Friday, October 12, 2018

Ireland - Day 7

Today we are in the Galway area of Ireland. We are on the opposite coast of Dublin. (it isn't a very big country, so not hard to cross it!) We visited the Cliffs of Moher and Kylemore Abbey. Just two spots because we spent a lot of time at both and we then enjoyed driving around the Irish countyside along the coast. Just beautiful. We even came across some sheep in the road! (Mat had hoped to have to stop the car for sheep crossing, so he got his wish. Weirdo). Tonight we are staying in Galway, and preparing for the Storm Callum (which is supposed to bring the Ocean over the edge and onto the streets). Our hotel is right on the ocean, so this should be interesting.

Cliffs of Moher. Formed 320 million years ago. Aren't they gorgeous?

 It is hard to see in this picture, but there are the Aran Islands.  We had plans to go there tomorrow, but with the storm, all boats are halted for the next few days.

 Cliffs of Moher. Each spring and summer the largest migration in Ireland of Puffins (7000 or more total) come here to lay eggs before going back to sea for the winter.

 O'Brien's Tower. This was built in 1835 by Cornelius O'Brien as a viewing point for tourist.

 The Cliffs are a UNESCO site. Also - this is the background in Harry Potter when he and Dumbledore are searching for the Horcrux and apparate here.

 As we were riding from the Cliffs to Kylemore Abbey (which was north) the scenery started to change. The mountain tops became all rocks. Ireland is REALLY REALLY rocky. Puts Massachusetts and Connecticut to shame rock wise. Here is a rocky mountain top and also an abbey ruin in the distance

 Sheep in the road! These sheep - like most - are marked. With color. Although these ones got outside the fence so.....they are lost. 
 No he isn't bleeding - the sheep are marked with various colors.  We never did figure out what the colors actually meant.
 We passed mountain after mountain, lakes and just wide, vast areas on our way to Kylemore.

 Kylemore Abbey. This Abbey was originally the home of Mitchell Henry, his wife and their 9 children. His wife died of typhus in her 40s, and after that, the Henry family left the estate and it was sold to the Benedictine nuns in 1920. They have owned it ever since, and the nuns still live on the 2nd floor.

 There was a HUGE garden area on the Kylemore Abbey property. Flowers and plants, vegetables and herbs. Back in the early 1900s, the backside was covered in green houses that had all kinds of hot house flowers and plants. Only one remains.

 Inside the Abbey

 After Michell Henry's wife died, he had this small chapel erected on the property in her memory. It is still used for concerts today.

 The grounds around the abbey were gorgeous.  This abbey is in the middle of nowhere

 Taking some pictures while the sheep just graze around.  There are an enormous amount of sheep.
 They would not even let her get near them.

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