I managed to get up a little early today, which is good, because we are only allowing an hour for 6 people to get ready. At least there are two bathrooms, even if one of them only has a tub with dubious temperature control.
Today we went to Blarney Castle.
The tower stairs there are scary! Circular of course, and very narrow, and again, like in the Bloody Tower, I was afraid I wasn't going to make it up them. I managed though. All of us except for Tim kissed the Blarney Stone.
You climb the stairs, all the way to the top of the battlements, and you have to lay down on your back scoot out and arch your back while holding on to a couple of metal bars and being helped by an older gentleman who pushes you out to it and then yanks you back. That was even scarier than the stairs, but I did it!
if you look at this picture full size you can see someone all the way up there being pushed into the gap and kissing the stone.
This was also a challenge for the germaphobe in me, 'cause they wont let you use anything to kill germs either. We even bought the picture that they take as proof of our having done it.
Blarney Castle has a Rock Close http://www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/rock
We wandered through it checking out the Fairy Glade, The Witches' Kitchen and the Druid's Cave.
Next to the Druid's Cave there is a large tree with an extensive root system you can see because it sticks up through the earth.
I had to stand there for a bit with my hand on the tree's bark feeling the energy of that spot. Being beside the tree, above it's roots, sheltered by it's branches. It's a good thing I was with people who understand that.
Next we came to the wishing steps, which you must descend, then ascend again, backwards and with your eyes closed. Since it was a day of dealing with fear, I did that too!
We also saw the Druid's Circle with a scarificial Altar. Nearby there was a stump that I did not like at all, as it felt pained,
though it was giving way to new life, growing from it's various nooks and crannies. Also, we passed a tree that had grown with some of it's branches shaped like an Irish harp.
We had lunch at the Lemon Tree restaurant and headed back to the cottage.
Here's an idea of the type of road you see in towns around Blarney, this is actually a two direction road. It takes a lot of pulling to one side to let oncoming traffic pass.
By the time we made it back to the cottage it was dinner time. Spaghetti, mmm!
After dinner we squeezed all six of us into a very friendly tangle of legs and various other body parts in the four person hot tub on the back deck. There was MUCH laughter. We all got out before it got too TOO cold and went in to watch Ghostrider before we all crashed for the night.
The picture below is how I spent much of this trip, trailing behind the others as I gawked and took many many pictures. Always as I was catching up, Jim would be stopped a ways behind the others, waiting for me to catch up 8)
Oh, and the day off yesterday did wonders. I am feeling MUCH better!