On the Train from Dublin to Kilkenny
With barely any sleep (thanks to seats in the back of the plane next to the toilets...) we landed in Dublin! With greasy faces and puffy eyes, with +20 hours of travel under our belts, we got our bags and hopped on the 575 to Heuston Station. Not only was it our first time in Europe, it was going to be our first time riding a train! Kris and Mary fell right to sleep in the train, but I stayed awake to make sure we didn't miss our stop. It was nice being able to relax and watch the sheep and cows go by. (I grew up in Miami, the only place to see sheep and cows was the Metro Zoo, so I was excited about those sheep).
When we got to our B&B in Kilkenny
(Kenmur House), we were all exhausted and ready to crash.
We were greeted by Mrs. Peggy Kennedy and her husband John. Our room wasn't ready, but "would we like some tea and biscuits?" So as we sat in their cozy living room, while Mrs Peggy was making tea, we looked around at the various wedding pictures and communion pictures of their nine (!) children. When the tea was ready, we sat around a small table by the window, pouring each other tea, munching on muffins and Marietta cookies, chatting and joking away. Mr. John started teasing Kris about her MASSIVE suitcase ("you girls sure know how to pack light!") and we played a little bit with their cute mutt puppy before heading out into town. Mrs. Peggy told us of a shortcut along a walled path that took us right into the city centre.
We passed a set of stark white townhomes, with technicolor doors in yellow, pink, green, blue.
St. Canice's Cathedral
.. They all looked the same, save for the door. We passed St. Mary's Church, and walked down Parliament Street towards St. Canice's Cathedral. The cathedral was cool, with the light shining through the stained glass windows and the marron black and dirty ivory tiled floor, but what I was excited about was climbing the tower! Mary and Kris weren't excited about it. Once we actually got into the tower and started climbing it, they were even less excited. Basically, we climbed up wooden ladders that got narrower and narrower the further up we went. Finally, you squeeze through a little hole in stonework and you're at the top! The only downer for me was the massive tour group from Argentina that went into the tower with us. But I can't wait to go back to Kilkenny and go up that tower again.
Kilkenny Castle. Kris says "Can I live here?"
Back down and on Parliament Street, towards Kilkenny Castle we passed by Rothe House (and went in!). It's an 18th century merchants house with a gorgeous inner courtyard of river rock and stone. It wasn't too exciting, save for the curved wood beam ceiling and the hand knit items on display. Being a knitter, I thouroughly appreciated the effort and time it would take to knit a pair of fine lace stockings. Way much more than I would ever want to commit! We stopped for a late lunch at one of the pubs on the street
and discovered brown bread! Kris and Mary teased me at first, because I tend to order items that I have never heard of, but after trying a few bites they were wishing they could stuff some in their pockets.
Then we headed down to Kilkenny Castle, what you would normally imagine a castle to be, with four towers, and it's own little forest and green lawn.
We still had another hour before the next tour, so we walked around the grounds, heading down a little wooded path by the river. We wandered by the river for a bit, then ended up further down the green lawn on the top of a hill. I thought, "how fun would it be to roll down that hill?!" (again... I grew up in Florida... there are no hills there). So with a few disapproving glances...
After the castle tour, we headed back to Kenmur house to wash up and go out for the evening. Our first stop was Paris, Texas, where we got a dinner/snack and ran into our castle tour guide/night time bouncer. He suggested trying Matt the Miller's and Lanigan's for a good time. We got a window seat at the top floor of Matt the Miller's, and watched some Hen-party antics. After a stop at Lanigan's and Anna Conda, it was closing time and we were hungry and thirsty! We stopped by the 24-hour Super Quinn and bought giant bottles of water and a stack of Happy-Hippos (again, a wonderful new discovery).
So finally ends our first (and very long) day in Ireland!