Conquering Blarney Castle

Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Cork, Ireland - Blarney Castle

The Castle

Blarney Castle is an popular tourist attraction for anyone who’s ever had an interest in Ireland.  As the story goes, in 1314 Robert the Bruce arranged for a piece of stone to be installed in the stronghold of Cormac McCarthy’s Blarney Castle to show his gratitude for the Irish support during the Battle of Bannockburn.  The legend says that whoever kisses the stone will be given the gift of eloquence.  Usually tongue-tied, I obviously had to do everything in my power to try change that.

Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Cork, Ireland - Blarney Castle 2

Upon entering the first level of the castle, I thought, “Okay, champ let’s go kiss this stone!”  I knew the price of eloquence would be costly, but nobody warned me that we’d first have to find our way through a maze of rooms and ascend a steep, narrowing spiral staircase up to the top level, where the stone was actually kept.

So there we were, my friends and me—rendered speechless by the view we had of the surrounding countryside, and slightly dumbfounded as to where the stone was hiding—until our eyes panned across these two elderly men who beckoned us over towards them.  As if fighting our way through the castle was not enough to kiss the stone, we found out then that we had to lie on our back, shimmy ourselves about a foot backwards and trust that the man holding on to our jackets would not let us slip!  My turn to kiss the stone rolled around so I sat (slightly terrified) with my back turned, grabbed onto the bars behind my head and lowered myself down.  Needless to say, I may not be much more eloquent these days but I did slightly conquer my fear of heights.

Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Cork, Ireland - Blarney Castle 3

Gaining the Gift of Gab



Blarney has so much more to offer than just the castle.  We easily spent the day wandering around past a gorgeous mansion and through gardens, and by an ethereal rock close to where we saw the Witches’ Kitchen.  We walked through the Dolmen to another realm and made wishes on the Wishing Steps.  If I could make a wish now, it would be to be back in Ireland, the country that captured my heart.



Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Cork, Ireland - Blarney Castle 4

The view from the top



Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Cork, Ireland - Blarney Castle 5

A neighboring manor













This post was written by Vivian, who spent a semester at the University College Cork, in Ireland.

Enter your name and email to get new posts by email!

“Best of the Blogs” -
“Top Study Abroad Blogs” -
“Blog of the Week” -
“Top 10 Study Abroad Blogs You Should Be Reading” - The Study Abroad Blog
"The Best Meaningful Travel Articles of 2016"
  • We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you have provided. Please check out our privacy policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Speak Your Mind



[fts_pinterest pinterest_name=apiabroad type=boards_list]


Summer doesn't have to end! 🌞 Study abroad in Costa Rica this coming fall or spring and enjoy plenty of sunshine, lounge on beautiful beaches, and explore their vast rain forests. Our Costa Rica programs are now open for application, don't wait!
APIabroad photo
API is committed to providing inspiring programs that have the potential to transform the lives of our students. In this video, we hear stories from 13 students who studied abroad in Costa Rica.
Check out the full video!

#ispyapi #apiabroad
APIabroad photo
Happy #TravelTuesday! Today we are featuring UW-La Crosse and Spring 2019 API Student Blogger Savannah Stanley! She studied abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Savannah shares her first impressions.
Read the full blog post!

#ispyapi #apiabroad
APIabroad photo
Need to get away, why not plan a semester or internship abroad! API offers programs in San Jose and San Joaquín de Flores, Costa Rica where you can spend a semester at Universidad Veritas or ISJF.
Learn more about our program!

#ispyapi #apiabroad
APIabroad photo
API specializes in creating customized and faculty-led programs abroad in collaboration with university faculty and staff.

Visiting professor Julian Zabalbeascoa from the @UMassLowell, shared their experience in building a program with API in Madrid.
APIabroad photo
The API Abroad Blog