Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Ireland Day 2

We started our Sunday by finishing the Dublin hop-on hop-off bus tour that we abandoned the day before - thankfully the tour guides were all much easier to understand and we had an informative trip (if a bit chilly and blowy) before leaving the city.

Next up, the Wicklow mountains. We decided to drive through them on our way to Kilkenny since our travel guide said they were worth a visit, and they were - some of the scenic landscapes were unusual and stunning. We got a little hungry at one point and stopped by a stream for a lunch picnic - only to realize after a little while that there was a plaque on the bridge to commemorate someone who died in an accident there.

We arrived in Kilkenny and went to the castle first - due to a stroke of luck entry was free so we toured the rooms inside and learned a bit about how much went into renovating and preserving it. A quick stop at the Kilkenny Design Centre afterwards mostly served to show us all that we weren't particularly interested in Irish crafts... but enthusiasm was soon regained when we headed to Kyteler's Inn, one of the oldest pubs in Ireland, for a pint of Kilkenny ale.

After Kilkenny we headed to Thomastown to see Kilfane Glen and Waterfall. While it was quite pretty, it wasn't exactly a huge waterfall - I wouldn't go out of the way to see it but if you're in the area, it's nice. Also, most of the year it isn't open to the public so definitely check before you go, and also make sure you go before 5pm!

The next stop was Inistioge, where we thought we'd be able to have dinner at Footlights, only to find that it closed a few years ago. So we went for a wander through one of the most picturesque villages of the trip - it's where Circle of Friends was shot and for good reason. 

We also discovered another restaurant (aptly called Circle of Friends) where we decided to have dinner instead, and I'm really glad we did as we had some of the best chips I've ever eaten! The menu outside seemed really basic but just inside the door was a list of specials which were much more appetizing. I had a wonderful whole grilled trout (so did C).

A's mussels were superb. And P loved his pizza (even though I didn't take a picture).

And then we headed off to find our next Airbnb night in Owning, which was a beautiful and spacious house but a little bit in the middle of nowhere. If you don't mind staying somewhere without nightlife, go for it.

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