After our time in Cobh, our tour continued on towards Blarney Castle, near Cork. Our bus parked near a series of shops, a couple of restaurants and a pub, where I got fish and chips for lunch and a pint of Guinness for dessert.
Then we set off to begin the tour. The entrance to the castle grounds is next to the gift shop and where you’ll also come back to not only shop, but exit. Looking back on it, I suppose I could have gotten more pictures, but I wanted to experience everything first-hand, not through the view-finder of my camera.
I took this picture at the beginning of the pathway leading towards the castle. It seems rather imposing, sitting on the hill like that, doesn’t it?
There’s a little creek that runs through the grounds and bridge to cross it. I tossed a coin in and made a wish at that bridge, joining many others. No, I’m not telling you what my wish was – it would defeat the purpose of making it.
It is a bit of a walk to get to the castle itself. Although it’s not steep and the pathways are kept level and free of holes, there are hand-rails for assistance and, in some places where needed stairs. It’s a lovely walk – we had a few hours to spend, taking this tour, so I took my time getting to the castle, listening to the birds and water and people.
This next picture is of the tower where the Blarney Stone is. If you look carefully, you can see iron brackets at the very top of the tower, above the top window. Those brackets are also on the other side of that terrace – that’s where the Blarney Stone is.
The climb doesn’t end once you get to the castle. Nor is it straight up that tower to the Blarney Stone. Nope, you have to climb a winding, narrow, occasionally claustrophobic route to get to the top of the castle. It continues to wind its way around, giving you panoramic views of the grounds (a shot I definitely should have gotten) before you finally get to the Blarney Stone for a quick kiss and the resulting gift of eloquence.
All of that takes about 10 or 20 seconds. Then you have to wend your way back down to the ground. This is a little easier and there are a lot of hand rails for the descent. Also, it’s not nearly as claustrophobic going down as it was going up. This was a relief to me, though I suspect the castle had been designed that way for a purpose.
At the gift shop located at the castle entrance, there’s a photograph to commemorate the act waiting for you, should you choose to get it.
Yes, I got my photo, commemorating it. No, I’m not gonna share. That’s a treat you’ll have to experience for yourselves, should you ever find your path ending at Blarney Castle.