For our second night in Dublin we took a walk down Grafton Street and tried to find some grub. We ended up eating at a New Zealand burger place (we had no idea it was a Kiwi burger joint beforehand) and drank some New Zealand beers. Still tried to figure out the tipping customs, because we’ve been told so many things…but I think we settled on a reasonable 10% in restaurants. Back to the hotel in for an early night.
We woke up, checked out of our hotel in Dublin where they held our luggage for us to pick up later, and hopped on the bus to make full use of our passes and find some place for breakfast. Matt and I had saw on one of our maps a crepe restaurant (and I love crepes!!) so we decided to eat there and have some coffee and tea. After that we hopped back on the bus and took a guided circle tour around Dublin, making sure we didn’t miss any stops along the way we may have overlooked on the previous day. We then went back to our hotel, grabbed our luggage and headed for the airport to pick up or rental car, thus ending our stay in the city of Dublin.
After signing our life away (and many euros) for the rental car and a pay-as-you-go cell phone, Matt got to experience driving on the left firsthand. The freeways were a breeze, but the roundabouts were tricky.
We drove to county Wicklow and stopped at the Powerscourt House and Gardens. We took a walk through the grounds in which the scenery was magnificent. I can only imagine the kind of family that lived there previously.
Next up was Alana’s first left hand driving experience. The bulk of that drive was freeway, so it wasn’t that tricky but he GPS led us astray a couple of times, which resulted in some unnecessary roundabouts and backtracking. We eventually made it to our destination for the day and overnight stay: Kilkenny. Kilkenny is a small medieval town where Smithwicks is brewed. We found one of the B&B’s from our travel book right away and they had a vacancy for us. The older gentleman that greeted the door very much fit in with the name and ambiance of the B&B; Butler House. The hotel is right behind Kilkenny castle, and our room is just wonderful.
After bringing up our things we were starving by that point, so we ate at one of the restaurants the caretaker of Butler House recommended, called Zuni. It was a pretty upscale little restaurant for such a small town, and we definitely felt a bit out of place in our jeans, t’s and merrell hiking shoes. The food was excellent and the cappuccino too. Then we walked down to the River Nore, where the caretaker had recommended a pub to visit. The pub was called Tynan’s Bridge House, and it’s the oldest pub in Kilkenny. It was once a grocery store and pharmacy, and it still had some of the old spice drawers and scales. There was live music (mostly classic rock…Johnny Cash, Queen…etc.etc.)
So now we’re back at Butler House staying for the night, and tomorrow will be another adventure checking out Kilkenny castle and beyond.
Alana & Matt