Kiss Me, I’m Blarney


It’s just a 20-30 minute bus ride from Cork City to Co. Cork’s most famous sight; Blarney Castle. I’ve never been. Kissing the Blarney Stone has been far down on my List of Things to Do While I’m Living in Ireland  – far below “run with the sheep” (#2) and “visit the Aran Islands” (#4). I’ve not been particularly interested in kissing the Blarney Stone because I’m a bad American. Why would I want to kiss a rock? There are plenty of other Irish rocks around that I can kiss. Besides, it’s not like I need any help in the gab department. 

But they say I should go so I go. I get off the bus and step into the green.

 

Stones, stones, everywhere but where’s the stone I kiss? 

The crowds are thick here at Blarney Castle; I have yet to hear an Irish voice. My countrymen are pushing me inside and then higher and higher up a stone spiral staircase.  

 

So where’s the Blarney Stone? Is it in here? How can I tell which stone it is? Is it that one over there? 

I keep getting pushed up the stairs and finally, we’re at the top of the castle. Moody gray peeks through the blue skies. My fellow Americans appear to be gravitating towards a man who is kneeling towards the castle edge. I hear him speak and I realize that I’ve found him – the only Irishman at Blarney Castle. 

“Hold the rail there now” he says. His accent is powerful Cork. I hold the metal rails and wonder if he’s got the Stone in his pocket, if he’s the Keeper of the Stone.  It isn’t until he bends me backwards that I realize the Blarney Stone I’ve come to kiss is on the castle wall. Like I said, I’m a bad American, and apparently very slow on the take all around. I open my eyes; the ground spins above my head, several stories below. Kiss or scream? I screw up my lips and peck the Blarney Stone like it’s my 89 year-old great grandmother’s hairy cheek. The stone is cool and hard. Just then, I remember something Sean once said; the Blarney Stone used to be a urinal. Can that be true? Ugh; lift me up. 

 

Upright again, regaining my balance on the top of the castle. This time when I look down, it’s a beautiful sight. 

This post has been brought to you by Deliciousbaby Photo Friday

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. TheWordWire says:

    What great pictures — your description of kissing the castle wall made me laugh out loud. Ireland is on my travel to-see list for sure. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      Thank you for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. jessiev says:

    gorgeous photos!! i want to be there!

  3. mommy says:

    funny and so well depicted ..even without the great images it woudl have still made an impression! Brava!

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      Thanks, mommy.

  4. Gorgeous. We got in town late, and skipped the castle all together for an early start in the morning. I don’t think I would have kissed the stone, but I hear the gardens are really worth seeing. I was surprised at the separate tickets for gardens and castle keep, and pretty high prices, too.
    So now you’ve done it, I don’t need to, right?

  5. Kerry says:

    I’ve lived in Ireland and managed never to visit Blarney, just for the reasons you describe. Great photos and great story, thanks.

  6. midwestguest says:

    There’s a place Up North where the ritual is to kiss an old dusty moose head on the wall…I always wondered about the attraction to that as well.

    I’m amazed at how darn -green- everything looks in these photos, though.

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