Travel Theme : Off Centre

My photos today are mostly taken in Blarney Castle when my daughter was visiting last August, as you can see there was a little ‘yarn bombing‘ going on in the young trees.   If you haven’t heard of yarn bombing, or guerilla knitting (and we overheard a few confused American visitors saying ‘but whats the point?’)   this is what Wiki says about it

Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.

Linked to Where’s My Backpack challenge

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Windows With A View : A Word A Week Photo Challenge

Here are some windows from my recent visit to Blarney Castle, they are so old that the glass is long gone, (if there ever was glass), but give a great view on the grounds below.   Check out some more posts at Sue’s blog.

Yarn Bombing in Beautiful Blarney

When walking along the entrance to Blarney Castle, we came across some very interesting knitted pullovers on the trees, keeping them warm for the coming winter, and showing off the skills of some creative knitters.

A few American tourists that we passed seemed to be a bit perplexed about why the trees were decorated like this,  and for anyone else that is wondering what yarn bombing is, here is an excerpt from the always knowledgeable Wikipedia:

Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.

While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or yarnstorms – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike other forms of graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. Nonetheless, the practice is still technically illegal, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously.

While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.

Have you come across some yarn bombing in your area?    Let’s have some pictures!

 

 

A Little Bit of Blarney!

The world famous Blarney Stone is at the top of Blarney Castle, and can only be reached by climbing up some 100 winding stone steps, in the same way that the lords and ladies of the Castle climbed up to their dining hall and their bed chambers, for centuries.  The Castle is over 600 years old, and was the ancient seat of the MacCarthys of Muskerry.

The present owners of the Castle, the Colthursts, live in nearby Blarney House, which can also be visited by arrangement.

I took some visitors to the Castle during the week, and even though the climb was slow because of the many visitors, the view from the top was worth it.   Most people who visit the castle want to kiss the Blarney Stone, and this is supposed to give one the ‘gift of the gab’  or the gift of eloquence.    Winston Churchill, who was known as a very eloquent speaker, is rumoured to have kissed the Blarney Stone, which might, or might not, have something to do with his eloquence!

Blarney Castle, Cork

Blarney Castle, Cork

Kissing the Blarney Stone is not as simple as it sounds though.   The  stone is located on the outside wall, below the battlements, and to kiss it you have to lie on your back, and lean backwards until you reach the stone and give it a big kiss!   It sounds daunting, but is quite safe, and there is someone to help you to get back on your feet again after you have received this amazing gift of eloquence!

The Castle has many other attractions, as it is set in over 60 acres of parklands, which include gardens, avenues, streams and trees, there is even a Witches Stone and a Witches Cauldron bubbling away in the Kitchen, a Fairy Glade and some Wishing Steps.   It is a very magical place with a lake, a fern garden, a poison garden, and old stables that have now been converted to tea rooms.

 

Good Fences : Looking at the View

My first photo for this new challenge, is a view of Blarney Castle, taken from outside the gate.   I was visiting the village of Blarney briefly last week, and as I have visited the castle many times over the years, I didn’t need to go inside to see the beautiful gardens and castle, so this is a brief glimpse of what lies inside.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

And this green, growing, fence gives us a good view of Shandon Steeple and part of Cork City.
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And the bridge below, St Patrick’s Bridge, acts as a type of fence to keep us from walking or driving into the River Lee.

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Check out more entries for this challenge here

His Master’s Voice

Old Gramaphone

Lets dance!

Shandon Bells

When the Shandon Bells ring out over the city, they can be heard for miles around, and it is a great tourist attraction in one of the oldest parts of the city, with narrow cobblestone streets all around.    Whenever I had friends visiting, especially people who visited Cork for the first time, Shandon was always one of the first places we would visit, along with Blarney Castle.    Besides ringing the bells, we could also climb on the battlements and have a fantastic view of the city.   I am not sure if  ‘Health and Safety’ allow people to go on the battlements nowadays.

The tower is built with two types of stone – red sandstone from the original Shandon castle which stood nearby, and limestone taken from the derelict Franciscan Abbey which stood on the North Mall. As you approach Shandon, from all directions, you will see both coloured stone of red and white and people say that this is the reason why the Cork  sporting colours are red and white.

St Anne’s Graveyard, by the church, is the resting place of the Mahony family (who were the founders of Blarney Woollen Mills) and one of the family was also known as Father Prout.  He was a local priest in the area, wrote the song ‘The Bells of Shandon‘ around the 1830s, this song can still be heard occasionally on traditional Irish programmes.

Shandon

Shandon aka the Four Faced Liar

You will see from the above, that both clocks show different times, one of the reasons that the Clock is called the Four Faced Liar!

Another view of Shandon

Another view of Shandon

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