Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blarney: The Biggest Little Village in Ireland!

I have vaguely heard about the legend surrounding the kissing of the Blarney stone but had no idea this little village was only 8km from Cork till I got here.  Blarney is known as the biggest little village in Ireland and perhaps it is because of the hundreds of travellers who visit here each day, all on the same quest of kissing the Blarney Stone!  So – what is this tradition about?

Well, legend has it that Queen Elizabeth sent her emissary to persuade the MacCarthy chieftain to abandon his rights and accept the authority of the English Throne.  Being a smart man, he met the emissary with words of great flattery and praise for the Queen but never actually agreed to relinquish his rights.  Queen Elizabeth is credited with giving the English language the word Blarney, when she said about the chief, “this is all Blarney, what he says he never means!”  Another definition I’ve read states it is ‘pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending!’  So, the tradition was born that if you came to Blarney and kissed the stone, you would be blessed with eloquence! 

Thankfully, we have arrived here quite early in the morning so we make the castle our first port of call.  It is still a bit of wait to get to the stone…as the winding stone passages don’t lend themselves to fast travel.  Once we get to the top I realise why it had taken so long.  The stone is actually on the outside wall, and it is quite an exercise that involves a man holding you down as you tip your head over the side of the castle to give the stone a kiss!  A few people give it a miss but hey…we have come this far so we give it a go! 

It is another gorgeous sunny day and we enjoy the grounds and the walks in the woods surrounding the castle before finally leaving in search of a late lunch.

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