I was always intrigued by the famous, mysterious stone of eloquence at Blarney Castle. Not that I need an additional dose of prolific oration, mind you.
Some would say I talk enough as it is. I think people secretly wish I would just shut the hell up every once in a while. I even asked my dad the other day, at the end of a particularly long rant.
Was I always so voluble?
And without absolutely no hesitation whatsoever, he answered. Always. Al-ways. I would have been insulted by his promptness had I not known the answer to be true. I like talking, alright? Sue me!
I was nonetheless very curious about the stone, even more so than I was about the rest of Ireland. Also, funny story. Someone on the bus asked if the stone was cleaned, or at least sanitized, for time to time. Our guide seemed to pick her brain about that, trying to find a date. She even asked the driver to chime in.
“Yes, the stone was actually cleaned quite recently. I’m guessing it’s only been about, I don’t know, 600 years ago, perhaps?” At least germs are one of the few things I am not afraid of – I’m just going to focus on that, instead of the fact that I was just about to bend over backwards to kiss a dirty stone.
Blarney Castle And The Gift Of The Gab
Climbing up the castle is pretty easy, although I’m guessing it’s a rough experience for the knees of people over 6 foot tall – the steps are extremely steep and very high. That made the climb up pretty fun for the guys in our group! Once you do get to the top, you are rewarded with fine views of the Blarney estate, which are, of course, very green. It’s Ireland, after all.
The big moment was just around the corner. I watched people do it, and it looked kind of fun. I held on to that thought until it was my turn to step forward and have the attendant help me lie down. But there was a slight problem: my brain would not rationalise that it was a safe procedure and therefore, neither would my body. And looking at it now, I can’t blame him – it does go against nature to bend over backwards to kiss a dirty stone some 90 feet in the air while some guy holds your waist. Right!? But the attendant, a courteous Irishmen, would have none of my freaking out and swiftly slid my face towards the stone so that I would be over with it.
So I kissed the stone that so many before me kissed and got back on my wobbly legs, hoping that the blood would return to my upper body eventually.
“The stone this is, whoever kissed,
He never misses to grow eloquent
Tis he may clamber to a lady’s chamber,
Or be a member of Parliament”
It was quite the experience, kissing the stone of eloquence. While I may not be making my way to neither a lady’s chamber nor the Parliament, I’m pretty glad I threw my fear of heights in the gutter and did it anyway, despite how unnatural it felt to actually lie there. And perhaps this seemingly endless post will be a testament of just how effective the stone really is…
[disclaim]Disclaimer: I was a guest of Shamrocker Tours on this trip. As always, all opinions are my own.[/disclaim]