Pretty Skies in Kilkenny
After a long flight and a lot of jet lag, being stuck in a car was not an ideal way to begin Ireland, but we were on limited time and had to push ourselves like the traveling Olympians we were. We were attempting to see a lot in only a few days so we planned to go from Dublin to Cork the first day with a stop in Kilkenny to see the Kilkenny Castle.
The ride there was pretty interesting. First off, the radio stations were all talk radio or country music. In fact there were more country music stations in Ireland than there were when I was in Arkansas! I can’t handle talk radio or country music so I pulled out my iPod and connected it to the car.
For some reason I was afraid that it would blow up my iPod, but was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn’t. I was even happier when the tunes started pouring into the car, even though the sound from the speakers was pretty dismal.
I have to say, I wasn’t impressed with the scenery thus far. It kind of reminded me of driving in Oregon except we were now driving on the opposite side of the road. Still it was early on, so we had time. I needed patience!
I have to be honest, I don’t remember much more about the road as I was comatose at the time after not having slept on the plane the “night” before. The clock said 9AM, but I knew it was really 4AM in my world and I was feeling it. I asked if Angie was okay to continue driving as any good friend would and she said she was fine for now.
Five minutes later, I was out cold. Not like a good friend. We were both new to the country and the driving style and I was out, but I hadn’t slept in days leading up to the trip and my body couldn’t be stopped. I woke up to find my head in an unnatural position that would continue to hurt a few hours afterwards.
Smallest Restaurant, Ever!
I looked over to Angie and she said we were in Kilkenny and she was done for the day. Between the two of us, there was no way that we would be making it to Cork. Too bad, but it was safer for everyone.
The first place we wanted to hit was the Visitor Center. So we parked our car in a parking lot and headed over.
There they gave us the gist of how to pick a B&B while in Ireland. We had no clue as we had never done it in Ireland or in the States either, it isn’t rocket science, but still, it helps to know what one is doing.
A Church in Kilkenny
From there, we grabbed our first meal in Ireland. It was a sandwich shop at the Metropole Hotel. It was pretty good considering we hadn’t eaten in hours; nothing fancy really, but a great place to just grab a sandwich and fries and go.
After we ate we went back to the car to find our B&B. When we got back into the car we were surprised to hear a beeping from the car with the exclamation point lit up near the wheel.
The only thing we had done when we left was to put the luggage in the trunk. Everytime we would drive there would be this damn high pitched beep.
More Church For You
We decided we would check the car after we got to the B&B, easier said than done. This was our first experience with the signs of Ireland. Nothing made sense. We even had a map and no matter where we went, we couldn’t find the B&B. The signs didn’t match the streets or the streets weren’t marked at all. Sometimes they would be marked, but there would be three other signs with different names and none of them were the street we were looking for. We searched for this place for 20 minutes the annoying beeping ringing in our ears the whole time, I almost went postal! Finally, we pulled over on the road to speak to a nice older gentleman and he helped us out by giving us landmarks work with.
The Most Unimpressive Photo of Kilkenny Castle
We could not wait to get out of the car and fought to hit the doorbell suitcases in hand. The women was very nice and showed us the only room she had open which had a double bed only. At this point we didn’t care we just wanted to get out of the car and actually see something more than what we had already as it was getting late.
So we freshened up and relaxed on the bed for a while before going out to check out Kilkenny. It was sprinkling and very windy making it a little miserable, but we were optimistic, we had come this far.
We were excited to see the Kilkenny Castle as it is apparently a hot spot in Ireland as far as castles and pretty grounds go.
When we came upon it we were pleased to see it was very beautiful and couldn’t wait to get in. That dream was dashed; it was closing in 15 minutes. No way! This couldn’t be happening! We had done very little our first day and this was going to change our luck, or so we thought. We wanted to walk the grounds, but I kid you not, it was freezing!
Showers, Irish Style
So we decided to walk around the town a little until our faces couldn’t take it any longer. Angie decided she would email her family and say “hey,” I didn’t feel the need to so I opted to just kick back and relax. Apparently it was the slowest connection in the free world. When I went to use it briefly to checkout one item on her time, I found this to be true. Hardly worth the price she paid for the time. It was like using dial up on a computer Pre 2000.
Lost in Ireland, Again...
After the internet incident, we went to find dinner as we were getting hungry again. First off, all of the places that sounded great were closed by 4:30, I kid you not. From 4:30 on it was drinking only. Now, I respect drinking, I really do! But you have to eat first or it is just going to get ugly!
Finally we ended up at a pub for some pub grub and a Guinness and figured that Kilkenny had been a bust for us. We were so tired it was probably for the best. So we trudged back to the B&B. The wind had gotten worse and the rain was coming down, it was beyond cold and we thought it might snow at first. By the time we got back, we were both exhausted and were in bed by 8PM and slept a good 12 hours!
We had hope for the next day.
We had too! I have to say the showers were a little different than I was used to. It was as if someone was dipping their fingers into a glass and sprinkling us. I could understand why the pressure wasn’t there after I saw the box it was coming from. It is a unique contraption that I have never seen before. The shower head comes out of the top of the box and from there there are two dials one for temperature and the other for the pressure. You don’t see that too often, well if you are from Ireland you probably do, but it was new to me.
Guy With Crazy Dogs That Ran Through the Roundabout
I hate to say it but I found humor through Angie’s misfortune. She had brought an adapter for her electronics and had plugged in her blow dryer in it. As soon as she turned it on, there was a loud popping and black soot shot into the air. The smell that followed was not very pleasant either. After that I panicked and told her I would not be using it for fear of my things blowing up. She told me that it was because hair dryers use a lot of energy and that is why is exploded. No matter what she said I couldn’t be convinced and kept shaking my head “no” when she asked if I wanted to use it. That moment can still make me laugh and does!
Breakfast was very good! Pretty much breakfast in Ireland consisted of Musilix, yogurt and fruit the whole time I was there. I really don’t eat beef or pork, so the people at the B&Bs probably loved me for making their lives easy. I loved the oat bread that they serve in Ireland. It is so good I can’t even tell you. I wanted to take a whole loaf and just graze all day, but that would be uncouth.
After breakfast, we knew it was time to deal with the car before we could go on to Cork. I was afraid the engine would explode, so we ended up going to the Visitor Center to borrow their phone as our cell phones didn’t work in Ireland and called the Atlas Main Office. Long story short, they sent us to a Nissan Dealer where we were informed that the hand break was on, not enough for the visible eye, but enough for the car to sense it. Yep, we spent almost two hours of our time trying to fix a car that didn’t need fixing, it just needed us to check that hand break even though it was the first thing we checked the night before.
I am sure that Kilkenny is a wonderful town, but we couldn’t wait to get out of there. Our karma was just bad there for some odd reason and nothing was going right, it was time to go. So with high hopes, we headed towards Cork. Blarney awaited us…