Thursday, 28 March 2013

Kilkenny & Glendalough

Today I took and all-day bus tour to Kilkenny & Glendalough.

First thing:  true confession. I have a really bad problem with getting lost.  If it weren't for my phone's active map and location finder, I'd still be stuck at the airport.  In  Charlotte.

I knew I had to be at the Burlington Hotel at 9:15 this morning to catch the bus, about .75 miles on foot, so I left at 8:30 so that I could walk and not be rushed.  I stepped outside and it was blizzard conditions, traffic was horrendous.  No worries, I know exactly where I'm going and am in no big hurry.  Plenty of time.  Walking, walking, walking; stop to check my phone's map . . . I'VE WALKED THE WRONG WAY FOR 20 MINUTES!  Now I'm still about .5 mile away.  20 minutes left, so I start walking fast.  Snow is falling hard, covering the sidewalks, slippery.  Crossing the street is a dangerous affair.  Crosswalks take forever, but crossing without a green could be deadly.  Stop and check maps again: walking the wrong way again!  Turn around and get back on the right road.  Check maps: yes, this time I'm right, but I'm running out of time, so I start running.  Making great time considering, but I'm layered up like an Eskimo, so I get hot and start sweating.  Snow is melting all over my head and face.  I get to the hotel, 9:09.  No tour bus. Did I miss it?  I hope not or that's 30 Euro down the drain.  Wait. Wait.  Still nothing.  Search for a contact number in the confirmation email:  there's actually one there!  Call it.  The bus driver is on his way!  I didn't miss it!  Whoo hoo!!!  I'm so happy even though I'm soaked, sweaty and an otherwise total mess. I wonder why no one sat next to me on the bus???

Because of the foul weather, the tour bus took an alternate route that normal, first to Kilkenny then to Glendalough .

I'm going to turn on the slide show now, and maybe insert a snarky comment or two . . .
Tried to take a picture of the Irish countryside and got this.  Stopped trying.  Really, it was amazing  and the sheep with the little baby lambs = utterly adorable!

Arrived at Kilkenny.  Actually a lot of history here, dating back to the original English conquest of Ireland

 Castle Kilkenny. . .
 The beautiful grounds of Castle Kilkenny. ..
More castle

Castle on the other side,lovely grounds and fountain

 The famous gate entrance

This door is actually under the main wall, embedded in some pretty thick supporting rock.  No idea what it's for or where it goes, but it looked cool so I snapped a pic.

Hey, this place has a US flag!  Awesome!  Except it's being displayed wrong.  I'll just run in and tell them.  They don't care.

Lunch in a Kilkenny pub, shepherd's pie!  Pretty good, actually.

I am still trying to get used to how long many of the forks are here.  Seriously, I've speared my uvula with these things.
 Next stop: Glendalough.  Beautiful glacial lakes.

 More of the lower lake.

 Glendalough monastery ruins and cemetery
 St. Kevin's Church

 The Round Tower as seen from the lower part of the cemetery.

 The cemetery with ruins in the background.

 Some very old headstones.  The engravings are long gone.

 The main cathedral.

 Inside the cathedral.

The round tower.

And that's pretty much it.  When we finally arrived back in Dublin the weather had improved quite a bit.  Later that night Colm from work for dinner at some Indian cuisine.  Then back here for some sleep.  I don't know why but when it hits 10PM, I get absolutely loopy with sleep.

All-in-all, very good 'touristy' day. Tomorrow, back to business.  Have a lot to take care of before the long Easter weekend.  I guess Dublin sort of shuts down . . . 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, I think I would like Glendalough more. Looks very interesting.