Kissing the Blarney Stone
One of Ireland’s most famous things to do – kissing the Blarney Stone! You get the opportunity for kissing the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle, just a 15-minute drive from Cork City. We woke up a little later and made it to Blarney Castle around 10.30am and already there was over a 60minute queue to kiss the Blarney Stone. My tip? Wake up super early and make sure you’re at the ticket office ready to buy the first set of tickets around 8.45am (€14 euro online here, €15 in person). You’ll get straight up and avoid a very long wait!
Ever heard of kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland? Legend has it that anyone who does it will be blessed with ‘the Gift of the Gab’ (the Irish ability to talk and talk and talk!), I gave it a quick peck just to make sure 😘😘 And so the #IrishRoadTrip continues! From Cork down to Ireland’s most south western point in good old Irish summer weather! ☔️😂 #blarneystone #kissingtheblarneystone #cork #ireland #loveireland #irishroadtrip #onestep4ward #blarneycastle #discoverieland @discoverireland
The whole grounds of Blarney Castle are beautiful and well worth a walk around if you have the day to spare, for us it was all about the kissing. So we lined up, waited our 60/70 min wait, slowly climbing the tiny stone spiral staircase, feeling a little claustrophobic truth-be-told. Eventually we were atop the castle, and we could see the main draw, the Blarney Stone!
As the queue slowly shortens, you see the system and how it works. Basically, the concept behind the Blarney Stone is that if you kiss it, you’re graced with the ‘Gift of the Gab’ as the Irish say, or an ability to talk and tell stories, to become more eloquent. BUT you have to kiss it upside down, that’s the trick! The actual stone hangs over a huge drop, so there are 2 staff members to help you get down, hang upside down over the sheer drop, kiss the thing (forget about how many people have kissed it before you, eurrrrgh) and get right back up again.
After all that kissing was done and dusted, we had a long drive ahead. We had planned to gun it straight to Port Magee on Ireland’s West Coast to get an afternoon boat to Skellig Michael (one of Ireland’s two UNESCO world heritage sites, made all of the more famous recently since Luke Skywalker appeared at the end of the new Star Wars on that very island!), but our boat was postponed to the following day. So what should we do with the rest of our day?
We planned a beautiful trip along the southern coast, to Ireland’s most southern and easterly point, Mizen Head, then head north to the spectacular Ring of Kerry, soak that up, and reach Port Magee for the evening, ready for our boat trip to Skellig Michael the following morning. Fool-proof. Kinda.
Irish Road-trip Day 2 route – Our Longest Driving Day:
Cork to the Blarney Stone to Mizen Head to Ring of Kerry to Port Magee
So we set off, but good old Irish summer kicked in. Travel can be like this, often we get fortunate (like the time I went to Mount Everest Base Camp out of season, only for the clouds to clear and show me Mount Everest in all its glory), but we have to take the rough with the smooth. As we drove the weather got worse and worse. Fog, rain, temperature drop – in July!
Actually we had a brilliant time, the girls drinking vodka in the back, Josh and I gangster rapping to Dr Dre in the front, but the reality was that we missed all the beautiful drive’s views, which was kinda sad but a good excuse to come back for sure. Here’s how it ACTUALLY looked versus how it SHOULD look:
We did, however, reach Mizen Head, so at least we can say we made it to Ireland’s most south-westerly point, despite the weather. And, as always, we made the best of it, picnic and all.
We then drove north, all the way to Portmagee, in time for a few cheeky Guinnesses and to discover that despite Skellig Michael tours being booked out for weeks in advance, there had been 4 cancellations, all on the same boat, so the 4 of us were good to go the following morning. Suddenly all that bad weather seemed insignificant like I said, you have to take the rough with the smooth!