You know all those legends that say, “If you do this this and this, your wish will come true”?
I’m a complete sucker for those. I always end up doing them, even if it involves me doing some weird things. It was one of these legends that led me to the Rock Close.
The Rock Close is said to be located on the site of an ancient druidic settlement, and the area is like something out of a fairytale. Wooden bridges lead you over streams and through forests, and the sound of two waterfalls fills your ears.
The first thing I came upon in the Rock Close was Dolmen. Dolmen is a megalithic tomb portal that is surrounded with mystery. For the record, it’s a pretty big stone, and apparently today it still sometimes rocks. I walked under the rock since that seemed the thing to do, and nothing happened to me, so I must not have bestirred some sleeping evil.
The next thing I came upon was the Wishing Steps, which was the main reason why I wanted to explore Rock Close. Legend says that if you walk down and back up the Wishing Steps with your eyes closed while thinking only of a wish, that wish will come true within a year. The wish will be granted by the Blarney Witch, because she steals firewood from the Estate for her kitchen. In order to pay for this stolen firewood, she has to grant the wishes of those who walk these stairs.
My first attempt at the stairs was a complete failure. I made it down the stairs just fine, but in order for me to reach the final step, I had to let go of the railing. I did this, and then couldn’t find the railing again. I blindly continued up, but it wasn’t long before I realized that something wasn’t right because I couldn’t find the next step. I opened my eyes to find that I had wandered off the steps, and was standing on a rock to the left of the stairs.
I walked up to the top of the stairs and then tried again. This time I remembered to keep to the right, near the railing, almost this also almost ended in disaster. One time when I was stepping down, I couldn’t feel the next step. It just felt like I was stepping into a hole. I think I had wandered too far to the right and was stepping off the stairs, but luckily I managed to find the stairs again without opening my eyes.
Coming back up was hard. Once again, when I let go of the railing, I couldn’t re-find it when I started back up the steps. I persisted, however, feeling for the steps in front of me instead. Eventually the railing and I reconnected, and I made it to the top of my stairs without further incident.
Okay Blarney Witch, you have one year to make my wish come true!
And if you want to know what I wished for, I’m afraid to tell you that you’ll never know.
By the way, random thought, but is anybody getting visions of the Blair Witch Project while reading this? ‘Cause just writing this is reminding me of that. Creepy.
The next site of interest was the Witch Stone. As the name suggests, it’s a stone that looks like a witch. Legend tells that the Witch of Blarney is imprisoned within this stone, and can only escape from it after nightfall. It’s also said that this Witch was the one who told MacCarthy of the power of the Blarney Stone.
Lastly, I saw the Druid Stones. These stones used to form an ancient Druid Circle and also a sacrificial altar. It’s said that if you said within the circle, evil spirits can’t harm you. I went into the circle for kicks but nothing happened.
By this time it had gotten quite late, and I wanted to head back to Cork before it was close to dark.
I then headed back to the hostel. In order to get into the hostel, I had to put a code into the door. I tried it and it didn’t work, probably because I seem to have numerous problems opening doors. Luckily for me a guy happened to walk by at that moment, and he opened the door for me.
I went into the living room area to write down the password for the WiFi, since it literally was something like “WEC283WOCKALWE.” The most random WiFi password I’ve ever seen. While I was in the living room, the owner of the hostel introduced me to the guy who opened the door for me, since we were staying in the same room. His name was Liam, and he was from Australia. We became buddies and hung out that night, which was a lot of fun.
So, even with the bumps and bruises, it was an awesome day—I kissed the Blarney Stone, made a wish that will hopefully come true, and made a new friend.