I’ve just come back from my trip to Ireland. I stayed at Galway, Ashford Castle, and Kildare.
From Dublin I drove to Kylemore Abbey in Connemara. This is a masterpiece Victorian house built in 1860 by Michael Henry and his bride Margaret. The Benedictine nuns arrived in 1920 and established an Abbey and girls boarding school which is still there today. They live a life of prayer according to the rule of St Benedict. The community share the peace and tranquillity of Kylemore and welcome you to join them in prayer in the community chapel. The gothic style church nearby was built by Michael Henry in memory of his wife Margaret. There is a mausoleum there where Margaret and Michael are buried.
I also visited the Burren which is a unique limestone landscape.
After three days in Galway I drove to Ashford Castle, my second visit there and I still feel it is the best hotel I have every stayed at. The George V Dining Room is a very graceful setting. I could go on and on about Ashford, it is so beautiful.
From there I drove to Connemara, the lakes and mountains are so peaceful and lovely for photography. Back to Kildare where I stayed at a friend’s house and visited the National Stud. It is a bloodstock farm. There is a special foaling unit where the mare and foal remain undisturbed after the birth. It was the best time to see so many foals.
Sharing the same estate is the Japanese Gardens which were laid out in 1906-1910. The array of trees includes maple, bonsai mulberry and bamboo. A great day out. I was staying near the Newbridge Silver factory and shop which is famous for beautiful silverware.
After two days in Kildare I drove to Dublin took the ferry and stayed in Wales for a couple of nights. I went up Mount Snowden on the train and visited Portmeirion which was built by Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978) an architect who showed how a beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. The buildings are all Grade I or Grade II Listed and the site is also famous for being where the 1970s cult television series The Prisoner was filmed.
I took plenty of photos, some of which I have put up in the shop.
Please take note of the dates of my holidays:
SICILY 19 to 24 July 2018
Working Tuesday and Wednesday 17 and 18 July then away until back at work on Thursday 26 July.
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