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The Burren and The Blarney Stone

The Blarney Stone

A block of limestone known as the Blarney Stone is Ireland's lucky charm. Set in a tower of Blarney Castle in County Cork in 1446, the stone is reputed to have magical powers. Legend has it that an old woman cast a spell on a king as a reward for saving her life. Under this spell, if he kissed the stone he'd gain great powers of eloquence. Today people travel from all over the world to kiss the stone and gain the gift of gab.

The Burren

The Burren, Irish for "gray rocky place," is 50 square miles of great irregular slabs of limestone with deep cracks. Located in County Clare, this humid, eerie moonscape is a natural rock garden, where plants native to the Arctic thrive next to subtropical flora. Beneath the scarred surface are spectacular caves and streams.

There are a number of dolmens (prehistoric gravesites) in the area. The most famous being Poulnebrone Dolmen.

Folk legends associated with the Burren say its holy wells can cure bad vision and its caves are home to ghostly horsemen. It is also reputed that mysterious lakes appear and disappear there, taking with them maidens who have been turned into swans.

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