Unfortunately, none of that kissing has been with adorable Irish guys, and all of it has been with cold, unloving stones.
But still, I have done a lot of kissing here.
Anyways, my first attempt at kissing the Blarney Stone was a complete failure. I didn’t realize that the Blarney Stone was only the single stone at the very bottom of the wall—I thought the entire part of the wall inside the metal railings was the Blarney Stone. So, I bent down, kissed the wall quickly, and then got the hell out of there and into safety.
I descended down a different staircase (one that is much easier to climb than the staircase leading up, thankfully), and found a few more interesting things. One of these things is called a murder hole. It’s a hole in the floor that was used to deter enemies from entering the castle. Basically, if an enemy tried to enter the castle by way of the lobby, rocks, hot liquids, or arrows were dispatched from this hole right onto the person waiting below.
When I got to the bottom of the castle, I looked at pictures of other people kissing the stone. It was then that I realized that I didn’t actually kiss the Blarney Stone—I just kissed some random stone instead.
I then had a mental war with myself—do I go up all those steps again to try and kiss the actual stone this time? Can I even kiss the stone again?
Eventually I decided that I came all the way to Blarney to kiss the Blarney Stone, so I went up all those stairs yet again. Luckily for me there wasn’t a queue for the stone this time, just three little old ladies in front of me.
By the way, if you don’t think you can kiss the Blarney Stone or you’re too scared to, just keep in mind that I saw countless little old ladies kiss the stone. If they can do it, so can you.
The three little old ladies kissed the stone, then it was my turn. The professional photographer wasn’t there this time, so the man who keeps you from falling asked me if I had a camera, and when I said yes, handed it off to the little old ladies to take a picture of me kissing the stone.
I assumed the position. I laid down, grabbed the metal railings, and then slowly started moving backwards and down. This time I knew which stone was the Blarney Stone, so I aimed for it. This required me to move my entire torso off the ledge, which was a bit frightening. I kissed the stone quickly, then shot up and back to the ledge. I moved away from the stone so fast that I scraped my forehead against the wall.
I also happened to move so fast that the little old ladies didn’t have time to snap the picture. So, the man made me kiss the stone again. It was a little easier this time since I knew how far down I needed to get, and this time I made sure to plant a nice long liplock on the stone so that they could get a picture.
So, there we go. I kissed the stone not just once but twice, so I should be even more eloquent than the average stone-kisser.
Now that I had actually kissed the stone, I left the castle to explore the grounds. I first came upon a poison garden, which was filled with poisonous plants. I loved this part; I thought it was quite interesting. All the plants had placards nearby that described the symptoms of poisoning and the consequences of eating the plant.
My favorite plant in the garden was marijuana.
No, I’m not a druggie.
It was my favorite because the plant wasn’t actually there—the Garda (Irish police) had confiscated it.
I then wandered randomly through the grounds. I came upon the Blarney House, which unfortunately is closed until summer of next year, and then I took a walk through the woods. I came upon the ice house and a fern garden. The fern garden was odd; it almost looked like something out of Jurassic Park.
Even weirder, I next came upon a horse graveyard. I followed the signs but walked all the way to the river and didn’t see it. It was only upon turning around that I saw small graves, half-buried in the weeds.
I walked around a little more before deciding that I wanted to go to the Rock Close, which was located on the other side of the castle. I turned around and then saw a tree that looked like fun to climb.
I tried to climb it. Didn’t work out so well, and I just ended up banging my knee against the tree. I’ve never been good at climbing trees.
When I got back to the castle, I realized that I hadn’t walked through the cave I saw earlier. The cave is called Badgers Cave and is located right by the castle. In days gone past, a man named Lord Broghill besieged the castle in order to claim a gold plate. When he entered the castle, however, he found that all the men had gone, along with the gold plate. They had escaped through the cave. The legend says that there are three passages in the cave—one to Cork, one to the lake on the grounds, and one to Kerry.
I went in the cave, though, and found no passages. The cave was much like the dungeons I had been in earlier. The floor was uneven, the ceiling was low, and the passages were quite narrow. Most of the caves were inaccessible, I’m assuming due to cave-ins, but I did get to walk in the cave a bit. In fact, I was in there long enough to smash my head against the ceiling.
Ouch. That one really hurt. And seriously, can I stop injuring myself any time soon?
In the next part, I keep on injuring myself (or nearly), I speak of many legends, and I do something weird on some steps. I also meet an Australian.