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The Travel Room On Tour - Day 24


Killarney - Cork - Blarney


Touched by the Blarney and a
middle-aged Irishman!

Posted 17th September 2011

Waking up the next day after climbing Mt Carrauntoohil redefined the meaning of sore, it is amazing the number of muscles you have in the body you don't use regularly, but when you do they complain like an Australian in a dry bar!
Waddling down to the bus station like 3 ducks we hopped on the bus to Cork, with the sole intention of seeing Blarney Castle and giving Sarah the opportunity that Dani and I had already taken, namely kiss the Blarney Stone and obtain the gift of gab, or as the English so subtlety put it, talking 'bollocks' .
Our misadventures with Irish bus drivers continued as the online ticket we had purchased wouldn't work and suddenly that became our fault! I was sent back into the bus station to be completely ignored, until the driver barged in and was told that it was a known equipment problem...It duly worked with the right buttons pushed and again we had the pleasure of a surly driver. It must be a prerequisite of driving a bus in Ireland that you leave your sense of humour at the door. Or were they just cursed by the little people..hmmm, I'll check Wiki!
Arriving in Cork we quickly arranged to get to Blarney Castle and that was a treat. Blarney Castle was once magnificent, then fell into ruin, which quickly became a Victorian tourist attraction because of  its lovely atmospheric setting in the grounds of a large estate. When the Irish built a railway system, one of the early destinations was Blarney Castle, so as the people came its fame grew. As for the stone itself, well there is more Blarney associated with it than any other piece of rock, though the most famous explanation is that the stone was presented to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in recognition of his support in the Battle of Bannockburn. This legend holds that this was a piece of the Stone of Scone and was installed at McCarthy's castle of Blarney, though this, like all things Blarney is very, very dubious. (This story does not account for the fact that the stone was removed from Scotland 18 years before Bannockburn).
So the three of us hung upside down over a drop of 50 metres to kiss what has officially been recognised as the most unsanitary tourist attraction in the world, due to the several hundred thousand mouths that grace it every year. Combine that with the middle-aged Irishman who man handles you over the edge and you have an experience worthy of a story full of exaggeration and Blarney.
And that's what you just got!
Blarney Castle, Ireland
Blarney Castle, Ireland
Blarney Castle, Ireland
Graffiti at Blarney Castle, Ireland
Victorian graffiti at Blarney Castle, Ireland
Victorian graffiti at Blarney Castle

Dani kissing the blarney stone at Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland
Ted kissing the blarney stone at Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland
We, Ted and Dani of The Travel Room, take the dip...again!
Tower of Blarney Castle showing the gap where you hang upside down to kiss the Blarney stone, Ireland
The gap at the top of the tower is where you hang upside down to kiss the Blarney stone...I find it's best not to look down!
View over the countryside from Blarney castle, Ireland
Inside Blarney Castle, the hall where many Victorian picnics were held, Ireland
Inside Blarney Castle, the hall where many Victorian picnics were held.
View over the countryside from Blarney castle
Read our next blog about the new religion in North London here.

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