The first night in Dublin we were planning on what we could do on our last day. We kicked around the idea of taking Sue to see Trinity College or maybe take the Guinness tour and have a drink in the gravity bar. These were both things that Dale and I did the first trip to Ireland and yes they were both cool, but with limited time and a completely different route this time we knew she was going to miss seeing some really neat things that we got to see. We decided to catch a tour bus to Glendalough and Kilkenny.
Leaving Dublin the tour guide pointed out things I didn’t know about the city and gave us trivia about the local roadways. Any bit of useless knowledge and I am like a sponge wanting to know more.
The building started to fade away and the trees replaced them as we neared the entrance into the Wicklow mountains. I purposely gave Sue the window seat so she could be taken away into another land and because if she saw the size of the road to St. Kevin’s tower she would probably barf. The roads are small by US standards. My street is the size of a 4 lane road in Ireland. My driveway could be the foundation for a home. As a country, we are excessive and that is never more clear to me as when I am sitting shotgun on the wrong side of the car on an Irish road.
“Glendalough is a glacial valley in County Wicklow, Ireland, renowned for an Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin.” Our tour guide told us what he knew of St. Kevin, his tower and how he had to hide from the ladies because he was quite the looker.
After a couple of hours of cruising around the settlement and learning even more than the last time I was there, we climbed on the bus and headed to Kilkenny. The last trip out this is where Dale and I decided to take a side tour and adventure off map. This was a huge mistake as Kilkenny is a popular place for tourists and we cruised into town just as kids were getting let out of school. It was a cluster and we never got to see the castle. This time we would.
The castle was renovated and I found that the exterior and the great hall of photos seemed to be the only part that felt authentic. The little girl that never thought she would see a castle in real life was now picky about the castles she did get to see! It’s just that on my last adventure to Ireland where we traveled the south end, I visited a TON of castles and the ones that I found most fascinating were the ones that were ones that weren’t renovated, but standing by their own will after all those years.
The rooms were decorated with period pieces and a photographer’s dream. The best part though was the room with all the photos. I believe I could have spent a month in there just looking at the paintings of the people and reading about them. When I got home I was watching a show called Building Ireland and it had Kilkenny Castle as its feature. It was interesting to hear the history behind it.
We finished off the tour and made our way into town for a Guinness.
We arrived back in Dublin and headed for dinner at Castle and after into the Temple Bar district to see if we could get some trad music for Sue to enjoy. We landed in a pub with none other than a member of The Dubliners who played all our favorite songs and made it a night we wouldn’t forget.
With a night of singing and drinking we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the long 3 plus hour drive in the morning to a place I hadn’t stayed at yet, Ballynahinch Castle.
Stayed tuned for day 3 and the story about how I almost died in a hotel room in Dublin.