Crafting Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle’s lawn was full of crafts people last weekend.  They demonstrated traditional building methods for visitors to see. I’ve included photos of a man operating a pole lathe and one of a man who thatches roofs.

Bustling, Breathtaking Kilkenny

Here’s a view from the Kilkenny bridge.  I took this on our September visit, but it was every bit as beautiful when I visited with Mom last weekend.

Introducing Burnchurch Castle

We borrowed the keys to this castle and got to explore on our own — thank you Kilkenny Office of Public Works!

More stories and videos of Burnchurch Castle to come, as soon as I figure out how to rotate the image for WordPress….

Train-ing for Westport

Headed west and enjoying all the train has to offer.  (This photo also marks my discovery of the panorama feature on my iPhone.)

Arriving at Heuston Station this morning. I arrived by tram. Others by foot, bike, car, and bus. Dublin is full of double deckers!

Few Americans have ever ridden a train.  That’s so unfortunate.  But it’s because, by the time we pay the costs to purchase, maintain, and insure an automobile (and pay taxes to build and repair roads), there’s not much left for train tickets.

And in the States, one must have an auto to get by. That’s true in almost every place.  Except New York City (although my sister feels the need to have one even there).

That’s a shame because train travel is amazing!  So comfortable and convenient….

I awoke early this morning to catch my 7:30 AM train to Westport.  I’m making the trek, as so many people from all around Ireland do, to see the holistic (and mercury-free) dentist there.  She scheduled me so that I can take the train from Dublin and back in the same day.  So, I’m traveling coast-to-coast again — headed back to County Mayo for the day. Hoping to find a comprehensive solution to my dental problem.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying beautiful views, reading, and the use of free wi-fi, on-board restrooms, and snack cart service offered by Irish Rail. You can’t get any of these from a car!  Yes, you can see there’s a view from the car, but you have to watch the road….

It’s so simple: I retrieved my pre-booked ticket from the machine…

…then waited for the board to show what platform to go to…

..and then found my reserved seat, to enjoy the ride.  And what a ride! Watching history fly past… I’m so in awe of the majesty of this land.