Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Today we were leaving Dublin for the start of our loop around the Southwest of Ireland. We got a cab to the car rental place and got our little silver Volvo. Our luggage barely fit but it did fit. We embarked on our journey into left-side driving (Mark did anyway). We were mostly on a freeway at first so that helped. Mark wanted to stop by the Kilkenny castle on the way to our farmhouse B & B past Waterford. I successfully navigated us there, and we found parking and had a nice lunch at a little pub. Kilkenny is a Tidy Town competition winner–I guess to increase tourism or just to make Ireland prettier they introduced a competition to see who had the cutest towns and villages. This prompted the people to paint their houses bright colors–previously they had left them gray or white. Definitely it worked, the towns are very cute. Then we went for a tour of the castle. We bought Heritage Cards, that would pay for our admission to all nationally owned Heritage sites. Our castle tour was the most dull tour ever. The guide was fascinated with lineage and trivia so we spent countless time going over who the paintings were of and who they knew and who they were rumored to have slept with, as well as what a firescreen is and why the beds were short. We and thekids were bored to tears. Finally it was over and we went out to the grounds and to go get a “flake” ice cream from the truck outside. We headed out to the farmhouse and it was only now that Mark realized why I was reluctant to go to Kilkenny–I knew that our B & B was not in Waterford but past it, close to Dungarven. On the way we passed a “Caution, Cow crossing” sign and then a traffic jam caused by actual cows crossing. We got to Sliabh gCua later than we wanted, around 7:30 and it was far from any restaurants. Our hostess, Breeda Cullen, was at a mass but her son gave us tea and really yummy homebaked scones and talked to us for a bit. The kids went out to the playground outside and were having such a good time, and the scones had been filling, so we decided not to go to dinner. It stays light in Ireland really late in the summer, so even though it was past 9:00 at this point it was still really sunny. Mrs. Cullen returned home and fussed over the kids and brought them out a basket of legos and they didn’t want to go to bed. We got them down and then chatted with the Cullens and the other couple that was staying at the house. We were up until 11:30!