Maybe it was the steep and narrow staircase that spiralled up the tower. Or the idea of bending backwards like a contortionist to a crowd of onlookers. Or the thought of kissing a stone touched by the lips of thousands of others before me.
At Blarney Castle, I didn’t just pass up the opportunity to kiss the bluestone at the top of the tower and be endowed with the gift of eloquence; I didn’t even see it.
Instead, I explored the grounds of the castle, a medieval fortification that today is one of Ireland’s most famous and treasured attractions.
You see, if I was busy climbing the tower and kissing the stone, I may have missed the small details of the 15th-century tower…
… Or its eerie exterior…
Or the lush landscapes…
… Or Badgers Cave. Legend has it that it connects three underground passages: One to Cork, one to the lake and one all the way to Kerry.
From someone who didn’t even see everything the castle has to offer, a word of advice: Give yourself time to explore. A lot of time.
I may have forfeited the gift of gab but, in exchange, I learned there’s much more to Blarney Castle than its stone.
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I visited Blarney Castle with the assistance of Fáilte Ireland (National Tourism Development Authority).