“From within our dim room you wanted the world that passed through the river valley to know us.
So we built a thin window, an eye-slit in the stone.”
Kilkenny is a halfway point for me. My decision to spend six days here is completely coincidental. I’ve left Doolin, E has gone home, and I’m heading eastward towards Dublin. So I want to find a midpoint and allow myself stationary time to catch up on writing, play music, and establish a routine (and basic amenities would be nice). So I book six nights in a hostel in the medieval town of Kilkenny.
Our plan for the Aran Islands involves one day and one night on Inis Oírr, the smallest island, and a day trip to the big island (Inis Mór) on our second day. We depart from the pier near Doolin, where storm winds are rocking the ferries and heaving water onto the concrete walkways. The whole palette of water and sky has darkened.
We unknowingly arrive in Doolin a few days before a craft beer festival, and the tourism town is even more packed than it would normally be. We manage (with the help of incredibly kind locals) to find what must be the last B&B room in the town.
We arrive in Oxford completely travel-weary and weighed down by heavy packs. However, even in the midst of exhaustion and confusion, the quiet cobblestone streets of Oxford are relaxing, displaced in time.