Ireland, A Special Kiss for the Gift of Gab

Emily Cable is a student at the University of Rhode Island and an ISA Featured Blogger. Emily is currently studying abroad with Interstudy in Dublin, Ireland.

Blarney castle
In frustration, Queen Elizabeth exclaimed, “This is all Blarney. What he says he never means.” And a new word was born.

The gift of eloquence is only a kiss away at the Blarney castle! This is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Ireland so far. Besides the castle and the oh-so famous Blarney Stone, the grounds in this park are stunning with lush greens and natural water treatments.

Blarney druid settlement
Look how beautiful this place is! I feel like I’ve stepped back in time.

We went for a walk along the Rock Close and the Water Garden before heading to the castle itself. On this trail we were delighted to see the two flowing waterfalls and the impressive twisted trees above us. There is a sense of magic in this area as it is believed that there was once a druid settlement. Several land marks are thought to hold magic in them such as the Wishing Stairs; if you make a wish and can walk up, down, and back up these stairs with your eyes closed, your wish is thought to come true.

We finally made it back and worked our way up the one hundred steps to the top of the castle! The stairs are really narrow and steep, not made for people with big feet. We gave ourselves a self-guided tour through the castle, finding where the kitchen used to be, the great hall, and the dining room.

Blarney Me in castle crevice
There were a whole bunch of these! I’m such a goober.

We finally made it to the top of the castle and took in the beautiful views. You can see for miles from up there and the views are breathtaking. On the grounds is a house aptly called “The Blarney House”. Unfortunately, due to the time of year, the house was closed, but the house was very impressive from the outside!

Blarney house
Talk about a grand house, huh? I’ll have me one of those!

To get “the gift of eloquence of speech”, or more popularly thought, “the gift of gab”, one must kiss the Blarney Stone. In order to do so you have to hang upside down from the castle and kiss the black stone way off the ground. Don’t worry, there is someone to hold you up. I did get to kiss the stone, but the picture was less than flattering, so I think I’ll skip posting that.

Fun fact: The name “Blarney”,  was actually created by Queen Elizabeth the first. When flattered by a gentleman she called him out for lying about her beauty, saying it was “Blarney” and was not what he actually thought. Similar to the idea of the word “baloney”.

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