October 9, 2018
Tuesday in Kinsale
It is actually Wednesday as I write this—I took last night off from writing.
We had a great day in Kinsale on Tuesday. The weather was good. What do I mean by “good?” Well, I have begun to agree with the Irish analysis. Ask an Irish person about the weather and you get this response (or something similar): It’s not raining, so pretty good, I guess. But the weather in Kinsale was even better than that. We had periods of bright sun and never felt threatened by rain.
I wrote in the previous post about arriving in Kinsale, but I can report the Patricia recovered from the drive quickly. Monday evening we walked around a little. The Trident hotel is right on the water and Pier Road follows the shoreline. We walked that the last time we were here and did it again Monday evening to refamiliarize ourselves with the area.
After our walk, we ate in the pub/restaurant associated with the Trident called the Wharf. We had a very pleasant meal and, wonder of wonders, Patricia liked the sip of my Kinsale Pale Ale she tried. Patricia NEVER likes beer. She had a dish that included 3 kinds of fish (hake, cod, and salmon) which she really liked. We followed that with not one, but two desserts, both of which we liked a lot. We accompanied the desserts with Irish coffees. All in all, a dining experience which indicated that Kinsale’s reputation as the gourmet capital of Ireland is well-deserved.
On Tuesday, we did some exploring on our own. Kinsale is a small town of about 3,500 permanent residents. It is growing like crazy, though, someone told us: there is so much building going on that by the next census there may be as many as 4,000 people. After we explored both Upper- and Lower O’Connell streets, we joined up with Don Herlihy and about 20 other people for a walking tour of Kinsale. We did not walk all that far, but we learned a lot about Kinsale from its earliest days until about 100 years ago.
Don might be your stereotypical Irishman (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). He talked a lot because he had a lot to say. He was amusing and informative. He also strayed off point a lot because he knows so much. We learned a great deal about the growth of the city from its earliest days, to its becoming a jumping off point to the New World, to the arrival of the 4th Spanish Armada and the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 (which changed Irish history in profound ways), to its becoming a provisioning point and one of the most heavily defended ports in Europe.
After the tour, we wandered some more and found ourselves at the St Multose (Anglican Irish) church. this church is built on the site of a previous churches and is close to the original center of Kinsale. [The tide swings 10 feet here, so the original site is higher than the modern streets.] The church has been nicely restored and has interesting stained glass. The graveyard has burials going back to the 1400s and includes the graves of 3 people who died when the Lusitania was sunk nearby on May 7th, 1915. One of the graves was that of an “unknown woman” until she was at last identified in 2017.
While meandering, we found a sandwich shop and an ice cream shop so we sat on a bench in the sun for lunch before we returned to the hotel for a short break—some of which we spent in the pub. In the evening, we walked back to the heart of the old town and ate at Jim Edwards’ restaurant. Not much of a name, but we had a good meal. Patricia had the traditional Fish and Chips and she could not stop talking about how good it was. I had a baked lasagna which was also good. The only blot on dinner in the small dining room was that there were 4 Americans at a table who were perfect examples of “ugly Americans.” They were noisy and rude. But we did not let that spoil
We had wanted to go back to the Trident Hotel since we were last in Ireland in 2010. The rooms are much better now, but the breakfasts—which I had really been looking forward to—have declined in quality. Nevertheless, we had a good stay in Kinsale.
Here is a map of where we walked on Tuesday. The GPS tracking shows we went almost 6 miles, but it sure didn’t seem like that.