Ireland: Kilkenny and Carlow

We spent our last morning in the south exploring Kilkenny and Carlow before dropping our friends off at Dublin airport and heading north to spend a few days with relatives in North Antrim. Kilkenny has a lot of history with a medieval mile starting at the castle. The castle dates from 1192 having been constructed on the site of an earlier wooden structure but has been remodelled several times, most recently by the Butler family.

We did not tour inside but walked around the park surrounding the castle and the garden around the Dower House.


The park was busy with the Saturday Fun Run so we walked over to the Castle Yard which hosts the Design Centre and several craft studios. One display in the Design Centre Gallery called ‘Lustre’ was of jewellery produced by students based on the Faberge egg concept. They explored this theme and produce their own works encased in the egg. I also looked at some copper plate etchings as this is something I have planned to do at some point.

We looked in at some of the studios and found some ceramics we liked. After a coffee in the restaurant upstairs it was time to leave the tourists gathering outside the castle and return to the hotel for a cocktail (non-drivers only) and to digest the Irish Times before beginning our drive northeast to Carlow.

This is another town I had visited many years ago while working but I could remember little about it. Just as we were getting out of the car I met an elderly gentleman walking up the hill who paused just to take a breath. He told me that he was 88 and knew everything that there was to know about Carlow. He was keen to tell me that the river used to be bigger and have ‘really big’ boats on it. Now rowing seems to be the main waterborne activity. We walked over to the ruined castle

and then along the river path to the Millennium Bridge. Swans and a rook were keen to befriend us in case we had any food for them.


In the park ‘Bridging’ an installation containing works by teenagers on a 14-week project exploring life as a teenager in Carlow was on display.

This is one of the panels.

Carlow does have an art institute and walking back to the car, we passed some street art entitled ‘Wall R Us: is it a wall or is it us?’.

Having dropped our friends off at the airport we continued on the motorway to the border. Just north of Dublin we noted that we had driven 700 miles on this trip so far. There were still tractors on the motorway and the six-lane road it becomes across the border. Summer seemed to be ending as we made our way to North Antrim in rain. Fortunately this did not last and the sun and blue skies returned for the remainder of our trip.

Central Park and the Met

We are definitely on Eastern Time now and no longer first down for breakfast but woke with enough time for a cup of tea before heading downstairs. If I thought that this was going to be peaceful I was mistaken as James discovered that he could watch English football on the TV over here. There is no escape as I was confronted with Chelsea v Liverpool. A little later, heading out to the Met via Central Park and only a block from our hotel came across the Hell’s Kitchen flea market. Had I not been in decluttering mode at home, I am sure I would have discovered lots of goodies.
Hell's Kitchen flea market 6 Mar 2016 (1 of 1)
Walking through Central Park, still in the grip of winter, we did see some wildlife.
Sparrow in yew tree Central Park 6 Mar 2016 (1 of 1)
Squirrell Central Park 6 Mar 2016 (1 of 1)
Anna Vaughan Hyatt Huntinton's Jaguar Central Park 6 Mar 2016 (1 of 1)
The Met is so full of good things, we had to be selective so focussed on American art and furniture then prints and photography. I love Arts & Crafts stuff and am exploring printing so enjoyed these sections very much.
Arts & Crafts lamp Met 6 Mar 2016 (1 of 1)
Jasper Johns Alphabet Met 6 Mar 2016 (1 of 1)
In the museum store I found a small book on snowflakes, written by a physicist.It’s ironic that back in the UK there is enough snow for the first time this winter to enable me to try out macro-photography of snowflakes, but I am on the other side of the Atlantic. Emerging from the Met the sky was now blue and I was overjoyed to find a Strand Books stall and a few more books were purchased.
Central Park 6 Mar 2016 (1 of 1)