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Published: July 15th 2008
We left 80 degree weather and are currently enjoying 60 degree overcast and rainy weather!
Hiya from Kilkenny, Ireland (Pronounced: Kill-kenny, as if that wasn’t obvious!)
Since our last blog and two full and exciting days in Dublin, David and I have began to travel south and west from Dublin. Yes, that means that we are on the open road! Scarey! For those of you who don’t know Ireland, like England, drivers use the left hand side of the road. And since we are using a manual, that means that David is using a left handed shifter! With a little luck of the Irish and his own confidence in his driving skills, David has successfully navigated both country and city roads in our little Toyota Corolla (Yes, an upgrade from the Ford Fiesta we initially reserved, more about that later!) With only one hubcap down (which is still debatable, if we lost it or if it was never on the vehicle to began with!). We feel like we are getting the swing of things and have been enjoying listening to Irish newstalk radio, while driving past sheep, cows, and beautiful green Irish country!
So a quick update on our travels thus far. Day two of Dublin involved Kilmainham Gaol (jail), which was a restored historic prison
David's first Irish Guinness! It's overrated!
(used from 1600s-1920s), where many key leaders of the Irish revolution were held and executed. The jail was massive and very haunting. David says that this was one of his favorite tours so far on our trip. It was both depressing and fascinating to learn about the history of the prison system both before and after prison reformations. After that we bypassed the Guinness Brewery (28 Euro= approx. 40 USD for a tour!) and visited a gorgeous cathedral, where we had one of our first fights abroad, while listening to a choir practicing in the background. It was hard to stay mad in what felt like such a glorious moment, I managed though for a good 30 minutes!
The next day we rented a car from Budget, which was a NIGHTMARE! I am not one to slander businesses, but who has ever heard of a car rental company running out of cars? And we had a reservation! Thankfully, after much waiting we finally got our car and headed north to Boyne Valley, where we visited our first World Heritage Sight, the tomb of Knowth. This was a tomb that pre-dates the Egyptian pyramids by being constructed during the Neolithic period
Peter, our historical walking tour guide. Taught us everything we know about Irish history!
from 3000-2000 BC. It was absolutely bizarre and must have been a huge hassle to build! A giant mound of earth that looks like a hill, but is actually a series of tombs and passage ways that were constructed and then covered by tons of dirt and debris! After that we rushed (this may have been where our hubcap fell off) to Trim Castle (used in the movie Braveheart). One of the first of two historic castles we have toured.
Yesterday, we visited a second castle, Rock of Cashel and walked a half mile away to a deserted 14th century Benedictine monastery. We were the only people there besides two little English boys pretending they were invading soldiers. Ireland is filled with cute kids! Anyways, it was so much fun to explore, climb, and feel like we were the only people around! Last night we arrived in Kilkenny, braved the communal bathrooms, and spent an evening drinking Smithwicks (David in his attempts to be anti-trendy swears that this local dark beer is better than Guinness) and listening to live Irish music.
To end, I want to in close the first lesson we have learned while traveling. Everything, I mean
Rick Steves, our third traveling companion! He has only been wrong twice so far!
EVERYTHING, even going the grocery store, takes exceedingly longer than you expect. This lesson came early when we discovered that our itinerary was overly ambitious on day two when we only visited three of the seven attractions we thought we could see! This was an especially hard lesson for me to learn since I like to plan out everything and usually think I am right!! But God gives grace to the humble hearted, and I am definitely working on that!
We love you all! Keep up the emails and messages, we like to hear from you and feel a bit closer to home!
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