It was hard to leave Taylor and Stephen behind in Dublin but I was beyond excited to explore southeast Ireland at last! We headed south to County Kilkenny where we would be spending the next couple of days. It was a rainy day and we were tired (or whatever you want to call it) from spending all afternoon at the Guinness Factory the day before. Upon arriving in Kilkenny, we found ourselves before Kilkenny Castle, the dull skies and wet stone matching our mood.
Don’t let that smile fool you. I was dragging.
We quietly explored Kilkenny Castle, roaming around the beautiful interior of this 13th century fortress. There were no pictures allowed inside so we drank in the rooms full of elaborate heavy tapestries and intricate woodwork. The picture gallery wing was the most impressive room boasting hundreds of paintings of dead ancestors under an intense baroque glass roof and bizarrely painted pillars. Typical. We satiated our photography needs outside in the rain with flowers and incredibly green grounds. Ireland is legitimately the greenest country in the world.
After the tour, we walked across the street to the old carriage house turned shopping center and gardens. The gardens were so beautiful! I must have been an old Victorian woman with a knack for gardening in a past life.
After admiring all the pretty flowers, we walked towards the central part of town which was decked out in yellow and black, the colors of the Kilkenny hurling team. The Kilkenny team defeated Galway in the hurling final! Whoops. Good for them I suppose. We visited the Smithwick’s Brewery but vetoed the tour for the chance to do some shopping at a few cute clothing stores. I was a fan.
Kilkenny is a lovely and vibrant city but we were just too exhausted to enjoy it to its fullest potential. If you are in the area and have a lot of energy, you should definitely stop and explore Kilkenny. Have a few pints for me.
We left Kilkenny in the late afternoon and headed to Mount Juliet Estate, our accommodations for the next few days. All I knew is that we were staying a golf resort with some horses. What I didn’t know is that Mount Juliet is actually a gorgeous historic estate hidden away in the country with not only a golf course but also woodland walking trails, fly fishing and even a spa nestled in an old carriage house. It was going to be an amazing couple of days.
More to come on this magical place soon.
Just catching up? Don’t miss anything…
Ireland Day 1: Back in Ireland… Hurling and History in Galway
Ireland Day 2: Connemara: Bogs, Fjords and Kylemore Abbey
Ireland Day 3: Biking the Aran Islands… Again!
Ireland Day 4: The Enchanted Forest and Castle of Cong
Ireland Day 6: Adare and Limerick, featuring cold and damp Irish castles
Ireland Day 7: Lazy Afternoons at the Guinness Storehouse