Monday, June 23, 2014

The Cliffs of Moher & Kylemore Abbey

On Day 5 of our trip, we left Clare to go see The Cliffs of Moher. We got there right when the park opened. I am really glad about this for two reasons. One, when we got there we were the only ones of a handful of people who were there already, so it wasn't crowded at all, and two, within 20 minutes, it was SO foggy, you could barely see anything!! We got to see them for a little while though, so that is good!

See how foggy it was getting??

On the way back down from the cliffs, we saw these clovers.

Some of the clovers were huge!! I never saw a four leaf one though. :0(

It was still pretty foggy, even after we left the cliffs:

We needed to stop for gas again, so we stopped in this little town (I can't remember the name) for gas & lunch. While we were there, I saw a café called Puddleducks. My dad calls the grandkids puddleducks sometimes, so I thought it was funny. :0) (Coincidently, my dad is where I get my Irish from!)

This town was also the town where a lot of the movie, The Quiet Man with John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara, was filmed. They had a Quiet Man café there.

After getting lunch, (and more butter cookies, those things were delicious!!!) we started towards Kylemore Abbey. This is just scenery on our way there:

Kylemore Abbey:

It is just gorgeous! I love how it is set across the lake and all of the grounds are beautiful. It's like something out of a fairytale! If I had a full staff inside & out, I could definitely live here. ;0) 

You could tour part of the inside. It was originally a castle (more on that in a bit), then turned into an abbey & school. The last graduate of the school was in 2000. Nuns still live there & they make chocolates & soaps to sell in the gift shop. We bought some of the chocolates & they were yummy!! :0)

This is Margaret Henry. The house was originally built for her by her husband, Mitchell. They were on their honeymoon in Connemara and fell in love with the spot. When he came into money from his father, he built Kylemore Castle for his beloved wife and their growing family. When Margaret was only 45, she died of Dysentery while on vacation in Egypt. Mitchell brought her back to Kylemore and built a mausoleum for her that is still there today.  

 In 1903, Mitchell sold it to the Duke & Duchess of Manchester. (The duchess's father actually purchased it for them.) The Duke was apparently a gambler, and a bad one at that, because he lost the estate in a card game a few years later.
It was then turned into Kylemore Abbey.
This was the only castle that had this much history up about it that you could read. I wished that other places had this much history out in it.

A little further down the pathway is the church that was built on the site by the Henry's. 

The pathway to the church and then onto the mausoleum was beautiful.

I didn't take a picture of the mausoleum. It just seemed disrespectful for some reason. Which is weird because I had taken pictures of other grave sites. Maybe because I had read so much about Margaret?

We walked back toward the front of the property using a different path & I got this good look at the church:

After we left there, we went to Croagh Patrick which is a holy mountain.
Halfway up the mountain is a statue of St. Patrick. Halfway to that, this was me:

Halfway up was really far!! (and super steep!!)
We finally made it!!!

There were several people there and they were trying to have some sort of singing and service, and they were upset that other people were there. You know, how dare other people come to this completely public place!! ;0)

You could walk the rest of the way up the mountain, but we chose not to.
So, we started back down.

Not back down yet.....

At the bottom of this, we were done. ;0)

I wanted to walk through one of the little towns we had been driving through and go through some shops, so we headed to the next town.
Here is Jeff driving:

Here are Kathleen & I riding:

Exciting, isn't it?!? ;0)

We ended up in Westport. It was a cute little town, and we wandered around their town square.

After Westport, we went to Donegal to check into our bed & breakfast; Haven Guest House & Spa. This was the cutest place ever!!

This was the key to our room!! (no electronic card!)

Funny thing about this place though, there was no actual shower. There was a showerhead, but no enclosed area or even a curtain. Just a sink, toilet, and a showerhead on the wall. Weird!

The owner told us about a good restaurant by the ocean, so we went there.
Kathleen & I had wine (our own little bottles!) and Jeff had a Guinness.

Funny picture of Kathleen drinking straight from the bottle. hee hee!

Pretty sunset after dinner:

The sun never set before 9:30 here, no matter what part of the country we were in. (It was usually closer to 10:00)

Cute little breakfast room the next morning:

After breakfast we were off to The Giant's Causeway!
(that will be in the next post!)

1 comment:

  1. I really like the bed and breakfast pics. :-)