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JULY 28, 2010

Kilkenny Castle and beyond

View from Kilkenny CastleNot far from our B&B is the Kilkenny Castle, a pretty impressive structure that dates back to about the year 1200.

Not sure why we didn't bother to take the official tour, but we did walk around the grounds.

Here's a view from inside the castle, taken during the intermission of an Irish song and dance performance that we went to one night.

Statue outside Kilkenny CastleThe Roman-style sculpture outside one of the castle's round towers seemed a tad out of place. The castle website explains:

Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have been made to the fabric of the building, making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles.

Yup. Sure seems that way. But an impressive structure nonetheless. In other countries we've visited, many castles look like gigantic ornate houses rather than the hulking stone towers and walls we Americans often associate with castles. Kilkenny definitely looks like a castle.

Fancy sandwichWhat I'd call "traditional" Irish food seemed pretty ordinary, nothing memorable except for black pudding.

We did have a couple of very interesting lunch items like this chicken, brie and cranberry relish sandwich. The colorful side dishes filled a void in fresh vegetables we'd been experiencing.

The nearby Dunmore Caves weren't spectacular, but it was still fun to clamber over the slick rocks to see stalactites and stalagmites.

Our guide told us a story about how in one part of the cave, fairies were supposed to move rocks around at night. He seemed a little dubious. He thought it more likely that water did it. That's kind of disappointing.

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