Monday, July 30, 2007

Blarney Castle

The third castle on this site near Cork was built in 1446.

On the walk to the castle, we crossed over a bridge with coins glistening in the water. Shadows: Inge and me. After the photo we threw coins in with a wish.

This site says:

"The Earl of Leicester was commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to take possession of the castle. Whenever he endeavoured to negotiate the matter McCarthy always suggested a banquet or some other form of delay, so that when the queen asked for progress reports a long missive was sent, at the end of which the castle remained untaken. The queen was said to be so irritated that she remarked that the earl's reports were all 'Blarney'."

The castle is almost 90' high.

There are winding narrow stairs, secret passages, large rooms, tiny rooms, tunnels and beautiful windows.

Francis Sylvester Mahony wrote that whoever kisses the Blarney stone becomes eloquent, to woo a woman or become a Member of Parliament.

I wasn't going to kiss it, but when our students got excited to do it, I couldn't pass up the chance to become eloquent, and well, just to laugh at the experience.

Inge didn't kiss it, but she took my picture with this man whose job it is to hold women (and men) all day and say silly things like "Let's see how you kiss in the daytime." From the look of his pile of euro coins, I'd say his lines are working. But once I got down in there, backwards, he kept telling me to go farther and farther, until my lips were touching the bottom of the stone edge. Scaaaaaary! (Even though there are now bars that keep you from falling.)

After kissing the Blarney stone, we went to dinner in town, where on each table a vase with one yellow rose sat. Both Inge's and my mom love/d yellow roses, so that was a nice memory. (Inge's mom is still alive.)

When we took our second bus in Cork, some of our students were boarding too. Lena and Becky found some three leaf clovers.


Rauf said...

i can visualise women walking about the castle with their tight and heavy dress and a metal basket frame under their skirts. You don't see their feet moving. it looks as though they are floating. i have seen them in movies. if you remove movies from me Ruth there is nothing left in me. i can only visualise myself as a prisoner, seeking her majesty queen Ruth's blessings. you see my pictures and grant me a kighthood and a piece of land, 'go forth old man, you need not beg on the streets no more'
give him something to eat for godssake and give him a bath.

your majesty is very kind.

Actually Ruth, even the royal ladies used to have a bath only once in a while, (twice in a year)
but they used a lot of perfume and used to carry flowers. commoners only once in a year.

So we expect some poems in Synchronising, now that you have kissed the stone ??

i would have liked a little more of window in the yellow rose picture Ruth.

I know about rabbit foot and three leaf clover but don't remember what it is, some luck thing ? the place looks so neat.

i am in Ireland now Ruth. thanks for taking me on the tour.

Ruth said...

rauf, it's funny you told that story in the castle, because I heard there were pictures somewhere in Blarney of women in the 19th century wearing their long hooped skirts and going up to kiss the Blarney Stone. How did you know?

I think you're right about the composition for the rose picture. Unfortunately, I am quite afraid of more window, since the light always throws my lighting off. I liked the curtain material, it was very rich.

They talk a lot about the "luck o' the Irish" but I don't know where that got started. Yes, rabbit's foot and four leaf clover are good luck symbols.

Ginnie said...

My favorite pic, Ruth, is when the man is holding you after you got up from kissing the Blarney Stone! The look on your face! Tell Inge she has a winner.

Now you're really making me want to go visit Ireland again. It was so long ago (almost 20 years!).

Ruth said...

Yes, Boots, that's a look of relief that I'm not lying back there any more, and feeling silly with this silly man. It was fun! Yes, you should go back. I'm finding out how amazing this country and its people are.

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