Blarney castle is one of the largest tourist attractions in the country of Ireland. The path most people take through it however is rather narrow. If you arrive on a tour bus you will likely be told you have x amount of time to see the grounds and walk around. Typically that finite amount of time will be enough to climb up and kiss the Blarney stone, the most unhygienic tourist spot in all of Europe. Well I had very little interest in climbing the stairs, and did not need the gift of gab (I don’t shut-up as it is); so as I always have I did not do what everyone else did.
My path less taken first took me to walking up to the castle to take some cool photos of an old castle (because Europe). Then when everyone else said they are going to start the climb to kiss the stone I decided to walk onto the forest path. The forest path is very interesting because of how old the energy is in the place. The forest is old, Older than the castle itself. Walking where my ancestors who were from that area of Ireland was a very calming experience. I saw the oldest tree in the forest (and nobody with a herring), The Seven Sisters Stone Circle, and just enjoyed the very calm nature of the area. This is also when I really felt like we lucked out, it was beautiful sunny day in late April. We could not have asked for better weather.
When I was done with the Forest Path I realized I still had so much extra time because I wasn’t waiting in line to kiss the stone or anything. I found signs to a place called the Rock Close. The rock close is also full of old things to see, including many Druidic sites scattered throughout. While the Forest Path was like a calming walk through the woods, the Rock Close was hilly and like an ISpy puzzle; always something to see. I met another fellow traveler in the Rock Close he was a Bard from Newfoundland we talked about how wonderful the weather is, and how most people do not see this part of Blarney. If you take a car there you could easily have time to do everything, but on a tour likely you don’t have time to see everything Blarney Castle has to offer. By the time I was done with the Rock Close I was not sure how long it was going to take to get back to the bus, and I figured I could just walk round the grounds some more so I headed back.
My fellow tour members all went up to the top and kissed the rock. I did not, but I saw something none of them did because I did not go climb to the top of the castle. If I go back I will likely climb to the top of the castle just to say I did it, but right now I feel like I got more than my fair share of wonderful experiences at Blarney Castle.
Here is what I would recommend, if you are into the out of the way place and want a unique experience do what I did it is a wonderful walk. If you want to have the ability to say you climbed the steps (which is not easy) and kissed the rock that so many others have kissed, then do that. The fact of the matter is though you don’t need to choose both, If you go on your own you can go at your own pace. If you go on your own and not with a tour group you don’t need to make the choice between the two. There is also the fact that while the forest path is a great option, climbing the steps is an essential story for many. There is no better path than any other. Either way you can have a good time if the weather is nice.
Thank you for reading,
Go With The Winds.
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