The 3rd Week: Kilkenny not Killarney





Back for another week! This week, we took the train to Kilkenny not Killarney. I keep getting the two mixed up, so that’s why I making sure I separate them in my head. Anyway, we took the Irish Rail which was very nice and efficient. I had never taken it before, but it was very easy to navigate which was good. After arriving in Kilkenny around 10 AM we went to go visit Kilkenny Castle. I should mention I’ve never been in a castle before, so I’ve only seen them in the media. But it was so much cooler to see one in person, and it was absolutely huge. We were only able to go on one side of the castle, because the other side was for reserved parties and gatherings. But, it was still very worthwhile to see. They of course had the grand staircases, beautiful tapestries, and a hall just for art. This castle is over 800 years old, and has a wide expanse of gardens as well. It was gorgeous. After visiting the castle, we went on a Smithwicks brewery tour. Smithwicks is a classic Irish ale you can find on tap mostly anywhere in Ireland. They gave us a brief history of it and what goes into the Irish ale. Which was intriguing, because when they first started the business they were under Penal Law so the Irish couldn’t own businesses. So, the Smithwicks had to partner up with someone of English descent so they could have a brewery. Even so, they only served in their local community and didn’t have a wide reach. Finally, about a hundred or so years later, they were able to take control of their business and weren’t required to have an English owner. Then the Smithwicks started expanding and now serve all of Ireland and other countries as well. I thought that was interesting how they had to have someone who was English in order to sell their ale. Either way, we got that history and then we were taught about what was in the beverage. The drink mainly consist of malted barley and hops, and we were able to try a free pint at the end of our tour. For me, I liked this ale better than most beers. And now, it is my go to when going out to pubs. After the brewery we went and climbed a round tower which was slightly interesting with a pint of ale in me. However, we were very safe and did not stumble or fall and it was another a beautiful sight on top of the tower as we could see the whole of Kilkenny. At this point, we went back to the train because it was getting around to dinner time, and we had some Italian food. It was solid day trip, and I would recommend it because it isn’t very far from Dublin either.