Those of you who know us may fear that if the Sherry’s kiss the Blarney Stone no one within earshot will ever be free of chatter again. However, it turns out that the magical stone endows eloquence, not necessarily verbosity. So we went for it.
If you have been following our story in Ireland it won’t surprise you that it was raining. We learned that 2012 is the wettest summer in Ireland in living memory. When Suzanne mentioned this to the woman cutting her hair she was told “Ah, they say that every year”. Anyway we didn’t let the weather slow us down, much.
The Blarney Castle is a very well maintained ruin. Patches of greenery seem to thrive in the lovely old crumbly walls. As part of the Sherry World Academy we have been collecting oxymorons, and I think “well maintained ruin” is a new one.
Of course Blarney Castle is a huge tourist attraction and even through the pouring rain we faced a long queue of people climbing the steep, wet, slippery spiral steps to the top of the wall where the magical stone is inexplicably located on the bottom of a wall over a 100 foot drop.
Special kudos to my Mom who, against her better judgement, hiked up the serpentine and treacherous stairway. Once at the top of the wall, one needs to face skyward, grab the convenient fall-prevention handles, pucker up, and smooch. Of course the price of admission included an efficient helper to assist with this gymnastic maneuver.
After the stone we tested our new eloquence as we strolled through the poison garden. Patrick and Alex very much enjoyed the idea of a garden chock full of poisonous plants. They were particularly interested in the Mandrake and Wolf-bane, since these are plants used by Hogwarts students in the Harry Potter books.
The grounds of Blarney also include Fairy Gardens with unusual stone and plant formations. We heard so many stories of the Irish Fairies during Alex’s birthday activities that we felt right at home. Unfortunately the intermittent down-pours limited our time in the Fairy forest. As the rain began to begin again in earnest, we retreated back to the Big Red Van.
We are not sure if incremental eloquence followed us from this enchanted land, but I’m sure the verbosity has not diminished one bit.