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July 2nd 2006
Published: July 18th 2006
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Ok so I know that I haven't written in ages. It is so hard now to get to a computer and have enough time to write. This is only one of the things that I have been doing over the past month of so. I'm going to put everything in separate entrys so everyone can read something so you don't have to wait until the very end of my trip to read everything at once.
The first big thing that happened to me since I wrote last was started on June 6th; I had 4 days off so I decided that I should go travel around Ireland since I haven't been able to do that much yet. I ended up going to southern Ireland starting in Kilkenny. I was only planning on spending the day here and then traveling down to Waterford for the night but by the time the bus came around it would have been too late to see any thing in Waterford. It was just going to make everything easier if I just stayed the night in Kilkenny. When I arrived I went to Kilkenny castle first. It was very neat. It's a 12th century castle which was owned by the Butler family until 1935. You weren't allowed to take your camera inside so unfortunately there will be none of the inside. There is only 5%!o(MISSING)f the original furniture inside because the rest was sold off before the re-construction occurred. The other main tourist attraction there is St. Canices Cathedral. This cathedral dates back to 1235. Outside there is this tower that goes back to the 9th Century. I climbed 110 steps to get to the top of this 100 ft. tower. The view from the top was wonderful. It gave you a view of miles of Kilkenny County. I next went to Rothe house which is Kilkenny's archaeology museum. The few artifacts that they had were interesting but there wasn't much there. so I wasn't really impressed. After wandering around town for a while I went back to Kilkenny castle where they had an air balloon festival. There were 10 different balloons that all got blown up and then set sail. I made it an early night though at 10 because I literally couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
07 July 06
The next day I had to take the early bus to Cork where I met up with Jay and Sarah. We met up and went to get a coffee; like we normally do, to wake us up and get ready for the day. We took a bus up to Blarney castle. I think out of all the castles that I have seen so far this was one of my favorites. You had to walk up to the castle from the main entrance. You could tell the castle was so old because there were floors missing and everything was just so amazing. You walk in the main entrance and just to the left was a fireplace in the wall that should have been on the floor above, but since there was no floor it was hovering in the wall above our heads. You were also able to walk up the old stairs that were very narrow and steep. To top everything off I got to kiss the Blarney stone! I guess Auntie Rita I will be able to come home now since I have completed that. It was pretty cool the fact that I have done this but the guy who was helping you do this made it very rushed so you couldn't take in the moment. Around the castle there was also caves and nature walks that you could go on to see the grounds. When we got back it was time for supper. The restaurants at first were very expensive but we finally found a place and they had a chicken kiev burger. Now for those of you who know me well chicken kiev is one of my favorite foods- which mom hates me when I ask her for it. The service was horrible as most restaurants in Ireland are, I actually had to go up and ask for menus. After dinner we split up because we had to catch our separate bus'; the girls went back to Dublin and I went onto Killarney.
At first sight I liked this town much better than Cork. Cork didn't seem like there was much there, so one day was definitely enough there. When I arrived in Killarney I was completely lost. There wasn't even anything open where I could ask how to get to my hostel. I managed to get their phone number so I called them to find out directions. It all worked out good because by the time that I dropped my things off and was heading back downstairs to go wander the town, I saw a guy with a Canadian flag on his backpack. I started talking to him and his friend and they asked me if I wanted to join them for a drink. It was definitely much better than walking around the town by myself! The guys names were Trevor and John (from Ottawa). The first place we went they got something to eat and the waiter gave us each a free pint of the new Tucan batch of Guinness. I took a sip of it and was about to be sick! gross! so I gave it to the guys to finish off. beer and me just don't mix. We then went to some more bars. One of them had a live bank and they were actually really good.
08 July 06
I was woken up in the morning by everyone in the room. It was good timing because I realized that I had to be out by 10 and it was 9:30 and I still had to get ready. I still had no clue what I was going to do for the rest of the day and for the night. I asked the front desk what there was in the town to do and she told me about Ross Castle. You had to walk through the National Park to get to it. It was a nice walk except for the 2 min rain shower that was there. The castle was beautiful. I never went it, just looked on the outside. By the time I walked back into town I decided that it was time to go to some place different. I took the bus up to Tralee. Truthfully there wasn't much in the town. I ended up staying the night, but I think I should have gone elsewhere because all that I did for the rest of the day was walk up to the windmill that was just out of town. All in all it was nice. The next day I took the early bus to Tipperary. I had seen pictures of a certain Abby and I thought I read that it was in here but once I got there I realized that it was no where near this town. I ended up having to spend the next 1 1/2 hour wandering around the town until the next bus came. My next stop was Cahir and it was much more exciting. The bus dropped you right off in front of the Cahir castle. It was really cool inside because you were able to wander the towers without having a lot of people there for things bordered off from the public. There were gardens around (well more of a field) surrounding the back of the castle so I took a walk around them before I had to catch the next bus. My next stop was Cashel. This town is known for "The rock of Cashel". On top of this mountain is a cathedral from the 12th Century. When I got to the top and paid for admission there was a tour just about to start. The cathedral wasn't the most preserved but the main structure of the building was still there just the ceiling was gone. One of the most amazing parts about the rock was the view. You could see for miles. While I was up there I saw these ruins of a building so I took a walk down to see what it was. It was pretty cool because you could just walk right up to it. You had to walk through a bunch of cows first. They weren't afraid of you at all. You could literally go and touch them! This building was called Hore Abby. It was originally of the Benedictine order and was also the last Cistercian foundation in Ireland. There was no one else there so you could just wander around these ruins without anyone bothering you. It was very nice because it seemed like the typical Ireland; ruins, sheep (they were in farms right next door), cows, small roads, driving on the opposite side. it was sunny as well but that isn't typical Ireland. That about ended my trip. I took a walk back to the bus stop and waited. The bus was 1/2 hour late, but eventually it came and off to Dublin I went.


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