Ireland Day #2

We started our 2nd day in Ireland in Kilkenny. We went into town and took a trolley ride around this adorable town. It is a 9th century medieval city with narrow cobblestone streets, castles, an abbey or two, and a lot of beautiful flowers. Actually, there were so many lovely (pronounced Loov lee) flowers everywhere we went in Ireland. I had forgotten how the Europeans really pride themselves on how their towns look and their gardens (yards). Kilkenny also has the dubious distinction of being the hottest spot in Ireland. After three windblown, rainy, and cold days in Iceland, we were sweating. Layers in Ireland were a must. I felt like I always had a sweater and then a rain jacket along with me. This made me very thankful for not being on a tour bus or something like that where I had to carry all of this all the time. Having our own car was wonderful. We took a trolley ride around the city of Kilkenny and got to hear more about the city before we were on our way again to the Rock of Cashel. This is a huge medieval church were St. Patrick baptized the Irish king. There were graveyards and a fortress on a hill that overlooked pastures of cows and lambs on the countryside. We took a walking tour of the Cashel Rock Cathedral and then made our way to Killarney, where we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast for two nights.

Rich and I are both big sports fanatics, so we were paying close attention to the sports the youngsters were playing while we were traveling around Ireland. We also took the opportunity to ask locals questions as well. The top three sports in Ireland in the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) are #1 Gaelic football (which is nothing like anything I have ever seen. They can run and carry the ball as well as kick. The rules are quite extensive, but we stopped to stretch our legs and watched some practices and then looked up the rules when we had wi-fi at night.) #2 hurling (this looks like a death wish for all players involved. The injuries received from smacking this hard ball (sliotar) with a bat called a hurley or caman in Irish language, seem like they would be plentiful. It dates back to 1272 BC. The female game of hurling is called camogie. Google it….is INSANE.) #3 Rugby (we actually know this one pretty well!). I was able to get a few boys practicing hurling.

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