Scotland and Ireland Part 4

Updated: Apr 21, 2020


Day 7

We leave Dublin and head to Kilkenny. There was an option for a bike ride, but seeing as the bike tour didn't include a tour of the castle we opted out ;)


We took a boo down the street to our bearings and then immediately ventured into the castle.


If there's one thing you notice that's different between the stone structures of Scotland and Ireland is the colour of the stones. Which you can see in the top photo versus the other structures I've shared.




Above: Kilkenny is known for its Hurling team.

Below: Downtown Kilkenny



Above: The Courtyard of Kilkenny Castle. The history of Kilkenny Castle's location goes back to the times of Strongbow. Follow this link for a brief history: http://www.askaboutireland.ie/learning-zone/primary-students/looking-at-places/kilkenny/moments-in-kilkenny-histo/kilkenny-city/kilkenny-castle/

Below: the recreation of the original wall paper is done by hand.


Above: the castle had several tapestries telling the story of a Roman soldier.

Below: An example of what the bedrooms might have looked like.


Above: The story behind this marble table at Kilkenny is that it is original to the time the castle was built. It's pure marble and very heavy. When items were being sold at auction in the 30's, it was decided to leave the table in the castle, as the only way to have it moved was to take it apart which might have ruined it.

Below: My favourite room in the house - the library! the original bookshelf to this room is behind my left shoulder. You can tell due to a bit of wear and tear on doors. The remainder are replicas.



Above: A view of the rose garden from the upper floors. It might not look like much, as we were at the end of their season. But when you were outside and closer to the garden, you could definitely smell them.

Below: The picture gallery wing.





After touring the castle, it was suggested to us that we go to 'the Tower' at the church for the best view in all of Kilkenny. Unfortunately, Mass was on, so we weren't able to get access. But it was a beautiful walk all the same.








After checking out the church, we found a coffee shop for a bite to eat.

From Kilkenny we headed to Midleton to check out the Jameson Distillery! We soon discovered that this whiskey would become one of our favourites. (We like to switch it up between this and Scotch)

We were given a tour of the original distillery.

The house below is where the head distiller used to live. When we were there, were told that the most recent one to retire lived in this place from the time he was born (his father had this position before him). It was now being used as an archive.







Below: Here we are.... I've got a bit of a buzz on from the whiskey tasting lol

Cody also took the opportunity to bottle his own whiskey. The kind that he got: Black Barrel Cask Strength (60% alcohol instead of the usual 40%). You can only get that particular whiskey at this distillery. It's not offered anywhere else in the world.




After our tour of the distillery, we headed to Cork, where we had supper at the White Rabbit. And it was off to another fancy hotel called the 'Oriel House Hotel'. Most of us took a walk to a nearby grocery store to get some more snacks.


But then it was off to bed! It was going to be another early morning to get to our destination to beat the lines.







Day 8:

It was another early morning to make sure we could beat the the lineups at Blarney Castle!

If you'd like to learn a bit more about the history of the castle, you can check it out at their website here: https://www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/history



Below, you could certainly tell that this was the chapel, its the only floor of the house that had an alter shaped windows.


Above: You can see looking down how there were a number of different floor, the floors having given way to ruin.

Below: The stairways were very tight. Though it's true humans tended to be smaller back then. This was also a defensive system. If someone stormed the castle the tight quarters would make it hard for those ascending the stairs to succeed.

Below: This is the fire place of the family room.







To the left is a photo of me sitting on the window ledge in the 'Young Lady's Room'. You could see where the old wooden seat had been worn down from folks sitting on it.

It was the tiniest little room and it made me wonder how they would fit any type of furniture in it.














When in at Blarney... you have to kiss the Blarney Stone! There's a few stories behind the origin of the stone which you can fin here: https://www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/kiss-the-blarney-stone











Below: If I remember correctly, the yew tree below is said to be one of the oldest trees on site. Aging over 600 years old!




Above: Blarney House - where the family that owns it still resides to this day

Below: What appears to be Gypsy wagons at the Stable Yard

After checking out the stables, we found ourself in 'Rock Close'. An ancient looking garden with several interesting points of interest.










Not sure how much stock one can put into the authenticity of these points of interest.... but let's just say my wish is coming in June! Haha Ireland truly is a magical place!

After being the last ones on the bus 'whoops!', we headed to the Cliff of Moher. We happened to be visiting during the tail end of a hurricane, so after taking a few photos, we went and hid inside the visitors centre with hot cup of coffee and lunch. However the weather didn't seem to impact any of the golfers we saw on the course as we drove past!





After the Cliff of Moher we headed back to get settled into our hotel in Galway before hitting up the town. If you ever have an opportunity to visit Galway, it was probably one of our favourite cities in Ireland. Be warned, do not wear your favourite football (soccer) jerseys - this place is super competitive!

Our tour manager took us for a tour of Kennedy Park, and walked us down through a few points of interest including the Lynch Wall, St. Nicholas' Church and a statue of Oliver Wilde (I'm still kicking myself for not capturing a photo when I did!).

From there we had a free evening to find our own food. This was the first time we tried Beef & Guinness stew (a new favourite of ours!).


After supper, we hit up a few pubs that had live music going on. These places were amazing. You'd walk into a building that had a very small store front. And then after walking through the door the place actually was far deeper with different layers of sitting. We enjoyed a lot of good music that night!


And that wraps up Day 8! This was a long one, so if you've made it this far I thank you for hanging around.


Next up: We head on a ferry ride to Inishmore to check out the main island of the Aran Islands!


Till next time,


Ashleigh xoxo


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