Thousands of people every year throw hygiene to the wind in order to kiss Ireland’s famous Blarney Stone, which is supposed to bestow the gift of the gab on anyone who puckers up to it.
The origins of the stone, which can be found at Blarney Castle near Cork, are shrouded in mystery and even the owners of the castle can’t give a definitive explanation.
Some say it was the stone Moses struck to produce water for the Israelites as they fled Egypt, some say it was part of the old king’s throne, which had magical powers. Add another few hundred explanations into the mix, and the stone itself becomes a great storyteller. Whether you will be after smooching it is open to debate.
What many don’t realise is that managing to kiss the stone requires a bit of a contortion act – it’s not in a particularly convenient location, so expect to stretch and twist.
Getting to Blarney Castle, Ireland
Nearest international airport: Cork has a small airport which takes some international flights (usually with budget airlines). Most visitors will probably fly into Dublin, however.
Using public transport: From the bus station on Parnell Place in Cork, take the 224 bus. The journey takes around twenty minutes.
More information: Blarney Castle website
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