Kilkenny is a medieval city, one of the first in Ireland. Kilkenny was built by the Norman’s who initially invaded from the Normandy region of Northern France. Kilkenny is also referred to as the medieval mile. The town is very quaint with its cobblestone streets and stone buildings. There were many brightly painted doors. It was in Kilkenny that I began taking pictures of the painted doors and we notice how several of the doors had a smaller door within the larger door. Many of these I was able to walk through easily. These little doors are called Wickets, and they were typically found in a large castle or gate. The smaller door or wicket was only able to fit one person at a time. Back in the medieval times, the larger double gates were designed to allow wagons and coaches to pass through. The purpose of the wicket was to avoid the main castle gate to be open for just one or two persons to walk through, using the wickets helped the guards to control better access to the castle with having one person enter at a time.
In a previous blog, I shared the information about the Irish driving on the left side of the road as do other countries in Europe. Mickey shared with us the history and reason why the Irish drive on the left side of the road.
The lush green of Ireland is due in part to a very temperate and mild climate. When we were there in March, the flowers had already come out in February. Ireland rarely sees temperature extremes. The south of Ireland’s weather can have temperatures in the eighties. While we were driving to the Dingle Peninsula, we did see snow falling along with beautiful blue sky. The grass is green all year long. Grass grows 300 days a year. In the east where Dublin is the average rainfall is 3 feet of rain per year and in the west near Dingle, the average is six feet of rain per year. With the grass growing all year, Ireland is all about livestock and grazing, from horses to sheep to cattle.
The stories, history, and folklore bring so much magic to a tour of Ireland. I went on a tour of Ireland last you, and our guide was Mickey Nolan. Mickey has been a tour guide been with Celtic Tours since 1988,and he was full of stories about everything Ireland; to the history and fun facts of the country today.
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