Want the gift of gab? Visit Blarney Castle in Ireland.

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Does Daylight Savings Time still have you rubbing the sleep out of your eyes?  Well don’t fret!  That means spring is just around the corner (March 20th!), making it one season closer to that oh so sweet summer.  Do I hear vacation time? Yes please!  Do YOU know where you’re going yet?  I know where I want to be.  With St. Patrick’s Day coming up on Thursday, I can’t help but conjure up images of Irish hospitality, sweeping green landscapes, and medieval castles that come with a dose of luck and charm – that’s right, Ireland is calling my name.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do in my lifetime is kiss the Blarney Stone.  More than 400,000 visitors go to Ireland a year for a chance to trek up Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone, one of the many destinations that Contiki visits on our Scotland & Ireland, Great Britain & Ireland, and Ireland regional trips.  Legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle would grant you the “gift of eloquence” – the art of expression through words – because, let’s face it:  who wouldn’t want the ability to talk their way out of anything?

Don’t just take it from me – one of our very own took the trip to Ireland just this past year!  Here’s a snapshot of Jennifer C., Quality Assurance Specialist for Contiki, and her take on the smooching with a landmark:

“For all the germ-a-phobes who hate the idea of kissing a stone that has been kissed for centuries, look at it this way: the point of kissing the stone is to get the “gift of gab,” so if that many people have kissed it before you…you’ll know how to “gab” with anyone!  To get to Blarney Stone, I had to climb to the very top of the castle through a winding staircase, which took about 15 minutes.  Once I reached the top, I was instructed to lie down on my back, with my head and back hanging off the edge of the tall castle.  (Side note: this experience is not for those with a fear of heights!)  There is a bar to hold on to so you don’t feel like you’re about to fall off.  I was told to bend backwards since the stone is actually not right there – it’s on the outside of the castle, which requires some bending and twisting and turning on your part.  They don’t tell you this in the tour books, do they!  Fortunately, there is always a Blarney Castle worker there to look out for your safety and help guide you down (though in my case, the cute, frail, elderly Irishman didn’t necessarily make me feel like he’d be able to hold me if I fell!)  Anyway, think I kissed the right stone – there were so many and I was so nervous that I just kissed one and pulled myself back to safety.  I have a feeling others did the same!  Nonetheless, it was a remarkable view, seeing the outside of the castle while upside down and feeling the cool Irish breeze.  Seriously!  And to think of how many people have done the same thing before you…there’s no question I got the gift of gab =) Would I do this again?  Certainly!  Maybe this time I’ll know for sure that I kissed the right stone!”

Thinking about going to Ireland now?  Don’t forget to romance the stone and give it a big smooch when you’re there!  Happy travels!


If you’re ready to book your trip to get whisked away to Ireland this summer, you can travel with a friend and take advantage of Contiki’s awesome $900 air promo deal, which ends tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15)!

Call us at 1-800-CONTIKI (266-8454) for details and additional savings!

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