Sunday, November 06, 2011

Day 5: Plans Gone Awry

Sixt Ireland

This was the place where I had made my car rental reservation. This was the news that I did not hear until I arrived at the rental location to pick up my car.

There was one guy left at the desk, on temporary assignment by the receivership until the last of the rentals are dropped off, and then he goes, too. He helped me make an arrangement over at Eurocar, which was nice of him considering he had just been fired. Of course, the new rental is more expensive and required a taxi-ride to get there. I plan on writing Sixt about it after I drop off the car.

That set me back about an hour.


I'd driven on the left side of the road in Scotland, so I wasn't nervous about taking the car out. Having the driver's seat on the wrong side is a constant reminder. I just drive slowly.

I planned my route to avoid major highways, which I thought would let me see more of "real Ireland". According to Google maps, my "blue highway" route was still only supposed to take two hours to get to Kilkenny, but it ended up taking me four. Combine that with my late start and my day was pretty much shot.

As far as seeing "real Ireland", I suppose I did see a little more, but really, except for a few rural fences and farms, a small lake, and a crafts village at a gas stop, there's not much real to see between Dublin and Kilkenny. Here's a shot of the lake.

Apparently, swimming is not allowed, but falling in is


Kilkenny is noted for is castle and cathedral and a few smaller buildings. I tried to avoid them all, but everyone said I had to go look at the castle, so I went and looked at the castle (from the outside). It's a castle. History to be found on Wikipedia.

Meanwhile, Kilkenny has a number of rambling streets, some of them half-pedestrian, stuffed with shops with antiques or local crafts. These were nice. I picked up some earrings and a necklace for Tal.

Back street in Kilkenny
There are also malls and the usual stuff. I stayed only an hour. I could have stayed longer, if it wasn't already getting dark.

Sunny Weather

Speaking of ... things that have to do with the sky, I have had only lovely, sunny weather since last Thursday's drizzle.

Real Irish Music

I'm staying in Clonmel. My B&B host directed me to a pub three km out of town when I asked him about music. This was the real deal; no tourists, occupied by mostly the older folks. There were four people playing accordion, one person on penny whistle, and two or three people on bodhran. On each song, one or two of the older couples got up to dance (usually waltz).

I struck up a conversation with two senior ladies, and the next thing I know one of the bodhran players (2nd from the right) ropes me in for an Irish dance: something like a contra-dance, but simpler.

After the dance, which I performed well enough, they invited me to  sit at the table with them.


Nadine said...

Hard to believe about the car rental place. So you should be using up all your travel bad luck there before you get to the states. And you're getting less rain than we are.

Pawnstar said...

Problems aside, it sounds like you've really been getting into the Irish spirit. And the bonus is the weather has been on your side too.