The bus ride to Kilkenny from Dublin was about 2 hours, and the countryside was ok. Lots of white and black sheep and tons of cows, but nothing too dissimilar from Canada. Besides all the sheep I guess. I got to Kilkenny and found my hostel and couldn’t get in because you either needed a code or needed the reception guy to actually be doing his job! Luckily in about 5 minutes a couple who was staying there was goin in and let me follow. The reception guy was out and a cleaning lady told me I could leave my bag in the hallway (RIGHT) so I hung out with my stuff for almost an hour waiting to check in. It was all good though, I didn’t mind too much.
Once I got out I wandered around Kilkenny, up and down the quaint little streets and side alleys and all the cute shops. Really neat little town.
I got some wedges and half a cucumber and made my way up to the Kilkenny Castle grounds hoping to find some grass to sit on and eat my lunch. Did I ever find grass!
The grounds were way bigger than I thought they would be, and the back side of the castle looked really pretty against a sunny, Irish day. I finished my lunch and was about to walk the rest of the grounds when a few clouds came in, no big deal right? Well by the time I made it over to the garbage can it was downpouring, no kidding, within a matter of minutes! It's unreal how fast the weather changes here! When it rains, it rains. It was coming down in criss-crosses, it was crazy! So everyone found cover for 10 minutes, and I had my trusty rain coat with me (always!) and walked around to the front of the castle to take more pictures.
Very pretty grounds. Next I went to the Kilkenny Design Center hoping to find some jewelry and crafts and such, but it was all very pretentious and super pricy and very limited stuff, so I got out of there pretty quick. Definitely felt like I was being judged wearing my little backpack in such a nice place! So I continued to wander around, found the St. Francis Abbey brewery but I couldn’t find the entrance and I was getting really frustrated so I just found some dinner and went back to my hostel! Earlier when I was walking around I noticed a sign at the Paris Texas pub saying “Live every Tuesday night, The Kilkenny’s!” so I figured I would give that a go and check out some live music. I met up with Matt, a guy I met earlier that day at the hostel also traveling solo from Alberta. Close enough to home for me! Haha. Anyways he was down for some live music, so we went out around 8 and it didn’t start till around 10, so we got some pub food and drinks around the corner from where the music was, and had a nice chat.
We got to the bar around 10 and it was starting to fill up, and then the band came out. The Kilkenny’s are four very attractive young guys from Kilkenny (obviously lol), two of them are brothers, and they play their own music, plus do covers of pretty much anything else. We could request songs even throughout the night. THEY WERE AWESOME; I haven’t tried you tubing them yet but I bet they’re on there and it’s so worth it they were so entertaining, so funny amongst themselves too always making jokes that I didn’t understand half the time but it was awesome. They started out with the song from P.S. I Love You that the guy sings to the girl in that bar sort of at the beginning it actually made my heart flutter! Haha how lame but I’m so not kidding. Matt had never seen the movie but I totally explained it to him lol. He probably thought I was the biggest dork! But he did thank me for inviting him out halfway through because he never would have known about the band and they were SO GOOD. They also played a cover of The Dubliner’s “7 Drunken Nights” or something it was awesome, and a few other songs that I’d definitely heard before. I had an awesome night, Kennedy you would have died!
Before I left no one was checked into my 4-bed room yet, so I thought I had it all to myself, but when I got back at 12:30 there were 3 people sound asleep in bed, and I went to use the washroom and the lid was up, and I turned back into the room and sure enough there were 3 boys in there! I don’t know why that surprised me so much but I guess after a 20-bed all girl dorm you don’t expect to be sleeping with 3 guys, all of which I’d never met! I never did get to meet them either because I left by 6:30 the next morning for Cork.
Got to Cork after a 3 hour bus ride that I almost slept through, and was definitely under whelmed by the city. I don’t know if I totally missed something, but it really wasn’t that interesting to me! There was an old city gaol (jail) I could have gone to, but I’d seen the one in Dublin and didn’t feel like paying for it. Also, I would have gone to a really huge and grand-looking cathedral if a crazy, random old shop owner wasn’t following me around for 20 minutes! Don’t worry parents, it’s ok but I definitely wasn’t about to walk back his way to go see it!
So I basically just walked around, bought an inexpensive but pretty celtic ring, and found an internet café to check up with my mom because the Cork International hostel doesn’t wave wifi (booooooo). ALSO I found this AMAZING vegetarian restaurant, selling tons of vegan stuff, including cakes and pies, mmm I was in heaven! And then below it was a veggie/health store that was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in my vegan life! Tons of vegan stuff from home-made cookies and bread and cakes to tons of flavours of vegan pot-pies (including creamy mushroom, which I read the ingredients to like 5 times because I was SURE I couldn’t have it but I totally could of!) and vegan tortellini and other FRESH pastas (this never happens!) to every kind of vegan smoked tofu you can imagine, and tons and tons of different veggie meats and sausages, my tongue was actually on the floor the variety was unreal. I could have made awesome things out of everything there, but I settled on a tofu and herb stuffed tri-colour tortellini with a creamy sundried tomato sauce made with soymilk. I made it for dinner and was in veggie heaven! Mom you would have died; omnivores you probably don’t understand but it was sooo cool!
It’s 8 pm now and I’m probably just gonna read, write, organize, and head off to bed! Off to Galway tomorrow.
UPDATE on that last one: If you youtube The KilKenny's they're on there and they look pretty big.. no wonder they were so good!! Watch "Whiskey In The Jar" it's awesome lol.