Aircraft delays and left-sided driving...

Kilkenny Travel Blog

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Which side of the road should I be on?
People who made my travels more enjoyable: Nikki (USA), Rachel (Ireland) and Louise (Ireland).

As luck would have it, on the day of my departure, the evil Icelandic volcano started acting up again. This created quite a stressful situation at the airport. My flight was delayed by two hours and nobody could tell me if we were going to be able to fly or not. I was able to eventually board the plane almost three hours after the originally scheduled departure. Once on the plane Aer Lingus informed everyone that we would have to fly over Greenland to avoid the ash. This increased the flight time by about two and a half hours. Luckily it was an over-night flight so I hoped that two more hours in the air meant two more hours of sleep. Sadly it wasn't meant to be and I spent most the night tossing and turning.
Streets of Kilkenny
Sleep deprived and starving I finally arrived at Dublin around 7:30 am!

Immediately, Ireland wasn't quite what I expected. Apparently a proper gate couldn't be located for our plane so we walked down a set of stairs on to the tarmac. It was sunny but absolutely freezing outside. I think the pilot said it was about 40 degrees when we landed. After that I made my way through the airport, which is a total disaster by the way (think rats in a maze). Luckily everyone is super friendly, including the customs agent who checked my passport and emphatically welcomed me to Ireland. In Dublin's defense they are building a brand new terminal that should be open later this year, so a lot of the confusion is created by construction and trying to accommodate too many travelers in far too small an airport.
Pinecrest B&B and my speedy Opel Astra


I met up with Nikki at baggage claim and we proceeded to check in with Avis. When we got to the car I thought, "I've watched Top Gear, how hard can this be". Nothing in Top Gear prepared me for the tiny Irish roads, shifting left handed and ridiculously fast speed limits. No wonder there is no tolerance for drinking and driving! I managed to stay on the correct side of the road, but I told Nikki to watch the left side of my car because it was impossible to gauge the distance between it and any obstacle I might run in to. We left the avis parking lot, made it out of the airport and found ourselves on the M50.

Our destination for the day was Kilkenny and the drive wasn't terribly difficult. Mostly motorway and some N class roads, which in the Kilkenny area were in good condition.
By the castle!
When we reached Kilkenny, Nikki somehow managed to find our B&B. It blew my mind! This is a brief recap of our conversation:

Kyle "Where are we?!"
Nikki "Turn left, go up that hill, go around the roundabout, second exit, turn right, see a church keep going straight"
Kyle "Ahh why don't I stop at this gas station and ask directions..."
Nikki "Keep driving! Oh look there is the bed and breakfast!"
Kyle "WTF just happened?!"

One thing of note, Ireland doesn't really have road signs. If you're on a major road, N or M you'll know by the number, but once you reach a town street names are almost never labeled.

We checked in to our B&B and walked toward downtown. We were starving and needed to find some lunch immediately. Kilkenny was a nice town, tiny streets and sidewalks, nice little boutique shops and restaurants.
Left Bank Bar
We settled on one that the owner of our B&B recommended (unfortunately the name escapes me now). We ordered food and even though I was dying to try some Kilkenny beer, I decided Fanta Orange would be more appropriate for lunch. Orange soda somehow tastes way different in Europe and I hadn't enjoyed Fanta since I left Norway almost 10 years ago. It was a real treat! During our meal there was some confusion about whether or not tipping was expected in Ireland so we asked two girls sitting next to us. Interestingly, their follow up question was, "what does a Raccoon look like?" Soon we struck up a conversation and by the end of lunch we had made two new friends, Rachel and Louise. We decided to meet up with them later that evening at a bar called Left Bank.

The rest of our afternoon included a nap and a brief tour of the Kilkenny Castle.
Enjoying some Bulmers (Apparently cider is a manly drink in Ireland)
We had a quick bite for dinner and made our way to the Left Bank to meet up with our new Irish friends. Left Bank was an amazing bar. Its decor and ambiance were a very cool blend of modern and traditional. The bar used to be a bank and the outside of the building was completely intact. The inside had a great selection of art, beautiful woodworking and played a sampling of trendy music. We had our fair share of drinks, Kilkenny Beer and Bullmers (both delicious by the way), and managed to talk about anything and everything. And by anything I mean anything, these girls had some ridiculous stories most of which wouldn't be appropriate for this blog. Around midnight I was falling asleep at the table, so Nikki and I made our way back to the B&B. My first day in Ireland was exciting, but incredibly exhausting.









kkrater says:
Driving on the left is way more difficult than I imagined. You are a pro if you can do both :)
Posted on: Jul 27, 2010
alicegourmet says:
I guess it's a little bit challenge to drive on the other side of the road. I can drive on both direction now... :p
Posted on: Jul 27, 2010
jart2b says:
I agree! Kilkenny was such a nice town, great food!, nice people...
Posted on: Jun 06, 2010
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Which side of the road should I be…
Which side of the road should I b…
Streets of Kilkenny
Streets of Kilkenny
Pinecrest B&B and my speedy Opel A…
Pinecrest B&B and my speedy Opel …
By the castle!
By the castle!
Left Bank Bar
Left Bank Bar
Enjoying some Bulmers (Apparently …
Enjoying some Bulmers (Apparently…
View near the castle
View near the castle
Kilkenny Downtown
Kilkenny Downtown
Kilkenny Castle pt 1
Kilkenny Castle pt 1
Kilkenny Castle pt 2
Kilkenny Castle pt 2
I actually took some photos on thi…
I actually took some photos on th…
Kilkenny Downtown
Kilkenny Downtown
Kilkenny Castle pt3
Kilkenny Castle pt3
Kilkenny Castle pt4
Kilkenny Castle pt4
Kilkenny Castle pt5
Kilkenny Castle pt5
Kilkenny Castle pt6
Kilkenny Castle pt6
Kilkenny Castle pt7
Kilkenny Castle pt7
Kilkenny Castle Grounds
Kilkenny Castle Grounds
Kilkenny Hotels & Accommodations review
Cute, Quaint, Friendly Ownsers
This was a nice little B&B that we stayed in during our first night in Ireland. The location is very convenient, albeit quite difficult to find. As yo… read entire review
Kilkenny
photo by: Paulovic