It is told that if you kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, you will be given the gift of gab. Yes, I did kiss the stone, but that was on my first trip to Ireland in 2012. I returned again to Blarney this time, not to kiss the stone, but because of the magnificence of this piece of history that has withstood the test of time. It has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times after wars and fires, but the castle and its gardens live on.
My mind imagines those who climbed the stairs, warmed themselves in front of the fireplaces, sought refuge when the castle was under siege, and strolled through the gardens in times of peace. Castles were large, but were cold and anything but homey. There was no running water or central heat, or any other conveniences that we now take for granted. Were they really the rich and privileged, or our we? Blarney Castle provides a lot of food for thought.
If you ever go across the sea to Ireland, this is one place you definitely want to check out. And, the town of Blarney is worth the time to visit as well, with Blarney Woolen Mills and several wonderful pubs. And if you can do a back-bend, be sure to kiss the Blarney Stone!