Kilkenny

. . . . . but after being awake for 40 hours, sweating like pigs right through our clothes, and walking a total of about 8 miles in one day, we were dunzos. Slept like babies.

We left Dublin the next morning after our first experience with the traditional Irish breakfast. My gosh, they offer you a lot of food in that breakfast: assorted fruit juices, coffee, tea, yogurt, a variety of cereals, fried eggs, sausage, bacon, blood sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, fruit and toast. Toast! Man, I forgot how much I like toast. The last time I bought bread was 2008, I think, so I was particularly enamored of the toast.

We packed up our tiny little car and hit the road.

Let’s talk about the road and our car for a minute. We knew when renting our vehicle that we would get something tiny and something without an automatic transmission. Woney and I both were alright with that. We also knew that we had to maneuver the car on the opposite side of the road from the opposite side of the car. Woney and I both were alright with that as well (although in all fairness, I was doubly alright with that as she did all the driving and I only had to use the imaginary brake on the passenger side). What we did not realize was that while our car was roughly four feet wide, our lane on the road was only roughly four feet one inch wide. Those were the main roads. On the back roads, of which we took many, the road was merely six feet wide. We were ecstatic about that until we realized that the six-foot-wide road was intended to hold two lanes, for two cars. Also, Ireland doesn’t believe in shoulders per se, but more in giant walled structures and vicious shrubbery literally right next to the yellow line. Really, let’s just say there was no yellow line. It was four feet one inch of road per car and then wall. Or, you know, a 400 foot drop off into an abyss. Before the trip was done, I was intimately familiar will all the roadside shrubbery in Ireland.

So Woney and I took off for Kilkenny on those narrow roads. During that drive, I realized just how big America is. I can see it on paper, of course, but everything here is just enormous compared to so many other places in the world. Driving it really drove it home for me. (That was a terrible pun and completely unintentional.) Anyway, in short order we arrived in Kilkenny and found our Bed and Breakfast. Let me put in a kudos here for Mena House. It was utterly charming and the proprietor, Katherine, was the absolute most helpful person I have met to date. Without Katherine, we would have missed so many truly wonderful things on our trip. Highly Recommend Mena House.

Kilkenny 9

Katherine instructed us to walk into town, have a drink at the café on the river, visit the castle, and then make our way to two pubs. We did just that. The drink by the river was glorious. Woney and I took probably 40 pictures of the scenery around us. We could see the Kilkenny castle in the distance and I was pretty stoked about it. A castle! We have nothing that old in America. America was just getting started around the time those castles were getting broken in. We are babies over here. Anyway, we wandered through the little city and into the castle to discover that it was . . . neat. I guess that’s really all I can say about it other than to say it was little boring. They have renovated it only as far back as the Victorian era when a family lived in it so while parts of it felt really authentic, it was only authentic back to the 1800s. Still, it was a nice visit.

Kilkeny 25

The true heart of Kilkenny is in the people, though. That was the best part of this city. Based on Katherine’s suggestion, after the castle we walked straight to Kytelers for a tasty beverage. I already knew that Guinness was not for me so as we plopped down on the barstool, I said to Martin, our bartender, “I’ll have whatever cider you have”. And just like that I got a new tasty beverage. Yerm.

Kilkenny 38

Let’s talk about Martin for a moment. He was the exact sort of bartender for which we were looking, in the exact sort of pub for which we were looking. He was absolutely perfect. We spent the better part of the afternoon hanging out with him and Adam, who is only 19 and is going to school to learn how to create video games and who has promised to develop a character with giant hair and giant hoots and a tiny waist named Jimmie. I love Adam.

Kilkenny 28

Martin entertained us for hours. I’m not sorry to say that I was rather inebriated but even if I hadn’t been, I would have loved Martin. He filled all the water glasses with a hose and made fun of Irish country music. “No one ever writes a song about the bumper potato crop,” he said. I miss Martin. Highly Recommend Kytelers and Martin.

Martin

Martin

Eventually we wandered off to the next pub, promising a drink to Martin if he found us. Matt the Millers was the next stop and I enjoyed that pub just as much as Kytelers. “I’ll have a Bulmers,” I said expertly to Shane as I plopped on the barstool. Let’s talk about Shane. What a hottie he was! I took pictures of him cleaning stuff all night and promised him that if he came to America all my friends would find him highly attractive with that dish towel in his hand. Something about a man who cleans . . . . Highly Recommend Matt the Millers and Shane.

Kilkenny 21

Shane

Shane

By this point, Woney and I had had a lot to drink. A lot. I was feeling particularly fond of everyone in the entire city but after some time, it seemed that two men in particular were quite fond of us. This is Paul.

Woney and Paul

Woney and Paul

Isn’t he lovely? He and Woney spent hours chatting on the barstools and when we finally wandered off to find food, Paul escorted us safely. He took turns holding our hands, mostly because I kept stopping to talk to everyone. I loved those people just so much. I loved Paul. Paul loved Woney. I loved Woney. I loved Shane. I loved Martin. And Albert loved me.

Jimmie and Albert

Jimmie and Albert

Sigh. When Albert told me that I had a nice body and he would love to escort me home, Woney disengaged us from everyone and we meandered to Mena House.

Kilkenny 36

Kilkenny was exactly the Ireland we wanted. That was what we went to do and see. It was absolutely perfect and I will go back. I will also find Martin and Shane and treat them to a tasty beverage of their own. See you soon, boys!

Next stop: Blarney!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: