Notes from Ireland – Kilkenny
From Waterford (a Viking town with crystal) we drove to Kilkenny for lunch. We accidentally lunched at the oldest pub in town that unbeknowst to us, was famous. The lunch was fine and heavy, all the food is solid and heavy reflecting the solid heavy skies above.
The town of Kilkenny is colorful and lively, Thursday afternoon the streets were crowded and busy with locals and tourists. We headed to the castle which anchors the town on one end, with the cathedral on the other end. We are not into cathedrals we are into standing stones, ruined abbeys and castles. A tourist must make choices.
Kilkenny castle is most excellent, exactly the kind of castle we American’s picture when you say – castle. My favorite feature is the entrance to the castle fronts a broad sidewalk where the reamins of a farmers market was sweeping up. We walked into the arched entrance, and were greeted by vast rolling expanse of grass and parkland. In contrast to the bustling street, the park was quiet, dotted with families playing and sitting and enjoying a day with no rain. We stood in the wind as long as we could, pulled our pulled our jackets closer and marched through the decorated rooms of the castle which did not disappoint.
Across the castle are the stables, refurbished in the sixties into the home of a craft co op or craft guild. I don’t know which. But the stores featured local crasfts and artists including a selection of souvenirs made from peat. These 12 euro beauties looked like black, fat cookies. Genuine bog. The Irish found a way to sell dirt to the tourists. We were amused, but not fooled. Had we wanted peat, we would have cut some while driving through Sally Gap.