On Saturday we drove to Cork to pick up Brittney Dlouhy from the airport. Brittney is here for two weeks to help with the intertidal ecological monitoring surveys, and this is her third visit to the lough so she is an expert by now. While we were in Cork, we “took a jolly” and did some sightseeing in the surrounding area.
Then we headed over to Blarney Castle, a 15th-century building that attracts thousands of tourists each year.
Underneath the castle is a maze of muddy, low-ceilinged passages and tunnels.
At the top of the castle is the famed “Blarney Stone,” which is reputed to give those who kiss it the “gift of gab” that Lord Blarney was famous for. Some members of our group joined thousands of other visitors in bending backward over the edge of the castle with the help on an attendant to plant their lips on the well-loved stone.
The rest simply enjoyed the spectacular views of the castle grounds from the top.
In the castle grounds we came across a “Poison Garden,” which featured a collection of toxic plants and many warnings not to touch, eat, or inhale any of the specimens.