Spent the entirety of May 18th in the countryside of Ireland. We left at 8am and got back at 6pm, although a lot of it was travel time.
We went to Glendalough first where we got to see an old monastery that was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.
We also got to see the largest church in Glendalough, which is also one of the largest known Early Christian churches in Ireland. Seeing the remains of such old structures really made me think about how amazing it is that we can still see today something that was built thousands of years ago.
We got to drive through the area where parts of P.S. I Love You were filmed which was really cool, I’m a huge fan of the movie (and Gerard Butler!).
Next we stopped at Wicklow Gap and then headed to Kilkenny, an old medieval city. There were so many old buildings here and so many stories behind all of them.
One of the places we stopped at along our tour of the city was Kyteler’s Inn. Today, Kyteler’s Inn is a pub, but it used to be an actual inn back in medieval times. Alice de Kyteler, the original owner of the inn, had four husbands who all died. After people started to realize this pattern Alice was arrested and burned at the stake for which-craft. Her dead husbands had all the symptoms of arsenic poisoning, but back in those days people didn’t know anything about arsenic poisoning. Medieval times has always been something of interest to me, but I can’t stand reading history out of a history book. Being able to stand on the same ground as people from those times and look at the buildings they built while hearing stories about their lives gave me a whole new appreciation for the past and the events that led up to today.
We ended the tour at The Black Abbey, which was founded in 1225. It is still in use as a church today.
Outside of The Black Abbey there are a row of 13th century stone coffins that were unearthed during restoration. These tombs would have been built for royalty, who would be buried in their armor. The tombs would also have been carved out by hand, making sure to elevate the head. It amazes me the way that people carved out these tombs by hand… technology sure has come a long way since then!
One last part to add about Kilkenny… can’t forget the street with 9 pubs in a row!! Leaving Kilkenny we still had a 2 hours bus ride ahead of us to get back to Dublin… and I’m pretty sure all 26 of us slept the whole way back.
After grabbing a bite to eat at Buskers in our hotel, we got ready and hit up Temple Bar to celebrate our last night in Dublin. David Browne was playing live that night. He broke the Guinness World Record at The Temple Bar for the longest marathon playing guitar 114 hours live June 12-17, 2011. So far our trip was pretty cool and rainy, but there was something different about the rain… it wasn’t depressing like rain can sometimes be. It doesn’t really downpour, it’s more just like light rain on and off. I guess that’s why the Irish are so happy.. they don’t have depressing rain 🙂