Medieval meets modern in charming Kilkenny
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On a sunny Friday afternoon in April, the sleepy city of Kilkenny, Ireland, began to wake up. Chattering students buy replica bags online filled the sidewalks, their book bags slung across school uniforms, many of the boys carrying the short, hockeylike sticks used in hurling. Locals hurried through Butter Slip, a narrow passage between two streets where butter vendors set up stalls in medieval times. And shoppers ducked into the small stores that share a main street with a 17th century merchant’s house and an 18th century town hall building that once served as a customhouse.
This bustle was different from the quietude I’d observed upon arriving alone a few days before. I was at the midpoint of a two week tour of the country with a rotating roster of companions, looking for somewhere to settle down for a few days someplace not too far from Dublin, because I needed to return there afterward. I felt a pull toward Kilkenny after reading that it had both a medieval castle and a contemporary design center.
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The city was subdued when I walked the half mile from the station down John Street, over the River Nore, past the castle and up Patrick Street to my hotel. Rows of quaint storefronts set a pretty scene, but many of the shops were closed. I passed a handful of people at most.
That first afternoon, I settled in at a table in the Ground Floor Cafe on High cheap designer bags replica Street and studied its traditional menu of toasted sandwiches and brown baps (sandwiches on rolls), along with my maps and literature.
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When we spoke at intermission, he seemed to light up at hearing my accent. “American! Well, we’re all half Irish. Or is it the other way around? Are you on holiday?” He proudly told me he was the father of the female lead.
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An informative docent enthusiastically answered my questions about the second floor paintings, fireplace equipment and furniture. What are those things in front of the castle’s fireplaces? They’re adjustable screens that protected women’s faces from the fire, she told me, because the heat would melt their wax based makeup. That 16th century painting of a white faced Queen best replica designer bags Elizabeth I? Women used heavy white paste to cover the pock marks left from smallpox. And that round, red cushioned chair with seats for three, similar to one in the opening credits of “The Crown?” It was a love seat that accommodated courting couples and their guardians.
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