We left killarney and drove over to Cahir to see the castle, then we headed up to see the Rock of Cashel. Most impressive, and a wonderful graveyard (ok, a very interesting graveyard). The small cafes surrounding the rock tend to close early so bare that in mind. We ate in a small italian restuarant in town. I can't recall the name but it used to be a movie theater and had memorabilia all over the walls. We all found the food quite good. We left Cashel around 5:00 and headed down to Wexford. We were going to stay in a working farm cottage outside of New Ross. It was a long drive and we got there just as night fell. The cottage was cute but wayyyyy too far from anything so we decided to only stay one night.
As we left town we checked out the 'Famine Ship' in New Ross. This really puts into perspective the strenght and character of the people who made the voyage. I highly recommend it. I forgot to mention that we used our Heritage cards for both castles and the ship. The card has already paid for itself at this point.
The next morning we headed to Kilkenny. We stopped in Thomastown and had a fine lunch in a small cafe. We walked the town which was quaint. All the small towns we saw were quaint. It was like quaint, quainter, and quaintess. Each had its own charm, personality, and unique stores.
We got to Kilkenny around 5:00 and stayed at the Kilford Arms Hotel which is located right in town center. Everythig was in walking distance and it was well priced at 45e per room. the rooms were good and I loved that they had a fan. That night, and part of the next day, we did a walking tour (starts in the tourist office on the main drag), visited Kilkenny Castle, the art center across the street, and the shopping district. We later went out to a pub to hear music. We had heard they wouldn't begin until late so we went at 8:30, they stopped at 9:00 telling us they had began at 7:00. We enjoyed Kilkenny alot and had we the time, we would have spend another day
Mid-way through the day we headed over towards New Grange. I had tried for weeks to book a reservation on the Mary Gibbons tour but to no avail. We spent the night in Trim, right across the street from Trim Castle. I can't recall the hotels name but it was quite modern, included breakfast, and cost about $85e. We had balconies and to witness the sun coming up behind the castle was a sight.
We left for New Grange early as I had heard the tours fill quickly. We arrived around 9:45 and the reception center was already packed, and this was not tourist season. Since we had literally just missed the tour we had an hour wait and toured the displays.
Again, we used our Heritage card. We boarded the shuttle for a quick ride to the site, heard a brief history and entered the chamber. I have to say that I thought it would be much larger than it was, but still it was fascinating. It was mentioned that it could possibly be closed in the future due to contamination from humans visiting, I mention this simply so that if people are thinking of going, go now.