Blarney Castle and Gardens

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.
Come, lets sit and have a cuppa!
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!

 

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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!

22 Responses

  1. The two photos of the gardens that you have put up, is nice. Esp. the one in the middle with wooden benches. Someone has marketed the castle and the kissing-stone concept very well, I guess 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  2. Nice post. You are right some things are really overrated. However, it goes ot show how these countries are good in marketing, whereas we in india have really such genuine things, and we do nothing about them. Countries like Thailand, Singapore are just thriving in such business. Tickets are really expensive.
    Even my husband would say why pay for the greenery, when the whole of Ireland is green.

    • India actually has wealth of natural and man made wonders, and a proper advertising and maintainence would skyrocket the tourism in our country. Yes, and I would pay the entrance fees only for man made wonders and not for anything that is natural and god given.

  3. Castle was utter nonsense- haha I understand what you say! I too were disappointed to see some nonsense when I was in Scotland 🙂 Everything was destroyed in the wars and then by nature. Love the green in the gardens.

  4. Breathtaking pictures! Too bad to know of the castle hype but still it was good to peep inside it through your collage. Missed the kissing stone picture in it, though (?). The gardens are a real treat to the senses. I can spend any amount of time simply soaking in all that serenity. 🙂

    • Thank you Arti. Kissing the Stone picture?? Ha..that must be a joke. It was awful and my face was not shown clearly..So I did not wanted to take the souvenir with me 🙁
      I really loved the garden and they way they have set the walking paths!

  5. Nice write up and pictures. The place looks so inviting.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/03/river-narmada.html

  6. Never been to Ireland Anu! This post makes me so much want to go there!!! 🙂
    Btw, I've passed on an award to you… 🙂
    Here it is: Leibster Blog Award

  7. The photos are a visual treat and I would love to go there only to kiss the stone. Sad that it is in a bad state.

  8. I vaguley remember seeing the castle somwhere. The Second picture was too good, what Greenery! And Kiss the Blarney Stone? I read it as Kiss the Barney Stone :-d

  9. The second pic is simply too beautiful. Your posts make me want to visit Ireland sometime 🙂

  10. :D. Where's the kissing photograph?
    Thanks for the warning. If I go that side, I'm not kissing that stone, but I sure would like to see people doing it. Was there a long line of people ready to go give the stone some love? 🙂

    The surroundings are really so lovely. Those picnic tables are so inviting. 🙂

    • That photograph was horrible, so din't bother to get the souvenir from them 🙂
      There were a lot of people (mostly young) who were on the line to shower their love to the stone! I love that picnic table shot too.

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