Kilkenny, Ireland

Kilkenny, Ireland

Day 1 of our trip to Ireland/Iceland! Here’s the initial overview.

Getting There

Gene and I flew from Savannah to Newark (about two and a half hours), waited out a five eight-hour layover, did not sleep on our seven-hour flight, and landed safely in Dublin. We snagged our rental car, had a few TENSE moments getting our navigation system sorted, and hit the road to Kilkenny, an hour and a half drive away. Thankfully our hotel had our room ready and allowed us to check in early! We took just a few minutes to regroup, and then scampered into town for our walking tour.

Not So Fun Fact

Why did I use the word “scamper?” We thought our hotel was about a 15-minute walk from the city center, but it was more like 30! (And we are fast walkers!) At this point we’d been on the move for 24 hours without much food or sleep, so this discovery was NOT a happy one! What WAS happy was our very kind tour guide who made us feel welcome and carried on with the tour without making a big deal about our being a little late.

Walking Tour

We booked the Shenanigans Walking Tour to keep us on our feet and fight jet lag, and it totally worked! Our guide, Nevin, has a great strategy: share history in a clear, personable way and mix in some “brain breaks” with slight-of-hand magic , a funny story, or some silly–well–shenanigans! This was a fun intro to Kilkenny.

Kilkenny Castle. Built in 1260. (Not a typo.)
This was originally St. Mary’s Church, built in 1202 when the Normans settled the town. It’s now a museum.
The Black Abbey. This priory was established in 1225. The friars wore black capes over their white habits and were called “Black Friars. Thus the name of the abbey.

Window in the Black Abbey.
Another window in the Black Abbey.
The Black Freren Gate (Black Friars) near the Abbey. It’s the only remaining city gate of the medieval walls around the city of Kilkenny.
A beautiful street in Kilkenny.

The Food

After the tour we had an early dinner at Left Bank, a gorgeous pub right across the street from Kilkenny Castle. We were REALLY hungry, and the food was REALLY good!

The Left Bank pub. I mean!!! Look at it!
Hereford steak sandwich! “Open-faced, served on thyme focaccia, char-grilled, 6-ounce hereford beef strip loin, five peppercorn sauce, sauteed onions, tomato, rocket, house cut fries.”

End of Day/Fun Fact

After dinner we walked the 30 minutes back to our hotel. (Do NOT ask me why we didn’t get a taxi. I honestly have no idea.) We got back to the hotel, closed the blackout curtains, and were OUT at 6:30 PM! Didn’t wake up until the alarm woke us up around 6:30 AM!

Here’s a little fun fact for you! In hotels in Europe (maybe in other parts of the world?), you have to put your room key in this little slot to enable electricity in the room! It’s a way to prevent wasting electricity. No running the air conditioning if you’re not in the room, etc.! (Also no charging your computer or anything else!)

Lessons Learned

I should’ve walked around a LOT more during our 8-hour layover in Newark. That would’ve helped me rest better during the flight. And if *I* had rested better, Gene would’ve been able to rest better.

I should’ve eaten more on the plane. I packed snacks, but it was hard to get to them since I was Seat 3 in the 4-person middle-of-the-airplane row. Ugh! A little more food would’ve helped my energy level once we got to Kilkenny. (Also, we were excited when we landed and didn’t want to stop to eat. Bad move!)

Landing and then immediately driving–on the left–after so many hours without sleep was probably not the best move. Next time we’ll maybe spend that first night or two in Dublin and get our legs under us before driving.

Booking that walking tour was a great idea! It really did help stave off the jet lag. Taking a nap on that first day always SEEMS like a good idea, but staying up is always worth the effort!

Take the taxi sometimes. It may just be worth the money.

Thank You!

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2 thoughts on “Kilkenny, Ireland

  1. Enjoyed catching up with you on your trip abroad. I am really wanting to visit Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales before I am too old to do so. And your photos make me even more anxious to visit. What amazing stained glass windows and architecture for the 13th century. And to think it is still intact.

    Thank you for popping by my blog. Glad we have reconnected. XO

  2. What great lessons you learned! I love that you wrote them down so you can refer back to them. Things built in the 1200’s?! Amazing!

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