Wandering Bard: Ireland (Blarney Castle)

Posted: March 28, 2012 in Wandering Bard
Tags: , , , , ,

Picture it: green grass, blooming flowers, castles, a nice cool drizzle, and lots and lots of potatoes.

Where else could we be other than Ireland?

I loved Ireland. It was actually refreshing to go here after already having been to Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco. Why? Because they spoke English. Now, I’m all for culture shock and being surrounded by the native language of these other countries, but I’ll be honest…It’s hard. It really is difficult to be American and travel to these other places. You have to tread carefully and make sure you know what to do and what not to do.

In Ireland, it wasn’t like that.

The Irish love Americans. They really do! They’d find out we were from the States and they’d ask us all sorts of questions. Everyone was nice over there and the culture shock was very minimal. For the most part, the entire country is incredibly laid back. They were genuinely glad that we were there. It was a wonderful feeling.

I have a lot of stories to tell about Ireland, but I think I’ll stick to the one place that most everyone knows about this country: Blarney Castle.

Now, I almost did a very, very stupid thing when we went here: I almost didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone.

Yeah, stupid.

And why, might you ask, did I almost not kiss it? Well, there’s a lot of stories about what the locals to do the stone when they’re between “customers.” It’s quite, erm, questionable. I honestly don’t know if it’s true or not, but it is rather disgusting. I wasn’t going to kiss it, I said. Not a chance!

Then I actually thought about it.

I’m. In. Ireland.

When am I going to get to do that again? Probably never. How many other people (that I know) can say they’ve gone to Ireland? How many can say they’ve seen Blarney castle? How many can say that they kissed the Blarney Stone?

That opening is where you lie down and lean back in order to kiss the stone. It's 80 feet from the ground!

I can think of only a handful of people…and those were the ones that were on the trip with me.

I can’t believe I almost made that mistake – almost didn’t go through with something because it seemed silly. It’s just a rock! What’s the big deal? I didn’t need to kiss it to say I’ve “been” to Ireland.

Yes, I did.

Yeah, maybe there are a lot of germs on this Blarney Stone, but come on. Who cares about that? You only get this kind of opportunity once in a lifetime (unless you’re super famous and/or super rich and/or actually live in Ireland…). I am so glad that I did it. It was actually really fun!

View from the archer's window.

And you know what? Officially being blessed as having the gift of gab has got to be a plus if I want to become published, right?

  1. Love it! Ireland is so on my must travel list 🙂

  2. My husband and I would love to go one day. The major problem I would have with kissing the Blarney stone isn’t the germs. It’s the height. I have a severe fear of heights. While sometimes I can overcome it, other times I end up frozen in place and unable to move. So hopefully getting back up doesn’t depend on your own abilities!

    • Karen Rought says:

      Some people just close their eyes. There’s two metal bars that you hang on to and a metal grate beneath you. Absolutely no chance of falling (although I know that doesn’t make a difference for someone who is severely afraid of heights). And you have this really nice old Irish guy hanging onto you the entire time. They help lower you back and help you come up. Hope you get to do it someday!

  3. ddog13 says:

    Love these posts. I hear they are a fun people to party with, and they are laid back. It seems that it’s true. Nice post.

  4. Julie Glover says:

    I would love to go to Ireland. But no, I don’t think I would kiss the Blarney Stone, and yes, it’s because of the germs. Even if I wanted to, my ever-so-slightly germaphobic husband (okay, it’s more than that, but he might read this someday) likely wouldn’t let me. At least I wouldn’t get to kiss the Blarney Stone and then kiss him. And between the two . . .

    Glad you did it, though! I’m sure your life will be lucky from now on.

    • Karen Rought says:

      One of the friends I went with is slightly germaphobic and she was the one that was saying she wasn’t going to kiss it, and I sort of just fell in step with her. And then I was like, no! I AM going to do it. So I convinced her to do it and we both ended up kissing it. It’s not bad at all, though I know the idea is worse than what it actually looks like for someone who doesn’t like germs. And I don’t blame you at all for wanting to kiss your hubby more than a dirty old rock!

  5. I have been to Ireland twice. The first time we had our two youngest children, both in high school at the time but when we went to Blarney they went up and kissed the Blarney Stone..I could not because I could not do the stairs due to a medical condition. a truly wonderful place to visit. Plus being Irish is a plus!! lol. Glad you were able to kiss the stone…I think we Irish have the gift of gab without having kissed the stone, don’t you think???

  6. I was obsessed with the idea of the Blarney Stone when I was a kid, but I’ve never been to Ireland and I never realized it was that high up. What a fun story–and I’m so glad you kissed it and didn’t have to write a post titled, “I Wish I Kissed the Blarney Stone!”

    Just tagged you for the Lucky 7 meme: http://laurastanfill.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/lucky-7/

  7. Debra Kristi says:

    I am sooo jealous that you got to go! 🙂 So funny, I read a post on the same castle yesterday! It’s a sign, I must go! Where’s my ticket? LOL I’m so glad you remembered to kiss the stone while you were there. You would have been kicking yourself otherwise.

    BTW, I tagged you in the Lucky 7 yesterday. 😀

    • Karen Rought says:

      Oh, I hope you go some time! I think you’d love it. I’d really love to go back too. It was just an amazing place. And I saw that you tagged me, thanks!! I can’t wait to do it – just got to find a day when I don’t already have something planned to post about!

  8. I loved Ireland, but never made it close enough to Blarney Castle to have to make that decision. I think I would have made the same choice. Great post.

  9. BelleofMountains says:

    …..amazingly beautiful place!

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