Ireland Day 7 - In and Around Kilkenny

From our 2-day home base in Graiguenamanagh, we headed northwest to Dunmore Cave. This was not on my initial list of things to do, but having spent a year preparing for this trip, I was ready just in case our plans changed. As Dwight Eisenhower said, plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

We rolled into a parking lot warning us to lock our car because of thieves lurking waiting to steal all our stuff. Dunmore must be a magnet for Irish thieves. I only saw cows, not thieves, and all our belongings were still in our car when we returned. BUT, we did follow the advice of the helpful signs. Otherwise, who knows what could have happened.

The Irish Heritage card came to rescue again and saved us a few Euros. We were sat in front of a TV to watch a video about the geology and history of the cave before descending into the dark, damp depths. Not only were there interesting formations, there was even a Viking massacre! Vikings make everything more interesting.

In 928 AD, Viking arrived for a little bit of Viking fun (raiding, pillaging, Parcheesi - that sort of things). While the Irish menfolk were aboveground getting massacred, the women and children fled into the cave to escape the unpleasantness. The Viking, bad folks that they were, decided to smoke out the hiding people, and the victims died of asphyxiation deep in the cave. Not cool, Vikings.

After showing us all kinds of interesting formations, we were led to the deepest part of the cave we were allowed to visit. Once there, the guide turned off the lights so we could experience how dark the cave is. This is about what it looked like:

Now you know.

After ascending the steps back up the top, we had lunch at the excellent cafeteria at the visitors center. If you call ahead, you can have tea and cakes, which looked great. But as we didn't know about them, and didn't call ahead, we had to make do with sandwiches, which were still pretty good.

The rest of our afternoon was spent in Kilkenny. This is a wonderful little city, the problem being that it was so wonderful everyone else knew how wonderful it is, and they all go there. This said, we still had a wonderful time wandering around the city. And this is the last time I say "wonderful" in this post.