We left the beauty of Cork city behind, and took an early drive towards Blarney Castle. Situated 6 miles away from Cork, this is by far the most overrated tourist attraction in Ireland. A medieval architecture, this castle is in a ruined state.
What’s it with the Blarney Stone:
Yet millions of people visit this place to see the castle primarily to “Kiss the Blarney Stone”. It is a block of bluestone and legend has it that if you kiss the stone, you gain the gift of elequonce.
We took the whopping 12 Euro ticket and strolled through the beautiful gardens. Amidst the greenish gardens. we climbed up the steep steps to reach the top of the castle, stood in the line – only to kiss a stone! Yes, you heard it right!
It was not a ceremonious act actually! You have to literally bend backwards completely over the parapet wall (Remember the Chakrasana
posture!). Although, a stranger (supposedly the official stone keeper) holds your back helping you to bend, and whilst you kiss the stone
, the official cameraman nearby takes the picture which you can keep as a memorable souvenir! Whether you really get this gift of elequonce or speech or whatever, I can’t answer! But sure a germ or two would get transmitted considering 4 Lakh people kiss the stone every year! We did all this calculation only after kissing the stone, and realised what a blunder it was! I cleant my mouth a hundred times after coming back to the hotel that night!!
Above picture has the castle terrace (in the first picture) where you can see people waiting to kiss the stone, some of the interiors of the ruined castle, the castle itself,and the view of the gardens from the castle.
Although the castle was utter nonsense, rest of the 60 acre garden that surrounds the castle was breathtaking and kind of overshadowed the flaws. There were plenty of natural attractions within the gardens – signposted wood walks, water falls, caves, themed gardens, river etc.
One such visual treat and picture-perfect moment above – The greenery, flowing river and these picnic tables were gorgeous. There were also myriad trees which were unique, and the whole garden complex was extremely very well maintained and signposted. This cute pond (below) was just opposite to the castle and I just couldn’t go without clicking it away!
So, to conclude, the castle and kissing of the blarney stone is definitely an unattractive, overrated, and unhygienic place which you may wholeheartedly delete from your itinerary unless – unless you want to see these gardens!! But why pay 12 Euros to see them when the whole of Ireland is full and free of similar such lush green meadows!