You may have heard, especially around St. Patrick's Day,
that kissing the Blarney Stone is a traditionally Irish thing to do.
According to legend, the one who kisses the Blarney Stone will receive
eloquent speech, skills of flattery, and the gift of gab!
First of all, I had always thought that the stone was a big rock in Ireland,
maybe isolated and roped off for tourists,
something like the picture of Yogi & Boo Boo, above.
Incorrect! The Blarney Stone is actually a building stone that's
part of Blarney Castle, which is located 5 miles from Cork, Ireland.
It's situated at the very top of the castle, accessed by a 127 step winding staircase.
I was doubly surprised when I learned exactly how the actual kissing is accomplished!
The kisser must lie down on their back and lean out over a gap between the floor
and the wall, which exposes a view of the 37' drop down to the ground below!
With the assistance of a spotter, they must arch their neck backwards for the smooch.
Guard rails make this act much safer than it was decades ago,
but it must still be very unsettling for the faint of heart.
A few photos of the kissing in action-
Here's a photo from 1897.
Enjoy this YouTube video, and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!