While interning overseas I continue to make it a routine where I explore at least one day on the weekend. Sometimes when you’re in the office or on site all week, it might not seem as if you are living in a new country. Routine tends to trick my brain that I am in my home country but I am in IRELAND! Exploring entails a day full of walking around new cities/villages, trying local cuisine, going to a museum, or going to a must see local cultural site. 

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A couple of weekends ago, a colleague and I decided to head southwest of Dublin to county Kilkenny and county Tipperary. We first drove about an hour from Naas, co. Kildare to Kilkenny to see the sites. 

Our first stop was the Kilkenny Castle.  

Fun facts about Kilkenny Castle:

  • It was built by the 1st Earl of Pembroke, and it served primarily as a family residence until the middle of the 20th century.
  • The castle was built in 1195 as a way to control the connecting waterways around the River Nore. The castle had prime views of incoming ships.
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We spent some time walking the Medieval Mile, a mile long route from the Kilkenny Castle to St Canice’s Cathedral. The streets were colourful with shops, pubs, and old taverns. 

Fun facts about Kilkenny:

  • ‘Go on the cats’ is what you hear shouted at hurling matches. The name dates back centuries to when Dunmore Caves were occupied by feral cats. An old legend states two of these cats fought until they’d eaten each other alive.
  • James Hoban, from Kilkenny, was the architect behind designing the White House in Washington, D.C.
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We then drove about an hour into the next county, Tipperary, to see the Hore Abbey pictured above and the Rock of Cashel pictured below. Hore Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery built in 1270. The Rock of Cashel is also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock. Local legends say Rock of Cashel originated in a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock’s landing in Cashel.

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This day of visiting Kilkenny and county Tipperary was filled with sunshine, history, cool brisk air, and never ending green fields. Stay tuned for the next Ireland exploration.

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