Today was the day I was waiting for. There are a lot of reasons why people travel to Ireland, Guinness, relatives, Guinness, but more often than not people come to this country for inspiration, for magic. That reason alone is enough to draw millions of people here to this tiny island every year. It's the reason why I came. Ever since I could remember I have been infatuated with this culture, people, history… accent. *sigh* 😉
When I read books with Ireland as their setting I longed to see the greenness of the grass, to hear the music in the waterfalls, to feel the wind whip up from the cliffs, but most importantly, I wanted to feel that magic. You know what magic I'm talking about. That feeling of awe, of awareness, of letting go of all preconceived notions, responsibilities, general thought and letting the feeling of the land take over. For the past couple of days we've been doing the touristy stuff, not really getting into the heart of the island. Today started out to be the same kind of day and then it hit me, completely out of the blue at one of the most touristy locations on the isle, Blarney Castle.
It was also in the most oddest of places, too. Blarney Castle grounds are beautiful and inspiring in and of themselves, inspiration is basically thrown at you as you enter the Rock Close, but I'll get to that in a minute. No, my inspiration hit me before the Rock Close with it's breath-taking landscaping, before I even entered the castle. After I took the above picture I wondered over to the one round tower. I stood in the entrance way and looked up. You could see where the wooden beams would have been to create a spiral staircase leading up to the top. For just a second my world stopped. The bird song quieted, my heart stopped beating, I had no breath. I can't explain why it happened or how, but I felt an electric buzz throughout my body. Then, I couldn't help but smile. I was standing in a doorway to a tower, nothing special, nothing heroic happened there, just a lookout tower. Yet, it did the trick.
I felt energized, excited and something that has been escaping me lately, happy. In short, I felt magic. And thank God I felt energized because the walk up to the Blarney Stone is one hell of a trek! 😉
After my little experience in the tower we made our way up to the Blarney Stone. To get to the top you have to climb a spiral staircase so tight I frequently stopped to ponder how in hell Laurel Hardy and Winston Churchill fit up this tiny stairwell. If you want to feel what it's like to climb up them, stand up, turn in a tight circle where you're standing for about 30 – 40 times. You won't get out of breath, but you'll get dizzy! The one thing I absolutely loved about Blarney Castle is its accessibility to the tourists. So many times things are closed off for our safety that we miss out on experience. For Blarney Castle, if it had a floor, you could walk on it.
And of course, when we made it to the top of the castle, we kissed the Blarney Stone. Which, by the way, is more of a rock than a stone. I envisioned this tiny little stone that I had to find just right or else I was just kissing some 15th century rock instead of the Blarney Stone, and who would want that? But no, it's like 2 feet long and very hard to miss, hard to reach, but not to miss. So, if you don't mind hanging off the side of a castle with just a guy holding your sides, and you can block out the dear friend who mentioned that someone he knows told him how he peed on the stone then laughed at the tourists who kissed it (thank you, Daniel), then you're good to go. 😉
Remember how I said I felt all inspired after walking into that tower? Yeah, well, that inspiration was kicked into overdrive when I walked through The Rock Close on the grounds. Filled with low, overhanging, wispy trees, waterfalls, druid circles, witch's kitchens, it's hard not to believe in magic while strolling the grounds.
I could bombard this blog with more pictures of this mystical land, but I won't. In fact, because it took me so long to upload the pictures I did (I miss my high speed internet back at home) I'm going to have to say good night.
Later today we hit An Drum Beag (The Small Ridge) a stone circle on a farm. It was amazing and a place of great wonderment but I'm just too tired to give it justice. But I will leave you with this startling image of it. The sun came out just as Eric took the shot. The light from the sun made the grass that much greener. Stunning.
Thanks for stopping by!