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Published: September 17th 2017
Geo: 52.6538, -7.24798
Josh and I were snoozin' hard when the alarm went off this
morning. I think the long days and
restless nights are catching up with us a bit. We had a 9:30 train to catch out of Heuston Station, so we
breakfasted and hopped on the bus downtown. We got one piece of bad direction, but recovered in plenty
of time to catch the Luas tram and make it to our platform.
Today we are on the Waterford train as far as Kilkenny which
is supposed to be a very walkable Medieval town. It also has a name that greatly amuses Josh. The trip is about 2 hours each way and
should be a nice opportunity to see some of the countryside. I noticed this morning on our way out
that one of the pubs near our hotel dates from 1534. That's just crazy.
Note for any future trip: I think I would try and get a hotel near Parnell
Square. It seems like a fairly
quiet, pretty area and it's easy walking distance to O'Connell Street. There is also a tour bus stop up there
and lots of city buses go through there as well.The bus was clean, comfortable and fast. Also, if you book online, it's cheaper.
have a whole lot of cathedrals in Kilkenny! First we stopped at the tourist information place and picked up a map. Then we ambled up the road to the Black Abby which dates back to the 1200s and has a pretty amazing stained glass window covering most of one wall. (founded by William Marshall the younger in 1225). Then we started looking for St. Canice's Cathedral and headed for the first huge stone church we saw. It turned out to be St. Mary's which is a huge, gargantuan, ginourmous (is that a word?) Gothic cathedral. It was just amazing inside. It wasn't in any of the guidebooks. We found out later that it was left out because it was only a little over 200 years old and therefore not worth mentioning--for shame! We liked it anyway. Luckily we found St. Canice's next. Thanks to my sighting of it on the horizon. Mom thinks it was her excellent map-reading skills that got us there. The first thing I did was run up to this giant tower column. It has 102 steps and we had to pay about 5 Euro to climb it. Mom even got her student discount. At the top
Climbing the tower
This tower isn't often open in March. We got lucky to go up.
I got out my video camera. At some point I will upload the video. It was very windy. (Mom: St. Canice's is famous for how badly Oliver Cromwell treated it--he stabled horses in it. it is regarded as one of the finest cathedrals in Ireland and is the country's 2nd largest medieval church after St. Patrick's) Last, we picked up a rock for Grandpa who collects them from different countries.Next we looked for Kilkenny Castle. We walked along the river a little way (River Nore) and climbed stairs to the Castle park. When we got inside we found it was a self-guided tour. We walked down a tunnel that was preserved, except that it had metal plates on the floor and wall. (Mom: It was built in 1172 and owned by the Butler family, later designated as the duchy of Ormonde, relatives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I) We came into a room that had thatching that looked like it had been there since it was built. They also had a giant portrait gallery and included some details that one critic said the architect probably thought were Byzantine, but were really just "bizarre." We also saw some gold-painted wooden boor
heads on the ceiling. No doubt they were stolen from the Dublin Zoo which has a distinct lack of boors.
Mom: We stopped by the design shop and a gift shop for souvenirs and headed back to the train. At the station we found many odd-flavored potato chips, including chili-chocolate and Cajun Squirrel. We bought one to bring to Alex. We wanted to try again for the Writer's Pub Crawl, but it was closed on Mondays, so we just had dinner in a pub, bought the yummy doughnuts from the lady on O'Connell Street and headed for "home."Tomorrow the plane is at 11:30, so we don't have to get up too early. I heartily recommend the Gourmet Shop on the High St. in Kilkenny. It provided us with terrific, inexpensive sandwiches for lunch. It was the best meal deal we had the whole visit.
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