I arrived in Kilkenny yesterday around noon. There is something about this beautiful, medieval city that mysteriously feels like "home" to me. I can't quite identify what exactly, but I feel at ease here.
After checking into my hotel I walked along the River Nore to Lavishtown, about 4k outside the city into rural Ireland. I went to visit the Lavishtown House and the gardens. The house was built in 1810 in the Georgian style of architecture; both the house and gardens are currently being lovingly restored by the family that occupies the home.
The gardens consisted of a herbaceous perennial garden, a fantastic walled kitchen garden, and "the walk" which would have traditionally been a shaded path, lined with ferns, leading to a pastoral view. The grounds were lovely. It was pleasing to me how quickly one can walk into the countryside from the city.
I was invited to dinner with the family later last evening. We shared a home-cooked meal, a bottle of wine, and an insightful conversation about local politics. Again, the hospitality extended to me was astounding. And it was the perfect way to spend my first day here in Kilkenny.
Today I slowed things down a bit. I walked the Canal Walk and then visited the Kilkenny Farmer's Market. I picked up a simple lunch of fresh pears, fresh bread, and a bit of Knockdrinna goat cheese , a cheese that is made just up the road. I ate on a park bench near the Castle. The rest of the day has been spent reading and writing.
This stop in Kilkenny was brief, as tomorrow I'm headed via bus to Graiguenamanagh a tiny village in County Kilkenny for the long weekend. But then I will back to Kilkenny.