A Day Trip to Kilkenny
Kilkenny was a town we had not yet been to, so with Ros here, we did a day trip on the train, which got us there in about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Dublin’s Heuston station. The town, sitting astride the river Nore, is an attractive place, obviously doing well out of tourists. We arrived just on lunch time so had a delicious light lunch (did we have a glass of wine? Yes, I think we did) at Matt the Miller’s, a pub over four levels alongside the river.
The focal point of Kilkenny is the 13th century castle which until 1967 was the home of the Butler family for over 600 years. (Some of Pip’s cousins are Butlers – their name, not their job – and they are probably descendants.) It has been well-preserved and we spent a couple of delightful hours exploring it. It is set in extensive and well-manicured grounds – I wouldn’t want to mow the lawns.
I remember when very young being told off by my mother – my brother and I were “fighting like a couple of Kilkenny cats”. I kept a wary eye out in the town but found out that the cats in question were just memories from a long-distant past. The story is that two Kilkenny cats fought so fiercely that when the fight was over, only their tails remained. It seems a peculiarly Irish story, kept alive with this limerick:
- There once were two cats of Kilkenny
Each thought there was one cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
Till (excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails)
Instead of two cats there weren’t any!