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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Of Castles, Kissing Stones and Blarney!

Are you enchanted by castles?  I am!

I love this poem;
 If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.~Henry David Thoreau
The Blarney Castle not only  reaches high up into the air, but it definitely is built on a very firm foundation of rock --- HOW DID THEY BUILD THIS?!
 
A bit of a history lesson – the castle that you can tour today is actually the THIRD structure on the site.  The first one was wooden –it was built in the 10th century ((meaning 900+AD..I always have to tell myself to subtract a bit when talking about centuries!)) and it was replaced by a stone one in 1210 – the entrance was about 20 feet up on the stone face of the building.

 
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My first view of Blarney Castle!
 
Then they tore down the 1210 version, using it as foundation for the latest castle, built in 1446 by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster.  In 1446 the "OLD" castle was over 200 years old --I guess they thought a newer modern version was better!
 
As we made our way to the castle, each step closer brought us face to face with how tall and foreboding this castle really is. 
 
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Can you imagine sentries and archers along the top wall watching out to keep the kingdom safe?
 
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There we stood at the bottom looking up at that little jutting out balcony part with windows chanting 

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!”
 
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The big draw? Climbing this crazy winding staircase to go kiss the Blarney Stone!
 
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Getting Ready!
 
You have to lean backward, head down –looking down at the abyss to kiss the stone!
 
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Yeah!!  I did it!!
 
((Thanks to my Knight in Shining Armor Fleece not dropping me!))
 
If you look closely, that patch of green you see through the opening is the ground WAY down below!
 
Take a tour of the castle with me – there are many photos from just about every angle I could get them ---the gardens are lovely even if you decide NOT to climb to crazy heights and kiss the Blarney Stone.  ((FWIW – I didn’t TOUCH the stone – I just blew air kisses at it – no cooties on me!))
 
If you can’t view the slide show on your mobile device, click the image below to be taken directly to the photo album.
Blarney Castle, Ireland 2013

At the end of the slide show are some cute photos of a "teddy bear tree" courtesy of a school of visiting children!  They all had teddies or other stuffies and backpacks with them.....and as we excited, the children were off doing their activities, and they had put all their fur coated stuffie friends in amongst the tree limbs.  It was an overabundance of cuteness and childhood innocence, and we were enchanted enough to have to take pics.

Yes, all of us let our inner children come out to enjoy this day!


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14 comments:

Tami C said...

I think I would just pass on the up-side-down part of the blowing a kiss to the Blarney Stone! You are much braver than I. I really enjoyed the tour with you and the kids teddy bear tree was cute!

Mary-Kay Colman said...

If it's the Blarney Castle, couldn't you just kiss any of it? It is all Blarney! You have some great pictures to remember your trip by. The scenery is just so beautiful!

Sue in Scottsdale, AZ said...

I love all your pictures. The grounds of the Blarney Castle are gorgeous. In April 1969 I kissed the Blarney Stone and I do remember it being quite scary being on your back and hoping the person supporting you didn't drop you. Since it was April when I was there, I don't believe everything was quite a green as it is for you. I love living vicariously through you! Thank you very much.

Sue in Scottsdale, AZ said...

I love all your pictures. The grounds of the Blarney Castle are gorgeous. In April 1969 I kissed the Blarney Stone and I do remember it being quite scary being on your back and hoping the person supporting you didn't drop you. Since it was April when I was there, I don't believe everything was quite a green as it is for you. I love living vicariously through you! Thank you very much.

Kelly said...

It looks so wonderful!

I'm curious, who is your photo partner, the person taking all the photos of you?

Lisa said...

I love seeing YOU in some of the photos! Especially since this is your vacation too!

Beverley said...

Glad you are enjoying your self Bonnie. I kissed the Blarney Stone in 1992. Am unsure if I talked more after or before though.
Bev in Britain.

Lakegaldonna said...

From your photos leading up to it I thought you were actually going to kiss it!
Awesome. Thanks for the interesting posts Bonnie.

Lakegaldonna said...

From your photos leading up to it I thought you were actually going to kiss it!
Awesome. Thanks for the interesting posts Bonnie.

Carol Stearns said...

I am SEW envious of you for this trip to Ireland! We lived in England for 3 yrs with the AF in the 70's and loved it! We've been back several times but never to Ireland. Someday and soon.

cityquilter grace said...

another trip of a lifetime....wow....

B J Chaplin said...

Since I will probably never go to Ireland, I look forward to your pictures and descriptions of your travels each day. Thanks for taking the time to do it each day.

Beth said...

My Mom and Dad, and 5 other of her sibs and spouses took the trip together. They kissed the Blarney stone, but your pictures are much better. I never 'got' the location of the stone before.

Carla said...

Beautiful, thank you for sharing.