These photos are in reverse order, but I’m too lazy to fix that, so scroll from the bottom to the top. We spent the day walking around Blarney Castle near Cork.
The castle was built in the 1400’s by one Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, Lord of Muscry. Atop the castle is the Blarney Stone, which is said to give anybody who kisses it the gift of gab (the skill of flattery or eloquence). Legend has it that Cormac put the stone there after he the goddess Cliodhna told him to kiss the first stone he came across if he wanted to win his appeal in court. He subsequently was able to convincingly plead his case in court, and thus, the legend was born.
Today, supposedly everybody from businessmen to authors and politicians line up to kiss the stone. To do so, though, is quite awkward. You have to lie on your back and reach out and hold on to a pair of bars in front of you as you extend and try to kiss the stone without plummeting to your death. There is somebody there whose job it is to support you in case your hands slip.
After kissing the stone, we walked around the Blarney Castle grounds. It was quite beautiful and made for a nice leisurely afternoon, complete with tire swing and ice cream!