The next morning, our last in Cork, I popped out of bed before 8 and went up to the English Market for one last effort to procure tripe and drisheen. Some of the stalls were selling the raw ingredients but no-one had the prepared dish, and the restaurant didn’t start serving it until noon, so with relief and the tiniest pang of regret I gave up the search.
We set off early to get to Kilkenny before noon. I was somewhat alarmed by a sign on the outskirts of town that read “Up the Cats.” But it turns out the Kilkenny Cats are a much-loved hurling team. I immediately wanted a Kilkenny Cats shirt, so as soon as we got settled in at our B and B, we headed downtown.
We weren’t terribly hungry for lunch after a substantial hotel breakfast so we just got gelato. Beth and Cathy went to tour the local castle, and Beth had an epic climb up a round tower on a staircase that was more like a ladder. I saved my touring energies for the shopping district, where I found two types of Kilkenny Cats shirts — both acceptable but neither outstanding — and some books and other things.
Kilkenny is a charming place and I say so even though the pubs were closed for Good Friday. It has lots of historic buildings — the castle, a couple of stone churches, a prison, etc. — and because it’s not a large city, everything is within easy walking distance. It’s also known as a music town but sadly, many of the pubs were closed for the day so we didn’t get to go out and hear any.
“It’s probably the last year we’ll have that law on Good Friday,” said our B and B host, so at least it was a Historic Moment.
We had fish pie and steak pie for dinner, went back to the B and B and read books about Ireland from the excellent collection in the drawing room.