Galway Girl... in Kilkenny

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End May 24, 2010

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Flag of Ireland  , County Kilkenny,
Thursday, May 20, 2010

This morning's first stop was at the Port Heritage Centre in Cobh. Cobh (formerly Queenstown) was the Titanic's last port of call before taking off across the Atlantic, and anything Titanic related fascinates me, so I was really excited for this! The centre had quite a bit about the Titanic, as well as the potato famine, and the immigration to North America.
After Cobh, we headed to Midleton, which is the home of the Jameson Whisky Distillery. I was just as excited for this distillery as I was for the Scottish one (aka not very), but I walked around, and tried to listen as best I could. I tried it at the end too, and didn't enjoy it, again. Though some people had at least 10 of the free samples.. Yuck, I can't even imagine! We ate lunch around there, then took off for another drive.
We made a photo stop at the Rock of Cashel. We didn't get to go up close or inside, but just take pictures from down below. It was so unexpectedly hot this day too. Who knew it would be hotter in Ireland than in England!
Between the Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny, we played this ridiculous string game, where it's one side of the bus vs. the other, and the people at the front of each side start with a roll of string and every person down the side has to rope the string through their clothes, shirt and pants, while on a moving bus. Anyone wearing jeans, like Maria, was hooped! It was so much fun though. Our side started off slow, but we ended up winning at the end. Then it was the fun of getting the string back through everyone's clothes. This string burned when you pulled it too!
We got to the hotel in Kilkenny, which was an adventure. We had to go through the back way, through the bar, which was rather complicated. Then we got to the lobby, and there was only one elevator, or a 3-storey walk of stairs. It took forever, but we finally figured out to put bags into the elevator then walk up the stairs and meet your bags up there. We thought the hotel was just going to be one floor, because they told us the elevator only makes one stop besides the lobby. HELL NO. Oh my god, this hotel is the randomest maze of hallways and stairs up and down. To get to mine & Alex's room, you walked down a hallway, down about 8 steps, through another hallway, down two stairs, through another hallway, then up two stairs. Like, it makes absolutely no sense. And when you're dragging big full bags around, it is NOT fun. The our room was like a little attic room that you couldn't completely stand up in on one side, without hitting your head.
We met in the lobby of the hotel a little while later for another walking tour. The amount of people choosing the walking tour optionals got less and less as the trip went on, and this was the least amount of the whole tour! It was a really hot humid day, so no one really felt like walking, and the tour guide was pretty boring.
Kilkenny was an... interesting city. There wasn't a whole lot to see, it seemed. But we all kept ourselves amused with the drunk little man who joined in our tour. We named him Seamus Potatoes, and he would not leave us alone, despite the tour guide's best attempts. It made it more interesting though, despite how everyone kept a close eye on our wallets, cameras and purses. It felt like there were a lot of sketchy people in this city. After the walking tour, it was more free time before meeting at the hotel for supper. Maria and I walked to Kilkenny Castle, but didn't go inside, just checked out the gardens. We saw a poster at this pub just across the bridge from us that advertised an Irish ballad band playing that night, so we made mental note of it to maybe check it out after supper.
Supper at the hotel was in this weird Peter Pan looking restaurant! The food was alright, nothing to write home about, though it was a nice change from chicken and potatoes. A bunch of us discovered Bulmers Berry Cider here. Yum!
After supper, basically everyone was just hanging out at the hotel pub, but Maria and I wanted to check out the band, so us and Katelyn told some people about it, then the 3 of us walked over there. Their soundcheck took forever, but more and more of our group started trickling in, and by the time the band started, we took up most of the pub.
The band was Na Fianna, and they were AMAZING. Every girl in our group was hoping for her P.S. I Love You moment! They played a bunch of traditional Irish songs, plus some Johnny Cash, and our theme song, Galway Girl and we just had so much fun singing and clapping along. I think this was my favourite night of the entire tour. I love this band!
We checked out another bar after the show, but it was pretty boring, so Maria and I went back to our hotel, and decided we were hungry, so we got some food from the donair place across the street. Donairs at 1am were the best idea ever! Saltiest french fries ever, but so good! It was a good night!
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