Here we have a picture of the Quiet Man cottage, as seen in the movie.
Well here you see my friends relaxing in five star luxury inside the castle. When you are used to luxury, it is hard to do without it, and Addie was adamant that she should stay here while the rest of the party moved on. I had a job getting her to remain with us but i am afraid that she may find the call of Ashford more than she can resist and escape and return there for the remainder of the tour. I have the rest of the girls on full alert watching, her but she is a tricky one and likes her comfort.
Here we have the ladies at the fjord at Leenane with the open Atlantic in the background at the mouth of the fjord. This is the most westerly fjord in Europe and that great Irish movie "The Field" was filmed here.
Kylemore Abbey has a wonderful history, built by an English Doctor for his wife, falling into different hands after his wife died many years later, and then into ruin when in the hands of people who did not care for it, and then finally into the hands of the Benedictine nuns who had fled Belgium from the Nazis in the nineteen thirties, and then turned into a wonderful girls school where young girls from all over the world were to be educated to the highest of standards. Sadly now no longer a school as vocations have virtually ceased for these nuns, but still inhabited by the remaining nuns. It is a wonderful place to visit, and today it really was beautiful in the sunshine.
Here we have Stef, high on the mountainside on the Sky Road near Clifden at the most westerly point on the Connemara coast. She was calling our attention to the barely visible coastline of the USA on the far edge of the Atlantic where she could just make out the skyline of Boston. I failed to see it, but then i am a few years older than Stef and my eyesight may be failing a little.
The old D'Arcy castle in the valley below the Sky road on the outskirts of Clifden. The D'Arcy family were a Norman family and the Normans were very prominent in the Connemara area, and indeed in Galway city also. Ashford castle was also occupied by Norman families hundreds of years ago, firstly by the De Joy's (later to become Joyce) in th late twelfth century,and then by the De Burgo's, who became known as the Burke's. And you thought that you were Irish? Well i suppose none of us go back further than the ice age. We are all what we call "Blow in's", in other words, we were blown in by the breeze. I am, and always be, eternally grateful that i was "Blown in " to Ireland.
Today was really a lovely day, and we stopped in Clifden and had a really nice meal in Walshe's restaurant, come bakery, in the heart of the town. This is a great place for a tasty snack, and their breads and pastries are to die for. Tell Natasha that Dave sent you.
Tomorrow we head for the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher ending up tomorrow night in Killarney.
More to come.