After three years, I visited once again probably the most Irish town on the island, Kilkenny. I’ve been here several times, but this time we discovered new places and I took tons of photos for you!
Kilkenny is located inland and is known as the city of hurlers. Hurling is the Irish national sport and Kilkenny has won it the most times (36 times). Apart from hurling, Kilkenny boasts a beautiful castle and, most of all, in my humble opinion, a cute town.
My mum and I planned the trip on June 6, Sunday. It was the first time since the pandemic that we went somewhere by public transport. However, we risked it. Of course we had masks with us (one extra for replacement) and disinfection. It’s been two weeks and I can confirm that we didn’t bring anything with us (except for great experiences, postcards and rainbow Twizzlers hehe).
It was a terrible heat that day, but we probably got the most on the way there, because when it arrived in Kilkenny it got cloudy and you can also see it in the photos. If you happen to be in Waterford or Kilkenny and want to go to another city, be sure to use the Dublin Coach, which will take you for a €10 return and take about 40 minutes. In my opinion, currently the best offer on the market.
We arrived in the city before noon and slowly went on a tour of the city. There weren’t many people anywhere yet, because most of the shops were closed. But a period-dressed busker was already sitting in one of the alleys, and I still don’t know if she was smiling into my lens or smiling at something that people passing by were saying, but that was the perfect moment.
I had several places noted down for that day that I wanted to see and take pictures of. In addition to the castle from certain angles, I also hoped for an umbrella alley and a view from a local cathedral (we were not lucky in the end, but about that later). With umbrellas, I didn’t know what it would be like, because they are hung in the local shopping center, and according to Google, it is usually closed on Sundays. However, according to the photos, it was still supposed to be passable, so I definitely had hope. Eventually we found out that the shopping center was open and I managed to take a few photos before people started pouring into it.
We went from the center to the lookout, because I really wanted to make sure that they were closed, and we had never been to the cathedral before. I was quite upset, because the view from the height of Kilkenny must be amazing. Grounds around St. Canice Cathedral and the Round Tower were open, so we went to look inside. We weren’t the only ones who thought of it, and even though the cathedral was supposed to be closed, we managed to get in through the open door. We just wanted to enjoy the insides quickly and not bother anyone but we had no idea what awaited us. At one point, one of the other tourists probably asked the priest (?) something about the pipe organ, and suddenly the young guy enthusiastically started playing for us and showing how high and low this musical instrument can go and how wonderful it sounds in such a cathedral. It was something for a concert enthusiast like me. I’m adding a cathedral concert to my concert bucket list. The lady in charge was not so excited about us being there, but she gave us an extra two minutes and then the whole group was kicked out of the cathedral. But the experience was indescribable.
From here we went back to the city and decided to exchange the slowly exploring center for nature and look at the so-called Canal walk just below the castle. In the end, about two kilometers of nature path emerged from it, and that’s exactly what my mother and I needed that day. I definitely recommend adding it to your itinerary once you visit Kilkenny. It is also the best place where you will meet the most beautiful Kilkenny dogs! In addition, there is no noise coming from the town, but only singing birds, so you really relax.
Eventually we walked back through the castle park and decided it was time for lunch. We went to buy a sandwich in the city and ate it in the park near the castle, where it was already quite crowded at that time (the park is huge, but the grass right in front of the castle is always full of people). We didn’t go to any restaurants or anything to eat, because it was the day before the restrictions were about to ease and restaurants and cafes were only open to take away, which we weren’t interested in. We sat on a bench for a while and in the end we went to visit the rest of the churches on this side of town and take a picture of the castle from the bridge before taking the bus back home.
On the way from the castle, a very nice thing happened to me. We were walking under the linden trees and their juice landed on my lens, so I walked to another part of the pathway where were no trees, put things on the ground and started to clean the lens so that the spot would not appear in future photos. It was cloudy that day, but it was quite warm and not only people but also bikers were everywhere. Suddenly an older biker came to me and immediately asked me what kind of camera I had and told me which cameras he owns We talked for less than five minutes, but I was very pleased. Too bad he didn’t offer me a ride on his Kawasaki haha
After this interaction, we really went to churches. There were two of them I wanted to visit – Dominican Black Abbey and Saint Mary Roman Catholic Cathedral. Both were open and open to the public. So we got into both of them and I was surprised – the windows played in all colors. The lady in charge of the Dominican Church stopped us and began to tell us the history of the place and how Oliver Cromwell slept in it and conquered Kilkenny by shot a hole from a cannon into the local castle.
After this historic passage, it was only time for photos of the castle from the iconic bridge and then we went home. I know we still haven’t seen everything in the city. And I was a little disappointed about that one big white cloud over the whole city, because the photos were really hard to edit. However, I can only recommend Kilkenny – you will find everything here: Irish feels, history, shops and beautiful nature.