Just about everyone has heard of the fabled Blarney Stone, and people come from all over the world just to partake in the sacred tradition of planting a big wet one on it. Who am I to break tradition?
Just outside the gorgeous city of Cork lies 600-year-old Blarney Castle and atop this mighty structure lies the one and only Blarney Stone.
Movie stars, heads of state and even Queen Elizabeth have all kissed this lucky rock, so I figured why not give it a try. Legend has it any lad kissing the stone will a) become instantly eloquent, b) become a member of Parliament, or c) even be invited to a lady’s chamber!
Realizing I can use all the help I can get, I climbed the winding castle staircase to the top, where I saw a dirty worn-smooth rock that has been kissed by countless souls.
Despite my concerns over cleanliness, I stood in line until at last it was my turn. I tilted my head backward and gave that stone a hopeful smooch. But I did not become a wordsmith, no one has offered me a career in politics and, sadly, no ladies have invited me to their chambers.
Still, for the nominal charge of about 15 bucks, it’s well worth the experience. The stone itself is several hundred years old, and the vast view of green rolling hills from the top of the castle is worth the price of admission alone.
What to do
- Visit the Guinness Factory in Dublin. Some 3.5 million pints of the dark nectar are produced here everyday. It’s been around since the 1700s and is the only place where Guinness is produced.
- Have a pint at historic Brazen Head Pub. By far the oldest pub in Ireland, the Brazen Head in Dublin has been serving up grog for more than 800 years. The atmosphere is truly old school Ireland, with a group of traditional musicians belting out sing-a-long tunes. Most nights, the entire bar swings their glasses to a chorus of Whiskey in the Jar.