Blarney Castle

This is one of the top attractions in Ireland, a short bus ride from Cork. It was built in 1446 in the most impractical way possible. It’s very tall, and most rooms are small and stacked atop each other. There are two very narrow and steep spiral staircases. It’s all exceedingly gloomy and medieval. You’d have to be a goat to enjoy living there, so later owners sensibly put a proper mansion nearby.

The thing about Blarney Castle is Blarney’s stone, mounted at the bottom of the outer lip of the highest battlements. You lay on your back, bend backwards over the void, and kiss the stone. This, according to legend, makes you

eloquent, which to me seems a rather odd choice of kiss-induced superpower. Didn’t work on me.