A day in Kilkenny
Kilkenny Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
August 11th, 2008 – by: Jeroenadmiraal
The weather was still bad, but now and then the sun came through to shine upon this old city. Kilkenny is really old, you know. There is a majestic castle, and there are some crumblingly old churches, and downtown you can find some very old market places. The city itself is not that big, but the city center is lively with shopping streets and many fine pubs.
We headed for the castle first. Chaislean Chill Chainnigh, they call it (translation: Castle Kill Kenny). Not untill we took the train did I notice how often names are noted bilingual in Ireland. Everybody speaks English, but Gaelic is still the first official language of Ireland.
The castle has three walls and misses a fourth to close the rectangular. The fourth wall was blasted away during a medieval siege. We took a guided tour through the castle, which was almost completely rebuilt and refurnished on the inside. The guide told us a lot about the old days, when the castle was still inhabited.
We were off to lunch in a local pub, which happened to have a few rewards for best pub of the city. And in the afternoon we just strolled around the city, looking at the streets and taking it easy. Some of the old churches passed our way. On top of a hill, next to the city, is a really old one. St Canice's Cathedral. The name Canice is probably the origin of Chainnigh, or Kenny.
Next to the massive stony cathedral stands a slim round tower, not much higher than the cathedral itself. This tower used to be a watchtower, more than 1000 years old. You can still climb to the top to get a great view over Kilkenny.
That concluded our day in Kilkenny and we headed back to Dublin. Our plane would leave at 04.00 in the night (!), so we spent the rest of the evening in the temple bar district, hopping for pub to pub and watching the Olympic games.
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