kylemore abbey

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

I’m ending my 3-day tourism run with a tour to Connemara National Park.  Bought some nail clippers and finished my left hand before they broke.  So I went Dr. Jeckel & Mr Hyde all day.

Kylemore Abbey – The main attraction of the trip to Connemara, this abbey was built by a rich guy towards the end of the potato famine for his wife.  Pretty swell move on multiple fronts.  Long story short, it’s pretty and here it is.

kylemore abbey
Smaller than Downton Abbey, but pretty cool looking.

Sadly, his wife caught something on a trip to Cairo and died.  So he built her this Gothic Church.

Gothic Church
I realize this picture is bad but I was too lazy to back up more.

It’s built on this lake with views of the mountains.

View from Kylemore Abbey
The view probably has something to do with why they built it here.

Victoria Gardens – These were part of the building of Kylemore Abbey.  They’re the largest walled, Victorian-style gardens in Ireland.  Seems like a lot of qualifiers.  They were neat though.  Here is a picture of them.

Victoria Gardens
This is the view from the entrance.

There’s both flowers and actual plants in here.  It looks nice, and feeds the people.  Functional and pretty, like Lindsey Lohan before 2008.

Victoria Gardens
Here’s another view from inside the garden

Originally, they had planted a lot of oak trees outside it.  A few years ago they tried to start rekindling that spirit.  Here is a picture of such kindling.

Oak Garden
Professor Oak’s dream garden

So that was that.  Their cafe prices were outrageous though, so I again opted for starvation out of principle.

Ross Errilly Friary – Sat next to an older lady visiting from San Francisco that had an emotional experience.  She was very catholic and she and her husband were in the seminary for some time 50 years ago.  The travel guide was into this one too, extending his bus tour service to inside, bringing us around and talking to us about what the interior used to look like.

ross errilly friary
Like most of Ireland, the English burnt this down.  This picture features someone else taking a picture too.

We also stopped in Conk, which was rather… quaint.  The 30 minutes allotted was too much time for me.  It’s where The Quiet Man was shot, and they really played that up.  I haven’t seen it, but I’ll add it to the list.

Ashford Castle – Forgot to take a picture here.  My bad.  It’s a big castle.

But I’m leaving you with some landscape photos taken today.  I don’t know why I took them, but it seemed to be the thing to do.  The names of the mountains and rivers and lakes escape me, but I assure you they have names.  But anyways, here they are if you’re a picture person.

Ireland Landscape
My phone had a rough go of this one. Water, trees, snow-capped mountains. You know, pretty things.
Ireland Landscape 2
More mountains and forests and lakes
Another Ireland landscape
I think this is the same place too.
Ireland landscape 5
More rocks and water

Then when I got back I went grocery shopping.  For 15€ I got a bottle of wine, cheese, a loaf of bread, chocolate, mandarin oranges, and a mixture of sweet peppers.  It felt very French.  I’m staying in Galway for the rest of this week, so I might as well buy some food.  I don’t know how the stove-top works though.  One thing at a time.

And I’ve done most of the tourist stuff, so aside from a likely walking tour of the area and college, I’ll be focusing on work this week.  Still a couple restaurants to check out in the area, but now I’m just going to “live” here for a week before moving on.

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