Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden

Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Gardens were built in 1868 as the family home of Mitchell Henry and his wife Margaret Vaughan Henry.  Mitchell built it as a token of his love for Margaret.  The house was sold in 1903 to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester.  Upon the death of the Duchess’s father the two lost the house as it was too expensive to maintain.  In 1920 the Benedictine Nuns took over the property and are still there today.  Through the years the Nuns have operated an international girls boarding school which was closed in 2010.  Nevertheless, the Nuns maintain a close relationship with Notre Dame University of Indiana USA and has become one of their Global Gateways for learning and social exchange.

We were lucky enough to enjoy this wonderful piece of history when we visited Ireland.  We hope you enjoy this video of our tour there.

Irish National Stud and Gardens

We visited Ireland’s famous Stud Farm in County Kildare were prize winning thoroughbred horses are raised.  The idyllic surroundings and best care make for a wonderful afternoon of exploration in the Ireland countryside.  The guides are very knowledgeable of all the horses and even know them all by name.  One of the highlights of our trip was to see the new-born colts and their famous sires.  The gardens surrounding the property are beautiful and serene.  Their Japanese Garden is renowned throughout the world as one of the best in Europe.  It is hard to put into words one of the prettiest places we have ever been to.  To share this with all of you here is a video of our visit.

 

A Pub in Ireland

Well it is Friday and the best place to be on a Friday night is a Pub in Ireland.

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On our recent trip to Ireland we had a few chances to enjoy the happy environment and the friendly people at the pubs.  With a pint of beer in their hands, they all sing, dance, and talk to everyone.  They make visitors very welcome and part of the community.

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What a great way to enjoy an evening by relaxing, drinking a few pints, singing, and just having a good time.

Ballynahinch Castle

This year we traveled to Ireland and one of the places we stayed at was Ballynahinch Castle.  A place steeped with history.  This castle has had three very famous residents.

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The first and probably the most famous was Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen of Connaught.  The second was Richard Martin (Humanity Dick), the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  The third was Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji, the Prince of Cricketers.

This area of Ireland is known for it’s great fishing.  So much so that Ballynahinch Castle is considered one of the best places in the world to go fishing.

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There are many fishing stations located through out the property as well as walking trails to just enjoy the countryside.

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Some say that the property is haunted.  However, when we were there we never encountered any ghostly sprits.  We did encounter another type of sprit.  We spent our evenings at the tap room which has been at the castle since it became a fishing lodge.  It was here that we were introduced to local craft Gins of Ireland and to adding an Orange wedge into our Gin and Tonics instead of a Lime.  As well as we tried a unique Tonic Water with Elderflower.  It certainly changes the flavor of a G&T.

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So… we never encountered any ghost as when we went to bed after enjoying the G&T spirts we would sleep very soundly.

Connemara Marble

On our trip to Ireland we had a chance to visit the Connemara region.  One of the things this region is most famous for is Connemara Marble which can only be found here.

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Typically this form of marble is usually green in color.  However, there are other colors.  In fact, the stairs you see in the below picture taken at the Cliffs of Moher are all made from Black Connemara Marble.  When you look at the black marble you can see seashells embedded within it which was how the marble was formed hundreds of years ago.

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Many famous churches and cathedrals are made with Connemara Marble in Ireland and England.  Most visitors to Ireland come home with a piece of Connemara Marble usually inlaid in a Claddagh Ring as pictured below.

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Since we wanted every type of Connemara Marble we also brought home this wonderful bracelet.

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