Halfway through our week in Ireland, we left Killarney and headed toward Dromoland Castle where we would spend the next three nights. On the way we made a stop at Blarney Castle so we could kiss the Blarney Stone.
Blarney Castle was originally built before 1200 AD and was rebuilt in 1446. The legend says that if you kiss the Blarney Stone you will receive the 'ability to deceive without offending.' A nicer way they put it is to receive the 'gift of gab'.
To reach the top of the castle where the stone was placed you must climb a winding staircase every bit as old as the castle itself. The steps were very narrow, maybe 18", and winded around the outside walls and it was fairly dark. Several people stopped midway because of claustrophobia. I just put my mind somewhere else and kept trudging. When we reached the top, the view of the surrounding countryside was beautiful.
This is my picture of a man kissing the stone. He is the one laying on his back hanging upside down. Since you can't see very well what is going on, I found the next picture on Wikipedia.
|picture from Wikipedia|
Dromoland Castle sits on about 410 acres. Most of that is either a golf course or gardens and has trails everywhere so you can explore. I was sitting in the middle of a pond looking back up a hill to take this picture. It was a very peaceful place.
This flower border is inside a walled garden and was one of my favorite places. A little inspiration for next year's garden here at home!
On the morning we left there wasn't a cloud in the sky so I snapped one more picture of our hotel and it turned out to be one of my favorite shots of the week. Wouldn't want to live in a castle, but it sure was fun to visit!
A couple of days after we got home we were driving on the Northern Bypass and I saw a rainbow. At first, there was only a small piece, but finally we saw the full rainbow. It reached from North Montgomery to one of the RSA towers. It was so close to us that we could easily see each stripe of color. I know that God's promise of a rainbow had to do with rain, but it felt like a personal sign to me that day.
The lucky leprechaun and pot of gold are never found in Ireland or any other vacation spot. The end of my rainbow is in north Montgomery county, on Greer Farm Drive, here on my little Walnut Grove Farm.
There's no place like home.