When we first began planning for this trip, we didn’t initially set an objective to be in Dublin, Ireland, (pics) for St. Patrick’s Day. But when we laid out our timeline and found ourselves ending up in Ireland in early to mid-March we figured it made sense to time our arrival into Dublin to coincide with this event.
Kilkenny (pics) looks like you would expect a small Irish village to look. The town sits alongside the River Nore with a well preserved 800 year old castle on one end and St. Canice’s Cathedral with its 10th century tower on the other. The town center is compact with tangled passageways, brightly colored old-fashioned shop fronts and centuries old pubs.
The city of Waterford (pics) celebrated its 1100th anniversary in 2014, making it Ireland’s oldest city. As such it has Ireland’s oldest complete building, Reginald’s Tower, built in the 12th century. With 10 to 12 foot thick walls, over the years it has served as an arsenal, a prison and a mint.
The city sits along the River Suir only about 10 miles from Ireland’s east coast. And of course, this is home to Waterford Crystal which has been making glass here since 1783. After more than 230 years, today they turn out around 60,000 pieces of crystal each year.
From Liverpool, we took to the air and flew on Ryanair from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Cork, Ireland. Cork (pics), in the south of Ireland in County Cork, is considered Ireland’s “second city”. It sits along the River Lee with the city center actually occupying an island with the river split around it. This island center is compact and very walkable with a mix of narrow pedestrian lanes.