Finally! Now...the castle...oh, it's closed!
Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
27Trip End Ongoing
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Brilliant idea! Except we all went out (plus Lydia, Jillian's cousin, who Clare didn't know yet) on the Friday night and so woke late....functioned slowly...etc etc on the Saturday.
At 1:40pm, we decided to leave, and go to Kilkenny Castle, which is in Kilkenny, funnily enough. Jillian assured us that it was only a 1.5 hour drive before she'd left, so we set off thinking we'd be there plenty of time before it closed at 5pm. I had actually said "we'll get there by 4pm, latest. Then we'll have an hour to go round the castle"
What happened? Well...we got a bit lost. We were using the map in the Ireland Lonely Planet - which I knew shouldn't have been relied upon anyway, given that the street I live in is in the wrong place, and Jillian's whole town has been magically moved, but to be fair, it's hardly a road map anyway. (I have included map pins for your entertainment, so you can see the route we took over the mountains)
The roadsigns in Ireland are not great, so when you are driving along, it's quite common for signs you are following to just disappear when you get to a junction and so don't know what way to go. This is what happened to us - following signs to the N9, and then they just disappeared...
Resorting to the next best thing (looking at the Lonely Planet map and the signs we could see) we opted to go over the Wicklow Mountains. They are supposed to be beautiful, but unfortunately we couldn't see 2 metres in front of us due to the fog. We didn't take any photos, as there was no point. I'm sure it is beautiful when the weather is good, so I'll go back at some stage. We literally had to drive at 10 miles an hour, the fog was so thick, and bends in the road so tight sometimes.
We got to Glendalough, which is in the mountains, and it looked like a really pretty place. In hindsight, we should have stopped there, but we really wanted to get to the castle...
...as we were driving along, I asked Clare if she was sure there wasn't an actual roadmap in the hire car....and then she found it....it was all folded over and looked like a brochure...so we were then able to see the roads properly, and headed to Carlow, then down to Kilkenny.
Time was getting on and on, and we soon realised there was no way we were going to make it in time to see the castle. We didn't. We arrived in Kilkenny at 5:20pm. So, what should have taken 1.5 hours, took 3 hours 40 minutes, even though I had already added to the 1.5 hours with my normal "Irish lost time" calculation.
The castle was in darkness, so we decided to go for something to eat, in the hope that it would be lit up when we came out, so we could still get some good photos. It wasn't. So the two photos I therefore have are of:
1) Kilkenny Castle in the dark; and
2) Clare with a Kilkenny Castle background.
Hmmmph, have they not heard of lightbulbs? Basically, we came to the conclusion that we'd driven all the way to Kilkenny for dinner. A lasagne and some brie cheese. (Oh, we can recommend that restaurant/pub though - it was really good - called "Langton's" - they had a good line-up of future live events soming up, e.g the comedian Des Bishop)
Final note: Only took us 1 hour 40 minutes to get back to Dublin.
Stay tuned - I have better pictures & better stories from our Sunday trip! Clare also may add to this if I have missed anything, as she is a member too, so watch the comments!