Thursday began a little slower than the previous days, as we both were a little worn out from the previous night of drinking. We also both had a tough time sleeping, as the hotel had a lot of persistent and annoying noises throughout the night. Lindsey woke up at 6am and happened to catch that her flight from Newark to Houston was cancelled for some random reason. She went ahead and woke me up to let me know (I was happy for this) and it turns out that the original flight was replaced with a different plane. She did not have an assigned seat anymore so we went ahead and fixed that for her. We both stayed up until about 7:30am and then fell asleep for another two hours before heading downstairs for breakfast.
After breakfast, we packed up our luggage and checked out of the hotel. We put all our gear into our car and went for a walk around Kilkenny. The plan was to walk around their market area and then go visit St Canices’ Church and round tower. The church dates back to 1128 and it the one of only two round towers left in existence in Ireland. The round tower is around eight stories tall and the top can only be reached by a series of very small wooden stairs inside of the tower. It was a challenge to maneuver the extremely small space while dealing with people going both up and down the stairs.
The view from the top of the tower was very impressive and gave the best view of the entire city. We were able to get a few pictures and enjoy the view before too many people came up to the top and made the space all too hard to move around. We made our way back to the church to have our self paced tour. The church was full of very old tombs and historical items dating back to the 1100s. We were rushed to get out of the church as it was closing early, which was helpful so that we could get a head start on our way to Powerscourt.
Our next destination was Powerscourt, which was more of a relaxation stop rather than a site seeing location. It was about an hour and half drive to the hotel, which unfortunately was not through too many back roads and stuck mostly to the bigger roads. I will say that I am getting much better at navigating Ireland. Driving on the “wrong side” of the road is becoming second nature to me. We knew that we were getting closer to the hotel by the influx of hills and mountains.
The Powerscourt hotel is by far one of the most elegant hotels I have been to in my life. When we arrived, the room was not fully ready for us. They were able to get my number, take our luggage to the room, and would call us when it was ready. We went ahead and had a bite to eat for a late lunch before the room was ready. The room itself was huge! It had three rooms: bathroom, closet room (it was the size of most large bathrooms) and a large bedroom. The bathroom had a huge tub, separate toilet and shower areas and a TV built into the mirror! It was by far my favorite room in the hotel. The bedroom had an amazing view overlooking the mountains. For convenience all of the lights and the air conditioner were controlled by a touch panel located on a touch panel on the night stand. The room even had a doorbell outside of the door!
We took it easy for a bit before heading out to the Powerscourt mansion and garden, which was only a short walk away. By the time we got to the gardens, we only had an hour before closing time. There were a bunch of small shops in the house, one of which had food and wine. We went ahead and purchased a bottle of wine, since it was much cheaper than getting it at the hotel. While time was tight, we had to move quick to get through all of the gardens. It was such a peaceful walk which I can just imagine that Laurie (Lindsey’s step mom) would fall in love with. Even with it being a bit of off season for the flowers, there was still plenty of beautiful roses of every color you can imagine.
After the garden we headed back to the hotel. We decided to order room service and just stick to the room. This was a great idea, as we really needed the relaxation and it allowed me to finish yesterdays blog. The dinner was great and the wine fit the meal perfectly. After dinner we went ahead and got all of our stuff packed up and ready to head out to the airport early in the morning.
When we woke up in the morning, we got moving right away. The trip to the airport took about an hour and our GPS lead us through a very tricky route. Fortunately, we were able to get to the airport without any huge delays and got through security with no problems. It was still early, which meant that most of the cafes were still serving breakfast. We got a some pastries, muffins and coffee and waited for the flight to start.
The trip to Oslo was short, only two hours, and was just enough time to watch a movie on my iPad, while Lindsey took a nap. When we arrived in Oslo, I made sure to explain how the airport, security and customs works for Lindsey, since she will be traveling back alone. This is actually the part that I am most worried about. While these things seem second nature to me, I am also much more used to traveling by myself. Fortunately, the airport is not very complicated. As long as she is able to make it to the correct train, she should have no problems.
We took the airport train to Sandvika, which is just outside of Oslo. The train took about an hour to get to Sandvika and then we needed to walk to the hotel. The easiest way to get to the hotel is by cutting through Norway’s largest shopping mall. Fortunately, I have made this trip so many times that I was able to navigate us through the mall and to the hotel without getting lost. After checking into the hotel, we went and grabbed some food from the only place nearby that has menus in English. I wanted to give Lindsey a chance to ease her way into Norway and the language barrier and I figured that this was best way to start.
We are now back in our room relaxing and watching some TV. Tomorrow we will head out to Oslo for some sightseeing, which should be a blast!