About three weeks ago, I went to Kilkenny, Ireland, with my lovely lovely friend Esther. It was a wonderful experience, so I want to share some of it with you!
It was raining the whole weekend. Well, not so much on Saturday but, Sunday all day (Like, it never stopped one minute, I swear! Light rain but with a very consistent flow. haha). Which we had expected and which, honestly, didn’t keep us from having fun.
We stayed in a hostel (which wasn’t an amazing experience in itself but there was a dog so whatever) and it was pretty fun. It had been a while since my last sleepover with a friend
(although that technically wasn’t one) and man, I missed the silly talk and the laughing… But that was only for the night and for lunch. The rest of the time, obviously, we were on different adventures!
The big lines of what we did:
- Visit the Rothe house and its garden
- The Smithwicks experience! (yummy)
- Walk around in the Butler house garden + be astonished by their fancy toilets which I did not dare use btw
- Go on a high quality ghost tour!!!
- Sleep terribly in our dorm room 😛
- Visit the Kilkenny Castle and garden + check out the art gallery
- Awkwardly walk in St. Mary’s cathedral and sit so I could rest my legs
- Walk past St Canice’s cathedral and meet a cat, a black cat in the graveyard
- Visit the (spooky) Medevial Mile Museum
I’m not gonna do an exhaustive account of this whole adventure, obviously, I’m trying to watch my time! Instead, I’ll just tell you about the Rothe house, Smithwicks and the ghost tour which were my favorite experiences! These were the most enjoyable ones to me. I learned things from every other and it was entertaining and all, but it didn’t set off a spark in me like these three did.
The Rothe house and garden
It was literally across from the street of our hostel. So, easy peasy first stop.
The Rothe house was, hmm, pretty creepy actually. But there was so much to see, like that humongous deer head above the fireplace:
If I recall, it’s actually from an extinct species which disappeared a long long time ago. It is massive. And creepy. But I LOVED IT. They used to have the whole skeleton displayed but for conservation purposes, it was taken out of the house and put… some place else. Sorry, my memory of facts is always very vague… Ha ha!
But, honestly, aside from all the history and creaking floorboards, what got my whole heart was the garden and its numerous WOODEN DEER STATUES.
I’m pretty sure I let out a high-pitched scream when I saw the first deer. I was so freaking happy once I realized there were so many more of them!! They were everywhere and they were beautiful!! I could not believe my eyes! I took pictures! Would’ve taken selfies with all of them but then the rain caught up with us so we kinda rushed through the end. It was b-e-a-utiful! ❤
Here are a few more pictures of what was to be found in this house (which was, if I’m not mistaken, actually three houses?). From the hilarious tapestries to the creepy dresses and mannequins, including dog bones and an amazing candle/chandelier(?).
Just a special mention for this plate with these beautiful words engraved in it:
Dearest Earth and dearest Sun, thanks for all that you have done. Earth who gave to us this food. Sun who made it ripe and good.
The Smithwicks Experience
(right across from the street once again hehe)
Then, the Smithwicks experience… What can I say? Our guide, Simon, was literally the best guide I’ve ever had my whole existence! There was something very captivating about him and I swear I actually learned so much about the making of their ales and others, lots of things I had no clue about. He was lovely!
We were shown short films, some machines and lots of barley! We got to taste some wort (disappointingly bland for something with a high sugar content!) and smell different hops. And then, obviously, in the end, we got to taste some of their ale. We bought upgrade tickets so we got to taste all three and man…
I fell in love with the Smithwicks ales, I must confess. They’re delicious. My most favorite had to be the pale ale because you can really taste the flower in it. But even the red ale, as “basic” as it is, was much more than any other beer that I had in the past. I loved it so much that I bought a shirt to proudly wear!
It was a very basic experience but tasty and like I said, the guide made all the difference. ❤
Kilkenny Ghost Tour
Now, I’ll tell you a little bit about this ghost tour…
But first, let me just mention how poor Esther and I had our private space violated by a very drunk lad while she was sipping on her ice water and I, on my red Smithwicks(*wink wink*).
We were just fooling around with snapchat filters like one does, and one of the guys just got in the frame. And then, well, you know, the endless chitchat of a very drunk lad. I wasn’t sure if I had to laugh or feel for him; so I did both. Like, big bummer… Do guys just really think life is a fucking buffet and they can just come and pick whatever they want like? They weren’t exactly the terrible type of drunk dudes in a bar but, still, you know, it never feels good. Rude intrusion and the persistence of the pest..!
But anyway, our night just got turned around when we met our guide.
Caroll, was his name if I recall. (But really, it probably wasn’t??..) We walked to him, only to find out that the tour would consist of only the three of us (what a surprise…). Of course we didn’t mind it and I think that actually made the whole night better. Ever since our Titanic experience in Cobh, I tend to get Bill Withers’ song “Just the two of us” stuck in my head whenever we do anything! Ha ha.
Caroll was an amazing story teller and also such a nice guy. We walked around the city learning about witches and banshees, and getting to know each other. The stories were chilling and the company was top quality. I am so glad it was just the two of us, we had an amazing time!
The city was beautiful but, honestly, not as attractive to me as Cobh is. It’s lovely but I wouldn’t live there. As a matter of fact, by the end of the second day I was pretty sick of it and just wanted to go back to my sweet Cork! There’s not too much to see but what’s there is worth the trip. Pieces of history, art and heebie-jeebies to be savoured!
It was a wonderful experience, and, I have to say, so far, it has been my most wonderful travelling experience! I made some good memories guys! Yay!! 😀
As you might have already noticed, Dee was indeed with us in Kilkenny! I wanted to bring him with us in Cobh but, sadly, in my hurry I must’ve forgotten him. I was really happy to have him around this time! Esther got me Dee last Christmas and he is like our little mascot almost so I want to make sure he comes on all our adventures from now on!
Here’s a little slideshow of Dee in various places for you to enjoy! ❤
Now, I’d just like to take a moment to acknowledge how truthfully thankful I am for Esther because, just like pretty much everything happening to me ever since I set foot in Cork, she’s one of those things that I thought I’d never get to know (again). I’ve been through disastrous friendships these past years and my life has definitely been all over the place, mostly down(ever since the beginning of me lolz). And even my first try at friendship here didn’t go so well. But somehow, I still held on to a bit of hope and, by the most amazing magic, Esther and I got together.
Having her by my side during this trip made everything worth it, from walking in the rain with sore legs to enduring a stupid drunk dude in a bar and the two hours and a half bus rides. I mean, she literally made me so happy… Like!
I can’t silence that voice in the back of my mind that keeps whispering “what if it all ends now? what if she too leaves? what if it’s the only way and she doesn’t care as much as you?”. I can’t silence it. But I don’t let it stop me from enjoying it; while it lasts. This whole friendship thing feels very new to me. She makes me happy and treats me like a person, she cheers me up and stops me when I get too stupid and we grab coffees together, we go on adventures together and we… We’re friends. The real kind. The good kind. ❤
We can be happy together, miserable together, silly and also very serious. I’m comfortable around you. You make me feel happier, stronger and God, I swear, I am so fucking thankful. I am glad that I survived long enough to meet you, Esther. Here’s to us! And here’s to more of us! ❤
P.S.: Can’t believe I almost forgot to mention that! While we were walking in the graveyard of St. Mary’s cathedral, we crossed paths with a black cat. Like…. Wow. It was raining and we were in a graveyard and he just came. At first I was like “spooky!”. Especially since it was on Sunday morning, after our ghost tour the night before! But of course, first instinct was still to try and pet him. He was just at home out there. He was like “move away, peasants” but then he gave in. He didn’t really care for my caresses. He was trying to catch the crows. The big black crows just being crows in a graveyard. Perfect scenery! Ha ha ha