Last weekend, we embarked on perhaps the tourist-iest attraction on this whole island, yes, for all of you sitting on the edge of your seats in eager anticipation; we went to kiss the Blarney stone. Despite a dreary forecast, the gray skies of Ireland miraculously decided to cut us a break, threatening rain all day, but holding back as we wandered the grounds of Blarney castle. While all of the tourist attractions in Kinsale our first weekend had been closed seasonally, Blarney stays open year around and was pleasantly crowd free. We had a slightly larger traveling group this time (We had  run into some fellow Spires-dwellers at the bus station), so there were even more photo opportunities, as, of course, every person had to be photographed with every scenic view, and, on the treacherous climb to the Blarney parapets, there are many scenic views indeed.

 wicked sweet fog        adorable picture of me and maura

group with blarney bench



When we reached the top, we of coursed kissed the stone. Now for those of you who haven’t hung upside down off the top of this castle, let me explain how this works. This questionably older gentleman (I say questionable because I am greatly afraid he will drop me) tips you over the side of the stone wall (I am probably making this out to sound worse than it really is- there are protective grate-like-things that would probably stop you if the questionable older gentleman were unable to physically hold you). You hang upside down and kiss this rock- the great Blarney stone. Many a famous person has kissed this rock (there are lots of commemorative plaques with cartoon Einstein’s and George Barnard Shaw’s that tell you this), with the purpose not only of fulfilling that great tourist-iest of touristy Irish dreams, but also with the intent of become a more eloquent speaker. No one knows, as far as I can tell, quite where this legend comes from (I suspect it was invented by the Irish government as a revenue generator, because they charge you a flat rate of 8 euro per person to enter the castle grounds.) but, apparently, if you kiss the rock, you will be graced with the gift of gab- the ability to impress many by showering everyone you meet with a flowery rhetoric of flattery. I actually kissed the stone twice (the photo of my first kiss did quite turn out the way I would have liked), so I suppose I have extra flattery skills now. Let me see… I’ll test them out…


Dearest Mum and Dad,

   I would like a pony. Please. So that I may tour the Irish countryside riding sidesaddle on the back of my great steed and so that I may find the prince of Ireland, who will undoubtedly need to rescue me from a great dragon of sorts and whisk me off to a castle where he will marry me and I will, at long last become the princess of the Land of Ire. I am enjoying my stay here in Ireland, but I believe that a pony would make this great adventure much more memorable and even more enjoyable for all.


     (The future princess and pony-owner) Lindsay


Next Post, look forward to hearing all about the pony!

 stone kiss #2