne schien. Im Ort angekommen schauten wir uns erst einen Laden für Souvenirs an, da Vanessa ihren Liebsten Wollpullover mitbringen möchte. Später als wir am Gelände des Schlosses ankamen, fing es an in Strömen zu Regnen und zu Hageln. Das Wetter sollte den gesamten Tag sehr wechselhaft werden. Wir erlebten fast alle vier Jahreszeiten in einer Stunde. Während des Regens versuchten wir uns im Schloss unterzustellen und sobald die Sonne wieder rauskam spazierten wir entlang der botanischen Gärten. Vom Vorabend hatten wir Burger übrig, die wir gegen Mittag glücklich auf einer Bank in der Sonne verspeisten. Am Nachmittag stand noch das Blackrock Castle auf dem Plan, welches auf Bildern, die wir gesehen hatten sehr imposant ausgesehen hatte. Nur 30 Minuten brauchten wir mit dem Bus. Als wir dann endlich das Schloss erblickten, kamen wir aus dem Lachen nicht mehr heraus. „Da ist ja sogar meine 1-Raum Wohnung größer!“ Lange hielten wir uns daher am Blackrock Castle nicht auf. Den Rest des Tages verbrachten wir in der Innenstadt Corks, wo ich mir eine Vintage Jacke zulegte, die ich seitdem jeden Tag stolz trage.Read more

  • Day5

    I'm singing in the Rain

    June 4, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    Wir müssen leider Lucie, das Devon View House und somit auch Youghal verlassen. Schön war es und eben auch herzlich. Das Wetter präsentiert sich wie es sich für Irland gehört. Leichter Regen, aber das stört uns nicht.
    Weiter geht es über Blarney nach Killarney.
    In Blarney, knapp 9 km hinter Cork, steht das Blarney Castle mit dem Blarney Stone. Dazu kommt noch der Garden und das House. Das Gelände ist, vom ersten Blick her, wunderschön angelegt und es nieselt. Ein Latte und ein Baileys Coffee wärmten unsere Gemüter. Das erste was wir sahen war der River Cross. Zwei Flüsse die so gar nichts miteinander zu tun haben treffen sich hier, wobei der kleinere unter dem größeren hindurchfliesst. Aber das Castle war ja das Objekt der Begierde. Wunderschön instand gehalten und gut arrangiert, kann man hier die Burg besichtigen. Vom Murder Hole, dem Dungeon, den Caves und all den Räumen bis hin zu diversen Verteidigungsanlagen, alles kann man sehen und anfassen. Bis man ganz oben im Wehrgang der Burg steht ist es ein leicht beschwerlicher Weg. Höhe und Enge sollte man schon bewältigen können. Ist man oben angelangt kann man den Blarney Stone küssen und zwar rücklings, indem man weit über die Brüstung liegt. Macht man dies, so erzählt man sich, wird einem Sprachgewandtheit zuteil. Gut, die bräuchten wir jetzt nicht, aber egal ein bisschen mehr kann nicht schaden. Vielleicht kann ich meiner Frau dann besser kontern.
    Der Garten ist einfach herrlich und lädt zu langen Spaziergängen ein. Über den Poison Garden kommt man vorbei an überdimensionalen Thujabäumen zum Ferngarden . Mitten im irischen Wald, etwas weg vom Trubel, erschließt sich ein Garten mit hohen Farnpalmen und einem Wasserfall. Es ist fast wie im Märchen. Ich will auch so eine Palme, aber wenn man bedenkt das sie es mit dem wachsen nicht eilig haben, würde es ewig dauern bis sie um die 2 Meter wären. Aber man kann sich auch vorstellen wie lange diese Pflanzen schon hier im Garten stehen. Der Garten zieht sich lang und nicht viele verirren sich hierher. Man hat hier also Ruhe und kann die Natur genießen. Zurück geht es durch riesige Rhododendronbüsche, obwohl zum Schluss sind es dann schon Bäume. Einfach wahnsinnig schön. Möchte man sich den ganzen Garten erlauben sollte man sich einen Tag einplanen. Wir nicht, denn wir wollen heute noch Killarney erreichen. Der Linksverkehr macht mittlerweile Spaß , diesmal im neuen Level, mit Scheibenwischer.
    Killarney ist ein kleines schönes Städtchen und es erinnert mich ein wenig an Denver mit dem Blick auf die Rocky Mountains. Ein wenig die Stadt sehen und dann in Murphys Bar, einer der besten in der Stadt, zu Abend essen. Diesmal traditionell mir Irish Lamb und Beef Stew und dem stadteigenen Bier. Köstlich.
    Ach ja, eine Unterkunft haben wir auch. Glendale House liegt etwa 6 km außerhalb Richtung Tralee. Ein schönes Haus mit ausreichend grossen Zimmern. Unsere Gastgeberin ist eine etwas ältere Dame mit ihrem Sohn. Unser Blick aus dem Zimmer geht auf saftige Weiden und den irischen Kühen. Hier ist wirklich Irland.
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  • Day5

    Blarney Castle & Cliffs of Moher

    August 24, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Well another magical day. Blue sky at the Blarney Castle, kissed the Blarney Stone. I wish I had spent a day here wandering around the grounds, they are so beautiful. We then headed to the West Coast to visit the Cliffs of Moher. Luckily for us the rain held off. As we drove into the car park the rain was pouring down sideways from the wind, we put on our wet weather gear and it stopped just long enough for us to walk along the Cliffs and snap our photos. We headed back to Cork through Tipperary, a busy little city with lots of old style charm. Love the Emerald Isle. Everyday just gets better.Read more

  • Day4

    My first Kiss (with a giant lucky rock)

    June 23, 2016 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Well we did it! When you come up to the Blarney Castle and grounds, you could honestly get lost in the mazes and gardens that lay before you. But obviously we didn't look around when we got there... We headed straight for the castle to make the climb to Kiss the Blarney stone.

    The Blarney Stone was said to be blessed (or cursed, depensing how you think of it) by a witch a long, long time ago and that any person who kisses it develops the "Gift of Gab". For those of you who don't know, that is the ability to talk... And talk... And talk... And talk. (Like the Irish do)

    So we walked into the castle and climed the very very tall spiral stone staircase (that gradually closed in on you as you went... Honestly) until we got to the top of the castle to the barricade lookout. Once there, you had to lean out over the edge of the castle to reach the wall to kiss it, while being held by a friendly tour attendant. If you are on the shorter side (like me), you have to scoot out so far that it feela like only the tip of your bottom is touching the floor and the rest of you is literally hanging over the open hole. There are no nets and no safety features except for the handles you see in the pictures. And I absolutely loved every second of it.

    On the way down we explored all of the rooms and nooks/crannies that we found, but I think we were all too distracted riding the high from kissing the Blarney.
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  • Day4

    Wishing not to fall down these stairs

    June 23, 2016 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    After making our waterfall wishes, we headed through the garden again to see all of the places where witches are said to reside or frequent. We found the Dolman rocks.. Simply one rock balancing awkwardly on top of another that no one knows how it got there or why it is that way. It is said that passing through the opening below can unlock magical things... It magically allowed me to get from one side of the rock to the other!!

    Next up, the witch's kitchen. There is a witch who lives here at night and burns fireword that was paid for by the wishes of the wishing steps (see below) in order to keep warm. We went and checked it out, she has a very low-tech kitchen.

    The witches stone is a stone which looks like a witches face. Yup.

    And finally, we camebacross the wishing stairs! Another witch blessed/cursed object, it is aaid that if you walk down the stairs backwards with your eyes closed while simultaneously thinking of your deepest wish, it will come true. To be extra magical, the threebof us walked down like this andnthen back up with our eyes closed, also.

    So many wishes coming true!!!
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  • Day4

    Don't go Chasing Waterfall(wishes)

    June 23, 2016 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    After coming down from kissing the Blarney Stone (both literally and figuratively), we wandered through the gardens to see all of the other magical spots. Firat up, after walking through a small tunnel in the rock, was a waterfall which acts as a wishing well, of sorts. We took turns tossing pennies over our shoulder while making a wish.

    What did I wish for?

    Yeah, right... I know how wishing works. I'm not telling.
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  • Day4

    The kiss we've been waiting for!

    June 23, 2016 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Up and at 'em again this morning.

    We met our tour group near Paddy's Place (near Paddy wagons hostel is in Dublin). Once it hit 8 am we were off to visit the Blarney Stone.

    Our first pit stop was a regular truck stop we're often use to, especially on the 401. Following this, we visited Cashel Rock. Cashel Rock is a beautiful castle that has lost much of it's roofing over the years. There are many families, even recent, that are buried on site. Some families included the Ryan's, O'Briens, and Duane's. The story of Cashel Rock is said to be a rock that was thrown at Saint Patrick. We spent an hour here taking in the emotions that surround it (there were even crows circling in an out of the castle).

    We spent just under an hour on the bus to go to Blarney. The bua ride was filled with Irish chants, and us 3 Canadian girls, signing the entire time.

    In Blarney, the first (and obvious) thing we did was "Kiss the Blarney Stone". Now, we better have a lot of luck on our side. In order to kiss the stone, you bend your back, you hold your hands on each pole and slide down until you reach the stones. Following this, we explores Blarney Castle. Here, we saw the murder room, the ladies room, and the priests room. The stairs circled and became tighter as you went higher. During our time in the castle, we met two friends (1 from Alabama and 1 from Florida).

    After the castle, we explored the Blarney gardens. They were just spectacular. We unfortunately had a little rain, but it made the gardens much greener. Within the gardens we made a wish in the waterfall my throwing in 1 cent euro (and don't ask us what our wishes were). To explore the rest we had to walk through Close Rock (I'm short enough to walk sttaight through - I guess it pays off fo be a little on the short side). Then we went to the Wishing Steps. The wishing steps are known to grant your wish if you walk up and down the stairs with your eyes closed. Of course we did this and made a second wish! After which the sun came up and we were lucky to have such beautiful weather.

    We walked into Blarney for a little until it was time to get back to the bus. On our way back we had an hour stop in Cork. Cork is only famous because of Henry Ford, other than that many say there is not much to do. It's also known for the largest natural port in the world, and does it ever have a large port. We and our 2 American friends strolled more into the city. We stopped into Penney's (a cheap clothing store known for Brand Names).

    We are now on the bus to return to the city of Dublin.
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  • Day2

    Blarney, Castle & Magic Stone

    September 1, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    After a long drive we finally reach Cork, the second city of Ireland with over 100.000 inhabitants. The town is famous for its cheese production 🧀 and because the Titanic made its final stop here before venturing into the ocean.

    Close to Cork is the town of Blarney, known for its iconic Castle. Apart from the building itself, this ancient fortress owes its fame to the surrounding botanical garden and, most importantly, to a magical stone...
    This stone was a gift of the Scots to the local ruler and, according to the legend, it grants the gift of eloquent speech for 7 years to whoever kisses it. However, it's easier said than done: as we later find out, the act of kissing the stone is indeed not exactly a piece of cake...

    Back to the legend, the local ruler seemed to have the gift granted by the stone (he saved the life of a witch who returned the favour by enchanting the stone) and - thanks to his eloquence - he was always managing to find excuses for his errors towards the queen of England. Hence the word "blarney" in English!

    Sean gives us two hours to visit the site and we soon understand why: the park is truly huge and extremely well-tended. The castle itself looks like the classical shooting set of a horror or gothic movie: it is a ruined stone building mostly consisting of a huge slightly leaning tower. Once we go through the main entrance, we have to take a very steep staircase until we reach the roof.
    The stone is here!

    And here comes the problem. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards holding on to an iron railing from the parapet walk. There is actually a person making sure you don't fall down, but it still looks extremely scary. Ludo gives up without even trying, while I give it a try... just to run away after trying to lean backwards (and getting scared to death!). 🙈
    I guess everybody will be happy that I won't talk non stop for the next 7 years... 🙄
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Blarney, An Bhlarna

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