Today, we all gained the Gift of Eloquence, or the “gift of gab” as it is called by our tour guide Tony. We kissed the Blarney Stone that is located at the very top of Blarney Castle. To do so, you must first climb 120 very narrow, and very “slippy” stone stairs. When you reach the top, you wind your way to the attendant who assists you in laying down on your back, and hanging over the edge to kiss the Blarney Stone upside down. They have installed safety bars now but it used to be considered quite the feat as you are hanging precariously high above the ground. This was a test of strength, endurance, and courage.
The Blarney Castle was built in 1446 by Cormac MacCarthy. The Blarney Castle Gardens also include 60 acres of sprawling grounds that include gardens, waterfalls, and walkways. The Poison Garden was a favorite as it featured many “poisonous” plants such as Nightshade, Wolfsbane, Hemlock, Tobacco, Mandrakes, Tea, and even a Cannabis plant. These plants were used for medicinal purposes in small doses, as well as poisons, and many of these plants were kept in the castle gardens.