Brownshill Dolmen, Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice's Cathedral and Jerpoint Abbey - May 23rd, 2012

Trooperstown B&B is owned by the same people who own the Wicklow Heather restaurant. So when we woke up at Trooperstown Bed and Breakfast, we had to drive to Wicklow Heather to get our breakfast. It was a big breakfast - good thing, because we had a big day planned.

Our first stop was the Browns Hill Portal Tomb. Ireland is covered with Megalithic tombs, and we were interested in seeing as many as we could. Fortunately, Browns Hill Portal Tomb has a prominent sign, otherwise we never would have found it out in the middle of a field of rapeseed.

We drove into the small city of Kilkenny to visit their castle. It used to be a high walled medieval fortress, but was later converted into an opulent Renaissance mansion. It had fallen into ruin, inside they had pictures showing the reconstruction - entire walls and halls of rotting wood had been ripped away and replaced. Then furniture from the proper period was installed. I liked some of the ornate staircases - too bad the castle did not allow any interior photography.

At the other end of Kilkenny is St. Canice's Cathedral. We took another self guided tour inside there. Ireland of course has extensive religious buildings, as we had already seen at Glendalough, and we see a whole lot more during the remainder of our trip. In fact, our final stop of the day was another religious site - Jerpoint Abbey. At Jerpoint we took a guided tour, and learned a lot about abbeys - their layout, functions and organization. This information allowed us to better understand some of the other abbeys we saw later - such as Muckross, Cong and Boyle.

We ended our day at Dunroven Bed and Breakfast just outside of Waterford.

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Browns Hill Portal Tomb

Kilkenny Castle

St. Canice's Cathedral

Jerpoint Abbey