Further adventures with castles
The bus left Cork at the ungodly hour of half eight which meant that I was unable to maintain my custom of sleeping in until I have wasted a significant portion of the day. The bus first made for a port once known as Queenstown and currently called Cobh which for reasons I will not get into is pronounced Cove. Standing on a rickety wooden pier covered in slime with a melange of smells including seaweed and old fish mixing with the salt spray I was reminded of how much I love the ocean.
After Cobh we proceeded onward to the town of Kinsale which is pronounced with at least a passing resemblance to its spelling. A few pints later we re-boarded the bus and made for Blarney Castle.
At some point during the Elizabethan era Cormac McCarthy was ordered by Elizabeth to cede control of the castle to the Earl of Leicester. For an absurdly long time the Earl was wined, Dined, and distracted with festivals. Letters to the queen regarding his progress were flowery and full of praise for her majesty but absolutely no real progress toward replacing King McCarthy was made, leading her to claim that he spoke naught but blarney.
The Blarney stone itself is claimed to be a piece of the Stone of Destiny which for centuries was involved in the coronation of Monarchs before half of it was given to McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in the 1300s and incorporated into one of the battlements. The fact that the stone was only broken in two in 1950 and was in fact used in the coronation of Elizabeth II doesn’t seem to bother the Irish much.