Kinsale, Thomastown, and the start of Dublin

Before we left Kinsale, we decided to go on a historical walking tour.  It was interesting, the tour guide was great, and the weather was actually nice the whole time.
Former town market, also where the trail for the sinking of the Lusitania took place.
We heard about the history of Kinsale: the Spanish invasion of 1601 and the subsequent construction of two forts by the British near the mouth of the bay.
Charles Fort "drawbridge"
Our plan had been to scoot out of town after the tour, but instead we swung by Charles Fort for a peak.  It was bigger than I expected and interesting.
Standing in the fort (Yay for stone walls and self timers)
Next we headed to Ardmore.  It is a small dot on the map.  Literally.  There was one main road through town.  We made a hike along the cliffs over the water, gorgeous, but it rained, poured, the whole time.
View back towards Ardmore on our hike.
After warming up with tea and scones, we hit the road, headed for Thomastown, near Kilkenny.
Awkward, but comfy, room with three beds.
We didn't make it in time for much of anything, and Thomastown was another pretty small spot.  After circling the entire town twice, we stopped by a pub to find out what restaurants existed.  The men were sorry to direct us back outside to the two options in town, a fancy restaurant and another pub.
Me and Bulmer's cider, my drink of choice.
Needless to say, we chose the pub.  Food is expensive here.  We also snuck onto the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey, which had thoughtlessly closed before we arrived.

After sleeping, something we find necessary to do every day, we hit the road for Dublin.  Our rental car was supposed to be at the hotel by 11am (though it was still there this afternoon when we headed out around 3:30pm) and we wanted plenty of time to make it.
On top of the hop on, hop off bus--our new best friend.
Our Google Map directions proved ineffective in town, as few streets has obvious signs (seriously, finding them as you zoom by in the car is like a treasure hunt), but we managed to navigate to our hotel without causing any major accidents.  Or minor ones for that matter.
Christ Church
After check in, we took a break to do laundry, eat lunch, and relax a bit before heading into the city center.  We picked up a pass to access the buses for the next three days and made our way to Christ Church Cathedral.  The crypts were unfortunately closed for the day, but we got to hear a prayer service and climb up the tower.  We even got to ring the bells!
Ringing a Christ Church bell.
We ended with dinner at O'Neill's, which serves a variety of local food in a buffet line of sorts, and fought our way through the crowds.  While wandering back along the main shopping thouroughfare and through St Stephen's Green, we got caught in a rain/hail storm (but the first and only of the day!) and arrived at our hotel looking rather pathetic.
Hiding out from the worst of the rain under a tree.
Now it's time to rest up for a busy few days in Dublin.  There are more things to do than we really have time for, but we're going to try to make the most of it.

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