Ireland Pt. 5
DAY 4 - WICKLOW - KILKENNY
On The Road to Kilkenny
Ate breakfast at 8:30 a.m. - full Irish breakfast - a bit on the greasy side, but I DID try a bit of blood sausage...there's always one thing I have to try that's new... Caught what was supposed to be the 9:05 am bus, which came at 9:30 am. Bus driver took us through a different route, so I was able to see the Wicklow Mountains and Roundwood, driving by. Got to Dublin at 10 something, close to 11am. We bought tickets to Kilkenny. Had to pay 20c for public washroom. Getting on the bus was a bit confusing as they said gate 6, but the bus said 7 to Clonmel. the info lady had said 2 1/2 hour ride, but it was more like 3 hours...oh well... I almost got us off at the wrong stop, b/c I kept seeing the word Kilkenny on the businesses and Castlecomer Rd (which is part of the address where we are staying). We still find it confusing that they have a cities with the same name as the counties. We tried to verify with the driver who wasn't superhelpful. We got to Kilkenny city centre fine and took an 8 min cab ride to Rosquil House.
Rhoda greeted us and she is soooo nice! She showed us to our room, where we scored two kingsize beds and a very nice washroom with a bathtub/sower. She gave us the Kilkenny guide which we used the entire time we were here and coupons. She also told us about a walking tour and where to hear live music. Looked up transportation to Cork for us. After settling in, we went in search for the tourist office and food.
Decided to go to Cafe Sol for food and atmosphere was amazing. We are around 20min walk from the City Centre. Kilkenny looks very much like a small European town with small shops. We ate our food and I also had a freshly baked scone that was to die for. We went to Mocha - a specialty chocolate, candy, coffee and tea shop. Went to an Irish craft shop, where the owner offered to tell us places that were worth seeing.
Went back to Rosquil House to freshen up . Went out for live music at Langton's. Music was wonderful and I had a pint of Smithwicks...cheers to Singapore Nancy. Music ended at 10pm. We left a bit later, did more planning and slept.
DAY 5 - KILKENNY
Woke up for a breakfast and was impressed by the wonderful spread. Selection of fresh fruits, cereals and juices. Cooked breakfast was also available and individual pots of tea and coffee. Rhoda offered us a wonderful change from the Irish breakfast. I had an open-faced potato omelette. We set out into town for a walking tour. Passed a number of little shops, cafes and pubs.
Kilkenny is also known as the Marble City, which we learned on the tour. At the the thostle, which served as a marketplace and town hall, there was a cage that was hung overhead. Troublemakers would be locked in the cage and passerbys would give the cage a whirl. Poor troublemakers...ahhaha...too bad that's still not in practice!
A number of windows were blocked from the inside b/c there was a tax on windows. That's where they got the expression, "tax the daylights out of someone" or something to that extent. There was an old statue made of marble and it had the likeness of an Egyptian. Our tour guide told us that there are many Egyptian influences in Ireland. He also mentioned that some of the boats in Ireland are exactly like the ones on the Nile. We went to a number of historical sites, which you'll see in our pictures. Went to a butter slip, where people got deals on eggs and butter. We ended at Black Abbey and the Rothe gardens. We looked around for things to buy and get food. Upon closer inspection, there wasn't a lot of things, we were particularly interested in.
Tanning by a Castle
Had a light lunch at River Court restaurant, which was along the River Nore and had a beautiful view of Kilkenny Castle. I was surprisingl hot and sunny. We both tanned a bit. A tan in Ireland - who would have thought? People keep saying that the weather has been unusually nice. After lunch we wandered around Kilkenny Castle grounds. Took a tour of the castle and saw spectacular views from the windows, but weren't allowed to have our cameras with us. We saw tiny beds, beautiful portraits, some original furniture and a book case that had a wave in the glass. Went to Kilkenny Design Centre and saw some really nice stuff. Most were pricey, but really nice. There was a basketweavers exhibition which was really interseting and astoundingly intricate. Visted the butler's garden. Went back to rest.
Will tell you about the rest of the night and trip to Cork city centre, in the next email. This place is definitely one to be used as a base to go to other places. Lots of interesting characters here too.
Until the next one,