Drive on the left, sit on the right

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March 22nd 2010
Published: July 1st 2017
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Geo: 52.6538, -7.24798

Today was a travel day, Dublin-to-Kilkenny, and it was supposed to have been spent primarily in Kilkenny, normally about 2 hours from Dublin.

But, from walking cross town to pick up the rental car (because of the taxi strike), relearning the mechanics of driving a stick while driving on the left (hand side of the road), sitting on the right (side of the car), and shifting with the left, a confusing maze of 1-way streets, no right turns, dead end alleys one-car wide (yeah, trying a 33-point turn to get out of THAT one), and Dublin's disdain for street name signs -- they don't have ANY that can be read from more than 10 feet away, in most cases don't have ANY, and those they do have aren't on street corners or above intersections but on small signs tacked to buildings at the second floor level that can't be seen until you've driven past and it's too late, and remember you're ALREADY confused from the left/right/left switch in orientation -- it took a little longer to get out of Dublin than planned.

So, after arriving in Kilkenny, a very cool medieval city that once was the capital of Ireland, we only had time for a quick walk-by of Kilkenny Castle, the old city area, and the Black Abbey, an 800-year old stone church still serving as a Dominican parish church today, followed by a real Irish dinner -- sea bass, a steak, and an ale -- and a lively 'session' of live traditional Irish music in a local pub. Tomorrow, self-guided tours of several local historical sites -- the castle, St. Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower, the Rock of Cashel -- and the long drive to Dingle.

We're wishing we could stay here in Kilkenny for an extra day, rather than picking up and moving on after just one night. That's a pretty good rule of thumb for any traveling, we think!

While it did rain for about 30 minutes during the Dublin-Kilkenny drive, it was again a mostly sunny day here on the Emerald Isle . . . we're feeling truly blessed and spoiled by the great, apparently out-of-character weather.


Sharon and Mike / Mom and Dad

Additional photos below
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The Black AbbeyThe Black Abbey
The Black Abbey

Called 'Black' because of the black hooded capes worn over white habits by the Dominicans, who founded this church in 1225. The stonework, stained glass windows, and spirituality are awe-inspiring.

23rd March 2010

Yeah, driving a car with everything on the other side, not to mention having to be on the other side is no easy chore, huh Mike. I'll bet your copilot was cool calm and collected....
23rd March 2010

Hi Hi Hi!!!I miss talking to you guys so much!The driving sounds nearly like a boston driving disaster. You should have let mom drive, she is good with the manuel! I remember those camry days.Kilkenny looks like a sleepie little town...You
guys should get pictures with some locals! And what was that last time about finding the Glennons???GU girls are onto the top 16, it was a huge game last night!Happy traveling!love you,kate
24th March 2010

We remember driving in those conditions- it would have led to a divorce if we hadn't eventually gotten somewhat accommodated. Jeanne, at one point, asked to be dropped off at the local railway station because she couldn't stand to hear all
the "French" spoken when missing turnoff after turnoff as well as nearly being in accidents every few minutes. You'll get used to it all about the time you leave.
24th March 2010

Gee Mike you sound like a crotchety, soft, old American!!!! GOOD Glasses might help you, you are retired so spring for some new ones!!! Just put the car in third gear and then use the clutch--- burn it up in one week, or less!! Be glad the
y have improved the cross country roads other wise the TALL hedge rows, narrow roads and herds of sheep or a tractor in the middle will really slow you down!!! Relax have another brew!!! (But remember the % can be higher!!!)Remember also when you cross the streets in a country like that, to look RIGHT, then look LEFT and then RUN like hell!!!! Glad you are having a GREAT time!!!! TRULY WISH I was with you!!!BUT If you crash and burn on the wrong side of the road, or if your navigator kills you------- may I have your video library??????!

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