Blarney Castle is most famous for the Blarney Stone. Legend has it that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you will receive the gift of eloquence. The stone is at the top of the castle and you have to hang upside down over the edge of the castle to kiss it. Many famous people over the years have come here to kiss it!
Elizabeth the First is credited for coming up with the word blarney! :0)
At the base of the castle is where the dungeon is. You can go inside, but the further you go in, the smaller it gets.
Jeff locked in the dungeon! ;0)
After the dungeon, we walked around to where we could go up into the castle.
This is the first floor. It doesn't look to bad. Look how spacious those stairs are!!
The farther you went though the tinier the space got and the narrower the stairs got. You literally had to hold on to a rope to help pull yourself up the stairs. For someone who is both a little bit Closterphobic & scared of heights, this was not fun for me. I pressed on though because the thought of having to go back down those stairs was not very pleasant either. (There was a separate stairwell to go down, and thankfully it was a lot better!)
The views from the top were worth the climb though!
This is how far up we were. To kiss the Blarney Stone, you have to be lowered over a hole like this. There are bars there though, so that helps. They didn't always have the bars though! :-0
Here I am kissing the Blarney Stone.
Jeff kissed it too!
Kathleen refused to kiss it. She didn't like that lots of other people's lips were on it. ;0)
The way down was much better!! We explored the grounds some more & found a poison garden!
They had lots of other plants as well. They were trying to show what grew back in the 1500-1700's that people used for everyday, but that they could also be deadly if used incorrectly or in big dosses.
This is Blarney House back behind the castle. We didn't actually go in, so I don't know anything about it. We had already paid 12 Euros to get into the grounds to see the castle & I wasn't paying another 7 Euros to see the house. :0/
After we left Cork, we headed to the South-Western part of Ireland to see the Dingle Peninsula. It is basically just a scenic drive. It was very pretty and we got to see all kinds of scenery!
Sheep in the road!!
They didn't really care about cars....I think they knew that we would stop for them.
We stopped along side the road several times to take pictures of the peninsula.
We had to stop for gas, so we just picked up some Irish Soda bread, Irish butter, and Irish cheese for lunch. It was very yummy!
While we were driving, we saw the beach!! We stopped so we could put our feet in the water. It was freezing!!!
I found some shells to take back to the kids!
Then it was back into the car to see more of the Dingle Peninsula!
While driving around the peninsula, we saw the Gallarus Oratory. It is believed to be an early church. They are not sure when it was built, but most people believe it was built between the 6th & 9th centuries.
This is the road we had to take to get to the oratory:
Yes, that road is only big enough for one car. No, it is not a one way street....
Actually, there is a sign saying it is a sheepherders road....
As we were nearing the end of the peninsula, we saw this old graveyard and church we decided to explore:
The last stop of our day was Bunratty Castle. It was closed when we got there, but we got to see the outside.
Our hotel for the night was in Clare at The Oak Wood Arms. This was a bed & breakfast as well, but it was huge!
Our room was actually a suite, and it had 2 full beds, and two twin beds!
We decided to just eat at the hotel that night instead of looking for a local pub. We also decided to try Harp beer, which is also made in Ireland.
Kathleen & I liked this better than Guinness because it was a lot lighter!
I ordered a steak with garlic butter. My side choices were mashed potatoes, fries, or boiled potatoes. I chose boiled, thinking I'd get two or three small potatoes. Nope! That entire bowl was for me! (I also got onion rings for some reason.) It was all good too!
Jeff got bangers & mash:
Kathleen decided to try their "traditional" lasagna. It wasn't exactly what she would describe as traditional. Lol! She liked it, but it had whole tomato slices, carrots, and other veggies in it. And to make sure she got her daily dose of potatoes (I think it's a law there), her lasagna came with fries. It wasn't a choice, that's what it came with.
This is the outside of our hotel.
We had a good night's sleep, then headed off to the Cliff's of Moher. Stay tuned!