Blarney Castle

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17 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Day14

    Blarney Castle

    June 7, 2016 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We had to see the stone! The narrow passage and staircase along with the large amount of people led to some claustrophobia but we made it to the top! Another amazing castle. The stone structure is the only thing left of the castle, they did build a staircase to access the original stone staircase and added some hand rails, that was about it. The roof is gone, the floors are gone. There were a few rooms that we were able to explore that had stone floors, and the walls were amazingly thick. The passages under the castle were quite mysterious.Read more

  • Day6

    Blarney Castle

    June 8, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Mein nächster halt war Blarney Castle. Leider war die Wartezeit 90 Minuten, um in die Burg reinzugehen und den Stein zu küssen zu lang. Da ich sonst den Bus verpasst hätte, da ich genau 90 Minuten Zeit hatte, bin ich stattdessen durch den wunderschönen Garten spaziert und habe mir die Burg von außen angesehen.Read more

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Blarney Castle

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