Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kissing The Blarney Stone

Every Saint Patrick's Day I tend to do two things; 1) reminisce about my trip to Ireland and 2) drink Guinness.

Back in late 1996 my girlfriend (now wife) and I travelled overseas. We visited China, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

Me in front of one of many Irish pubs I visited. Mmmm...Irish pubs.

We spent 8 weeks in a motorhome driving around Great Britain and Ireland. We spent one of those weeks in Ireland. It was early November, it probably rained about 70% of the time we were there, it was cold, but we had a fantastic time.

One of my favourite memories was of our trip to Blarney Castle. At the top of the castle lies the Stone of Eloquence, also called the Blarney Stone. It is said that those who kiss the stone are endowed with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). It is not as easy as it sounds though. First you have to climb well-worn stone steps to the top of the castle. On the day we were there the stone steps were slick with dampness and the stairways were steep and narrow.

Standing in front of Blarney Castle

When you finally reach the top you make your way to the battlements where you see the Blarney Stone. It is actually set into a part of the battlements. You lie on your back and hang backwards over an almost 90 foot drop to kiss the stone. Thankfully, they have someone to hold you while you do it.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of myself kissing the Stone, but my wife did film the incident. The funny thing was that when I came back up from kissing it, we realised the tip of my nose was red from the lipstick of previous female kissers. Here's a link to someone else kissing the Blarney Stone so you can see what you have to do.

On top of Blarney Castle

Having wiped the lipstick off the end of my nose, I now have 'the gift of the gab'

We also spent a few relaxing hours exploring the beautiful Arboretum, the Rock Close and the woodland walks on the estate. The thing I remember most is the amazing shades of Autumn hue of the many trees. That and the greenness of grass. I can see why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle.

A magical place
OK, now that I've finished reminiscing about my trip to Ireland I usually do something else on Saint Patrick's Day. What was it? Oh yeah, drink Guinness! Here's one (of several) I prepared (drank) earlier.


A glass of Guinness silhouetted against the view from our back deck


SodakLady said...

Thanks for sharing your memories; I enjoyed it. And a Happy St. Paddy's Day to yeh.

Ozvortex said...

And a top of the morning to ya too, Sodaklady!