*Baloney is when you tell a 50 year old woman she looks 18. Blarney is when you ask a woman how old she is because you want to know at what age women are most beautiful. According to Irish politician John O’Connor Power, ‘blarney is something more than mere flattery. It is flattery sweetened by humor and flavored by wit.’
1. THE GIFT OF ELOQUENCE
Their sincerity is matched only by their propensity for blarney.
What can I say? You can’t fight tradition.
2. EVERYBODY IS DOING IT
Don’t think about the number of people who have already slobbered all over the Blarney Stone (my sources tell me the stone is sanitized several times an hour). Don’t think about falling 100 feet to your death. Just step up to the plate, or rather the stone, take a deep breath, and feel the rush (that would be the blood rushing to your head) as you lean back, grab the rails, and reach for this pinnacle of your life experiences.
Besides, the mileage you’ll earn from this single kiss, along with, of course, your eloquence in retelling the story, will bring you a lifetime of notoriety.
3. DUH! THE STONE IS PART OF A MEDIEVAL CASTLE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Cormac Laidir certainly set out to impress the fiefdom with his new digs, all four stories as well as the battlement at the top.
I gotta hand it to him; the arched doorways were a nice touch.
That defiance was not looked upon favorable by Queen Elizabeth I. Sir Cormac’s efforts to appease both sides with his ability to play one side off the other may have allowed the word ‘Blarney’ to pass into modern speech (that is his smoothly flattering and cajoling talk), but it did little to prevent the Queen (she reported said she was tired of all the Blarney) from eventually sending Lord Broghill, General to Oliver Cromwell, to attack Blarney Castle. Broghill destroyed the tower walls with gunfire and stormed Blarney Castle only to discover MacDermod had escaped via the underground passages called Badger’s Caves.
Standing proudly in the 21st century, this remnant of the past depicts the beauty and mystery behind the bare bones of civilization; the dates, the places, the people, the battles. Not since Indiana Jones stepped away from his desk and onto the silver screen has history spoken so loudly and provocatively.
I fall in love time and time again with mankind’s story at each new destination. After all, it’s really my story, too.
5. THE VIEW IS MAGNIFICENT
6. THE BLARNEY STONE IS JUST ONE OF MANY ATTRACTIONS
Sixty plus acres of gardens and woodlands made kissing the Blarney Stone a faded memory after strolling the grounds for several hours. We enjoyed the Poison Garden,
This is not the place for spectator sports.
THE BOTTOM LINE ON BLARNEY CASTLE:
Verdict: No baloney; this was a once in a life-time experience I thoroughly enjoyed. Our visit offered a castle with clout and a kiss with kick. No blarney, Winston Churchill kissed the Blarney Stone. Maybe that's how he overcame his stutter.
Insider Information: Credit cards are not accepted, except for large groups. The gardener for the Blarney Estate will answer questions online via the Blarney Castle website if something peeks your interest. Obviously, get thee to the castle early. I was fifth in line for kissing the Blarney Stone. When things get crazy, I'm told the line runs down the winding stars and out the castle. No way to spend the day in such a beautiful location.
Nearby Food: We ate sandwiches and chips inside what was once the stable area for the estate. The food and drinks were enough to keep us on our feet and our thirst quenched.