Monday, March 28, 2016

Irish Pubs and Folklore 2016 Day 2 Dublin to Medieval Kilkenny #cietours #ireland #TourismIreland #mycietour #Guinness

Ireland 2016
CIE Tour-Irish Pubs and Folklore
March 19-26, 2016

Sunday March 20 Dublin to Kilkenny
During the night Saturday, we woke up around 10 p.m. Jay went down to the bar for a beer, he said it was hugely crowded but the hallways were extremely quiet. We finally got back to sleep and slept like the dead! Up at 6 a.m., breakfast at 7 a.m.

Nice breakfast in the Ballsbridge: fried tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, toast, wild bacon (almost like Canadian bacon) cheeses, fruit but no black or white pudding :-{

Not much a view at this hotel but the room was quiet and comfortable-double bed with a single. The shower was good and very hot.
A lot of the hotels that popped up during the Celtic Tiger boom are being torn down and apartments are being built in their place. The locals say (about the Great Recession of 2008) "when America caught a cold, Ireland got pneumonia."

Our bags are packed and out the door at 7:15 a.m., we are to be on the bus for 8:45 a.m. We get to the lobby and holy cow there are a lot of people on tour with us. 46 to be exact! We've never been with such a large group before. The CIE tours assign seats on the bus and we do the math-we'll never get to the front of the bus before week's end. Oh well.

We pull up to Guinness Storehouse at St. James Gate; the most visited attraction in Ireland with Cliffs of Moher coming in second. On March 18, 2016 they say 10,000 visitors hit Guinness-their best day ever. For us we arrive at 9:20 and they aren't even open yet. We gather in the lobby and wait for the 9:30 opening. We've been on the self-guided tour before so we breeze through and head up to the Gravity Bar with it's 360 views of Dublin. We can see Croke Park where Bruce Springsteen will be playing in May.

Did you know the color of Guinness is not brown but ruby red?

Back on the bus, Dennis tells us a bit about the Irish economy. Their number one industry is pharmaceuticals, two-technology, three-tourism and four-agriculture, food, beer.

Leaving Dublin (Áth Cliath) we make our way to Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh-Chuch of Chainnigh). Both are in the Province of Leinster. County Kilkenny has a population of about 95,000, Kilkenny about 25,000. Famous places include the Kilkenny Castle, Rothe House and Black Abbey.


Kilkenny is the smallest city in Ireland and it's also a medieval city. Kilkenny was a brewing center back in the 17th century. Smithwick's (pronounced Smit-icks) has a visitors center but they brew off site now.

Our coach arrives at the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel on Ormonde Street; our rooms aren't ready so we head off to lunch in town.

We find a cute pub on a side street- The Rafter Dempsey's
We both get their Fish and Chips-very yummy. Heading back to the hotel we meet up with Pat, our guide for the afternoon. He's very entertaining, one might say goofy. But he seems knowledgeable of the town and it's history and folklore, including the tale of the Kyteler's Inn "witch."

We end up at Smithwick's for a brewery tour but this one is an "Experience" as the beer is no longer made at this facility.
  
They even have a hugely guarded vault with their proprietary yeast culture in it.


At the end of the tour you get to try three of their beers. Not my cup of tea. If I drink beer it's dark. But folks seemed to enjoy them.

Back at the hotel we freshen up for a 7 p.m. included dinner. I had melson, salmon and profiteroles; Jay had melon, chicken and cheesecake. Off to bed, bags outside our Room 315 for 7 a.m. Monday.

We'll be off for Killarney by way of Waterford and the obligatory stops at House of Waterford Crystal and Blarney Castle; we'll pass through Count Cork to the International Hotel right in the center of town.

More images from Guinness and Kilkenny: https://photosbynanci.smugmug.com/Ireland-2016/GuinnesstoKilkenny/

Trip videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKa6O-DUsAoC5JGBG1rFic2X6w81XvLwp 

More Travel images: http://photosbynanci.smugmug.com/Website-Assets/Site-Pages/International-Travel

Irish Pubs and Folklore
CIE Tours 2016
Day 2 March 20 Dublin, Guinness Storehouse, Medieval Kilkenny
March 19-26, 2016
Copyright ©2016 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy