Céad Míle Fáilte!... (One hundred thousand welcomes!)

"Enchanting Ireland"... Take an artistic journey to the Emerald Isle as seen through the eyes and palette of American Artist, Bernie Rosage Jr. A collection of paintings and adventures inspired by two trips Bernie and his wife, Tami, took to the Emerald Isle. The first trip was in 2008 and the second was in 2014.

Bernie has been blogging their adventures and the background of this collection on this blog... browse around and enjoy yourself.

Paintings are available for purchase... Click HERE to see the collection, availability, and prices.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Off to Kiss the Blarney Stone"... Our Quest for the Gift of Gab!

"Off to Kiss the Blarney Stone"... 24x18" oil on gallery wrapped canvas by Bernie Rosage Jr., 2009. County Cork, Ireland.

Blarney Castle in County Cork was one of our favorite parts of our trip to Ireland. The "Kissing of the Blarney Stone" was just a small part... the castle and grounds were breathe taking... a beautiful spot and experience!

For many of the visitors to Blarney, their first priority is to kiss the famous Blarney Stone high up on the Blarney Castle battlements. Tradition holds that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will be endowed with the gift of eloquence - "the gift of the gab", as the locals call it.

Over 400,000 people travel to Blarney every year to kiss the Stone of Eloquence.

Our (Bernie and Tami's) quest... to climb Blarney Castle, kiss the Blarney Stone, and gain the gift of gab!

Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures.

The quest and climb begins...

To be honest... Tami was hoping the kiss would have the reverse effect on me and that I would "talk less" from this point on... the climb continues...

We reach the top only to find we are not the only ones on "the quest! "

The view from the top is grand...

There’s not just the Stone to make the climb to the battlements worthwhile. In 1837, Samuel Lewis wrote that the top of the Castle “commands a very fine view over a rich undulating tract... on the east is the Comane bog, many years since an impenetrable wilderness, and the last receptacle for wolves in this part of the country: that river, which takes its name from its serpentine course, flows through the bog and joins the river Blarney under the walls of the castle...”

Tami kissing the Blarney Stone...

now it's Bernie's turn. Be sure to watch the video within this post to get a better idea how the kiss is done.

It's official... our quest completed... we even have the tickets to prove it!

Some other famous people kissed the Blarney Stone too... Mick Jagger, Winston Churchill, Laurel & Hardy... to name a few.

After typing that last line a mental image of Mick's lips and mine... GROSS!

Thank goodness that mental image is cleared after seeing this shot... I'll kiss Tami anytime over a Blarney Stone or a Rolling Stone... she's the real solid rock in my life!

Check out the video...

Kissing the Blarney Stone, Blarney Castle, Ireland

Facts About the Blarney Stone
- The location of the Blarney Stone is in the village of Blarney about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Cork, Ireland.

- The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle.
- The Blarney castle and stone are one of the most popular tourist sites in Ireland, attracting millions of visitors from around the world who wish to tour the castle and kiss the stone.
According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab, eloquence or skill at flattery.

- The word blarney has come to mean clever, flattering, or coaxing talk.

- The name of the village Blarney is derived from the Irish word An blarna meaning 'the plain'.

History of the Blarney Stone
The most commonly accepted story of the stone is that, in gratitude for Irish support at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 (a Scottish defeat of the English), Robert the Bruce gave a portion of the stone to Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster. Installed at Cormac McCarthy’s stronghold, Blarney Castle, it became known as the Blarney Stone. A century later, in 1446, King Dermot McCarthy then installed the stone in an enlarged castle he constructed.

During the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Dermot McCarthy, the ruler of the castle, was required to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. He said he would be delighted to do so, but something always happened at the last moment to prevent his surrender. His excuses became so frequent that the official who had been demanding the castle in the name of the Queen became a joke at the Court. Once, when the eloquent excuses of McCarthy were repeated to the Queen, she said "Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!" The term Blarney has thus come to mean 'the ability to influence and coax with fair words and soft speech without giving offense'.

Kissing the Blarney Stone
Kissing the stone is for some people a difficult physical feat. In past times, to kiss the Stone people were hung by their heels over the edge of the parapet. One day a pilgrim broke from the grasp of his friends and went hurtling downward to certain death. Since that time the stone has been kissed by another method. First, you sit with your back towards the stone and then someone sits upon your legs or firmly holds your feet. Next, leaning far back and downward into the abyss while grasping the iron rails, you lower yourself until your head is even with the stone to be kissed.

Blarney Stone Legends
Just how long the custom of kissing the Blarney Stone has been practiced or how it originated is not known. One local legend claims that an old women, saved from drowning by a king of Munster, rewarded him with a spell, that if he would kiss a stone on the castle's top, he would gain a speech that would win all to him.

Concerning the power of the stone, Francis Sylvester, an Irish bard of the early nineteenth century, wrote:
There is a stone there, that whoever kisses,Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent:'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber,Or become a member of Parliament.

Other Legends about the Blarney Stone
- It was the rock that Moses struck with his staff to produce water for the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.
- It was the stone that Jacob used as a pillow, and was brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah.
- It was the Stone of Ezel, which David hid behind on Jonathan's advice, while fleeing from King Saul, and may have been brought back to Ireland during the Crusades.
- It was the rock pillow used by St. Columba of Iona on his deathbed.
Myth Busters...
The following question and answer comes from yahoo! answers...
Should I kiss the Blarney Stone?
I heard that it would be stupid to kiss the Blarney Stone because drunken Irishmen like to pee on it so that when tourists like myself kiss it, they can get a laugh out of it. Is this true?
Best Answer:
Hi. I'm from Cork which is a few miles from Blarney. The Blarney Stone is at the very top of a castle in the village of Blarney. Please believe me when I tell you that NOBODY is allowed to p!ss on the Blarney Stone! It's surrounded by keepers of the castle at all times and I'm fairly sure that its locked securely at night. This is a world famous tourist spot. They take good care of it. Trust me. Don't forget to visit The Blarney Wooden Mills which is across the road from the castle. Another popular tourist spot. And try to see Cork City while you're at it.The only p!ssing you will probably see will be from the sky. It may be raining when you get there. Ireland is not the sunniest of countries! Enjoy your stay.
Cead Mile Failte (Irish for 100,000 welcomes)
Have a good one!

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