John Mauger Kisses the Blarney
As a young man growing up, I was intrigued by
all of the stories I heard of people and exciting places around the world. I knew that I would travel one day and see things
for myself, and to experience them as well. One in particular is that the kissing of the Blarney Stone brings a strong sense
of eloquence to oneself after placing your lips onto a cold slab of granite while hanging upside-down, five stories up
in an abandoned 17th century Irish castle.
As the pictures indicate, I approached the day
with glee as I left the cruise ship in the southern port city of Cobh, Ireland and caught
the local train to the County Cork city of Cork. A short bus
ride to the small village of Blarney completes the trip. The Castle itself sits in a beautiful and lush green (what other
color would you expect in Ireland) estate setting. There was also the prospect of somehow me gaining a sense of eloquence
once having actually kissed the stone and how that would feel. So, I paid my fee and stood in line to climb the narrow, medieval
staircase up to the roof and its impressive ramparts.
I did not count on the Irish being so small as
I actually had to squeeze myself into the last few steps as the spiral stone stairs, well worn over the centuries, grew tighter
and tighter. Some not so hardy souls were turning back down with this prospect of claustrophobia and a musty smell to boot.
But, not I, forging up and forward ever so intent on the experience.
Once up on the
roof and in the fresh air, the crowd waiting had renewed energy and excitement about their chance to kiss the stone. Everyone
around me talked nervously and watched as each had their turn at the stone.
Then came my
opportunity.....and as luck would have it, the guy in charge at the top used his spritzer to clean the kissing surface of
the stone with a alcohol based spray. As for me, I was longing for a spray of Irish whiskey taste, not rubbing alcohol!
came my chance and down on my back I scrambled while the straining Irish guide tried to hold onto me as I lowered as far as
I could to kiss the stone at the bottom side.
Voila......paydirt! Another item checked off of my bucket list.
*** Click here for more information on the Blarney Stone.