Monday, November 9, 2015

South Ireland Day 1: A day in Kinsale Ireland

The morning following the Dublin Marathon, my husband Gabe and I said goodbye to to the rest of the ASICS team who headed for the NYC Marathon. While I was a tad sad not to be following suit, my legs and body were thankful for 5 more days of site seeing and relaxation.

We started our South Ireland driving tour tour in Kinsale, a quaint fisherman town outside of Cork. We had intended on visiting Cork on our way into Kinsale, since we had to drive through it but things didn't work out as planned.

If you plan on renting a car in Ireland, give yourself far more time to get adjusted to driving on the wrong side of the road and on the opposite side of the car. There were times I honestly thought we would wreck. Gabe's biggest fear going into this was shifting with your left hand. However, the roads are tiny (two way roads there are the size of our one way roads) and locals drive like lunatics. 
We did not get into Kinsale until nightfall. We stayed at waterfront hotel called Trident Hotel. Our room was lovely and overlooking the harbor - except the lifts were down. What's the worst thing you can tell someone the day after running a marathon? You have to walk up 4 flights of stairs - with your luggage. I thought my legs were going to fall off.
The hotel staff was very apologetic about the lift situation. I preferred the view over a lower room and had to tell myself to suck it up buttercup. Between the view and the ginormous bathtub in our room, I was perfectly fine.
view from our window, pardon the glare
Kinsale is known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland and is considered to be a foodie town. Sadly, by the time we got into town, I was exhausted and wanted a casual meal. We opted for dining at Dino's Family Chip Shop. This was the only time on our trip we had fish and chips. The fish was giant, fresh and cooked to perfection. However, it lacked spices, as we found to be true with a lot of the food in Ireland. A little salt, pepper and malt vinegar turned this into one of the best fish and chips we have ever had.
We called it an early night, stopping to see a bit of live music and woke up early to explore the bright beautiful town of Kinsale.
This was our most relaxing day in Ireland. Hearing the sounds that only a Harbor could provide. We loved it. My favorite part of Kinsale was the different colored buildings. Upon doing research on Ireland, I realized a lot of towns were like this. However, I wasn't expecting something you'd expect to see right out of the movies.
It was a nice quiet morning and we had the place all to ourselves. I also learned here that pour over coffee means an entirely different thing in Ireland than the US. If you are a coffee snob like we are - don't. Just don't. Find somewhere that sells espresso and call it a day.
Kinsale had a Wednesday market where vendors sold a variety of food and crafts. I wanted one of everything at this booth.
Overall, we had a nice short visit in Kinsale. It was vastly different experience than the 5 days we spent in Dublin, but one thing was in common....there was still a pub on every corner!
Following a day in Kinsale, we headed off to Kenmare, with a stop through Killarney and the Killarney National Forrest. Stay tuned! 

Below is the route we took. As I mentioned above, we had intended on a much different day 1, with stops in Waterford, Kilkenny and Cork. One thing I learned on this trip is that you cannot get everything you want in one trip. Just an excuse to go back one day!

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