Monday, May 11, 2015

Kilkenney, Ireland Day 3

ON day 3 of our Ireland   trip  it was   an early  breakfast and bags in the halls    for John of Cork  wanted the  bus out of  Dublin  as soon as   possible....    the morning  traffic is crazy in Dublin....  so many tour  buses...  regular  buses,   bikers, on their way to class and  to work  and  then the   multitudes of cars..  remind me never to think I could negotiate  that  traffic on the  left side of the any rate,  we   were  heading south out of the city...   On our way  John  drove us through  Phoenix  Park  which  is  a huge  greenway  through which we did see  grazing stags     but they were too far away to capture   at the far entrance to the  park we drove past the Prime Minister's home...   looks rather familiar doesnt it!
We  drove past  Christ's  Church 

   and it's cemetery....    I  am  sort of fascinated with Irish graveyards...    they each had their own personality!
 Smaller communities     lined  the  main road south 
   smaller  villages  that  for me remain nameless   but  quaint!

 Many times the     roads were very narrow..  stonewalls lined the pavement..I  was  sure to keep my arms inside the coach!  and then a   lovely castle  came into view... We were in Kilkenny!

Kilkenny Castle (Irish: Caisleán Chill Chainnigh) is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland built in 1195 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several routeways. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and in its original thirteenth-century condition it would have formed an important element of the defences of the town with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, part of which can still be seen today on the Parade.

The property was transferred to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for £50 and the castle and grounds are now managed by the Office of Public Works. The gardens and parkland adjoining the castle are open to the public. The Parade Tower is a conference venue. Awards and conferring ceremonies of the graduates of "Kilkenny Campus" of National University of Ireland, Maynooth have been held there since 2002.
 Kilkenney has many    lovely  decorative  details that  give it almost a fairy tale quality

 clear  delineations of  turrets and battlements
 towers and  arches  outlined in    gorgeous trims
  Love this door that leads down into a ditch... perhaps a long ago moat  of some  kind
 a walk around the  castle  offers   many  points of interest
   and this  backside   view    offers a rather menacing  loook   in the shadows   of its  grandeur

But onward we hike to the bottom of the hill and the lovely vilage of Klkenney set on the river Nore! Ancient cathedrals dominate the skyline of the town. It is built on both banks of the River Nore in the province of Leinster. Kilkenny is a popular tourist destination. In 2009 the City of Kilkenny celebrated its 400th year since the granting of city status in 1609.[4] Kilkenny's heritage is evident in the city and environs including the historic buildings such as Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice's Cathedral and round tower, Rothe House, Shee Alms House, Black Abbey, St. Mary's Cathedral,Kilkenny Town Hall, St. Francis Abbey, Grace's Castle, and St. John's Priory.

 it was a coolish day  and in  order to see it all,  we took a tram ride,  but alas,  the  side  windows of each compartment were  rolled down plastic  through which we cojuld see  but   photos   were  very blurry so  no photos...   albiet  through Klkenney did ahve a turbulent early history...  complete with witches and  witch hunts!
From below  the  castles  stands proud  in its  loveliness!
  But my  clock saie it was  afternoon so   we were  told lunch would be our own... so  lunch it was...
 We found a  very fine  if  small   tearoom on the corner...  They offered    their  irish breakfast tea ,   raisin scones with  homemade strawberry jam and  their   delicious    Derry  gold  creamery butter...  Lynn had   waffles.

 We found  friends form our  group inside and joined them... Marie and Gordon
and    so marie and I decided to light out  on  adventures of our own and leave the guys to teir own  interests.A quick look back to  take one final shot of the place    and I caught   maire  getting alls et to make the  climb back up the hill with me  to see the  Kilkenney shops.
  KIlkenney is a  fair mix of  ancient and modern with  rather narrow streets for a town of its size.

We had passed the shops  on the right coming into town  and we knew exactly  where to go...  each shop offered a taste of everything to be found in Ireland.

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A shoppers dream...I bought one thing here...    a  green  knitted  shamrock  with  homewoven  tweed center to  pin onto my  green hat I wear  in the winter....  I thought that would be a grand  token to remind me of our  spring trip even in the dead of  winter!   

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