travel in 2006 Ireland and Wales


The seventh day 28th June(Wednesday) click on the blue frame picture, you can enlarge it.
today's course   Kylemore --- Kylemore Abbey --- Westport ---
                          Glenveagh National Park --- Portrush --- Ballycastl
today's distance   413km   today's pedometer   16,700steps

Kylemore House Kylemore House

Kylemore House
The night in Kylemore House that was situated in Connemara National Park was quiet tranquilly. We could have good sleep in the king-size bed in a luxurious room. Some day we want to stay longer this accommodation again.
We ate up full Irish breakfast, too and we left for hoped -for Kylemore Abbey.

Kylemore Abbey
We were expected to see Kylemore Abbey most of all in our trip.
The beautiful photos in the guidebook and some site invited us intensely.
It provoked a sentiment by a beautiful figure of an appearance with a mountain and a lake.
Besides, the garden seemed to be attractive, too.
At first Kylemore Abbey used to be a castle that British duke built for his wife because he had visited here on his honeymoon and he was very pleased with this beautiful view.
As his wife died on him, so he parted with this castle. Shortly afterward the castle was used as an abbey of Benedict sect.
A boarding girls' school is added, too.
When we arrived at the abbey the sun was hidden by the clouds, so the figure looked deep in meditation.
The back of the abbey was colored with woods green and the lake that was in front of the abbey was shining in the sullen.
My husband tried to take a photo till he was satisfied. The sun came out from behind a cloud. After a while he said" that's perfect!"
My heart was filled with happiness and calm. The view was just in front of me, which I had been longing to see for long time.
Next we wanted to see the Victorian Walled Garden, but the start time of the shuttle bus to the garden was 10 o'clock. It was 9:30 then. There was a Gothic Church forwards advanced in the grove for a minute. The Duke for the memory of his late wife built the church.
We walked for the Gothic Church, then we overtook a sister who was walking with a stick slowly. I talked to her "Good morning". She said "Good morning. Where are you from?"
"We are from Japan.” I have ever taught the piano to a Japanese student."
We were surprised to hear that young Japanese student studied at the boarding school far from her parent.
The sister gave me warm feeling and I felt peaceful. A nice casual meeting!

Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey Garden
At 10:00 o'clock we rode on the shuttle bus to the garden. There was nobody without us.
We arrived at Victorian Walled Garden after five minutes ride.
The garden was made by the British Duke, but for a long time it had gotten to ruin, and it was retried in 2000 year.
We were the first guests of the day. The first garden was a typical Victorian garden that had geometric flowerbeds inside the slope grass. There was central walk below the slope.
We could see quiet color flowerbeds in symmetry when we turned round to see the opposite side on the central walk.
We found the big tropical tree that had white flowers, in every places in Ireland.
It might have been just climax of the flower in a year.
There was a retrieved greenhouse on the top, in which we were surprised to see a enormous geranium filled with light pink flowers.

Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey

I felt the steel-hanging basket was wonderful, because the color was at unity with the door and benches.
All flowers in the herbaceous border were in quiet color. The balance of the height of the flowers was considerate perfectly.
The garden had been in a well kept, looked clean-cut and vivid, so I felt much comfortable.
I would like to copy some factors from this quiet color garden into mine.

Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey

You will see flowers cared for well. Every flower was very impressive.
Eryngium was fresh, whose color I'm fond of. The big growth of hosta, which I'm envious of.
Geranium was high and matched with the yellow flowers behind. Campanulas of every variety were planted skillfully.

Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey

A brook streamed through the garden dividing between flower garden and kitchen garden.
The kitchen garden was divided into four units by herbaceous border and hedge. That was almost half extent of the total garden.
All vegetables that were harvested in the kitchen garden would be provided for nuns and students in the boardinghouse.
potatoes, broad beans, peas, zucchini’s, asparaguses, artichoke and various herbs, we enjoyed to see many kind of vegetables.
In the orchard we found various fruits, apples, plums, cherries, pears, grapes and various berries.
There was a little Head Gardener's House in the garden.(middle)

Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey

We were satisfied to see the wonderful abbey and clean maintained garden and we left the abbey, then we met the view that we had been dreaming for a long time.
Wind stopped, and the surface of the lake became peaceful. A figure of abbey reflected in the surface of the water is beautiful.
There was an avenue on the lakeside of Kylemore Lough. Under the avenue my heart became fluttering with excitement. There might be soul of woods or something like fairies on the woods.
Over the lake, mountains in the Connemara National Park lay quietly.
I burned the fantastic view in my brain again.
We would be in Ireland in the afternoon. Our long drive started.

Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey Connemara Connemara

One hour later we arrived at Westport. Westport was too beautiful town to pass through. The town was filled with flowers on the riverside, side of the bridge and windows of houses.
Houses were painted with various color, but I felt calm in that town. We had a short walk along the river.

Westport Westport Westport Westport Westport

funeral procession
When we drove on N17 from Charlestown, few men stopped the car that was before approximately 10. Many cars drove from the square on the left one after the other, and turned left. All cars drove on N17 very slowly, too. We had to wait until about fifty cars had driven on N17 completely. My husband began to be impatient, but I saw that the others were waiting silently with pious smile.
After a while we understood that. It was the funeral procession! There might be a funeral on the square and people would take him to his hometown.
My husband said "I remember the funeral procession in my hometown when I was a child."

Glenveagh National Park
Our object was Glenveagh Castle in The Glenveagh National Park Though our arrival was later than the schedule for the holdup, we decided to walk to the Castle according to the recommendation by a visitor center attendant.
The left picture was red deer that was stuffed specimen in the Visitor Center, which lives in the national park and people sometimes meet them, but we couldn't at that time.
The water flowing into the lake was black but pure due to the peat around it. There was an abundant forest in Ireland.
The mountains were flat in Ireland difference from high pointed in Japan.
After 45 minutes walk we arrived at the castle gate with big eagle statues.

Glenveagh National Park Glenveagh National Park Glenveagh National Park Glenveagh National Park Glenveagh National Park

During our 45 minutes walk we found some kind of wild flowers in the beating sunshine, but with lively breeze.
white flower with red berries at the same time, rhododendron, thistle・・・・・・

Glenveagh National Park Glenveagh National Park Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh Castle
We walked the gentle slope from the eagle gate, then we found a little stone castle in the deep forest.
There were statues at the entrance for the garden. They looked wolves biting flower baskets.
The garden was vast walled garden on the opposite side slope to the lake. The garden was divided into several parts, and we could see some kinds of beautiful flowers in the border garden along the long wall.
delphinium, lupinus, phlox, dahlia, iris, geranium, peony and etc.・・・・・
I respected their conception and efforts producing the beautiful garden filled with flowers in this depopulated estate.

Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle

The first picture on the left is peonies and lilies with many buds. The next one is colorful lupinuses.
The center is geranium and the castle tower with the national flag of Ireland.
Two pieces on the right are roses in the vast rose garden.

Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle

from the left: white lilies and yellow flower, purple campanulas(the view from the highest point in the garden), blossom of geranium, fuchsia in the hanging basket in the orangery, meconopsis

Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle

from the left: orangery, cottage, and border garden, robin, amusing form topiaries
We were satisfied with the flower garden, and we got on the shuttle bus to the gate return road.
While we were waiting the bus we met a Japanese lady and talk with her about the trip.

Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle

National Park
There were six National Park in Ireland. We've already visited five parks till now. I'll try to arrange in order of our visit.
◎ Wicklow Mountains ◎ Killarney ◎ The Burren ◎ Connemara ◎ Glenveagh 
What a hard schedule trip we had! I thought that it depended on the detailed research about everything we were interested in.
The left one was in the northern part of Westport, but we left the one for the next time.

The Border
We left the national park at 18 pm. We had to go straight to the bed & breakfast we had booked. He drove on N13 to the east, the road changed to A2. We passed Bridge End in Ireland and went Londonderry nearby, then we met traffic jam again.
I thought that was the chance to make sure the border, but I couldn't find anything like that.
Without notice the road sign was changed into A2.
I saw a border sign between England and Scotland few years ago. I thought it might be evidence that the relationship of Ireland and England would be good continuously.

Portrush Dunluce Castle
We had a hard luck in the traffic jam. Our arrival time on schedule was 6 o'clock so I made a phone call to the host of our tonight accommodation "Now we are in Londonderry, besides we were delayed by the heavy traffic, so we will arrive over eight o'clock". He said "You had better have a dinner in Portrush. I recommend you a restaurant named "Harbour Bistro".
We haven’t researched about Portrush, so I wondered if we could find out the restaurant he had recommended.
Anyway, we decided to have dinner in Portrush according to his advice, and we entered in the town.
We drove for the sea, then we found a harbour ahead on our way. We parked near the harbor and walk around to look for the restaurant.
Surprisingly, there was a white building with the signboard "Harbbour Bistro" just in front of us.
We enjoyed our fortune. We entered the bistro, but many people were waiting and we were said "Please wait for about 30 minutes". We told the waitress our name and the number, and waited for the dinner drinking the Guinness upstairs.
After 15 minutes later a waiter called us for the table, so we went downstairs having the glass of Guinness.
It seemed to had a high popularity among the people, because many tables were completely occupied with various many people, young group, senior couple, young ladies who were dressed up, young men wearing t-shits and etc. It was filled with excitement inside the big room, and everyone seemed to be pleasant with tasty food and drink and conversation.
I will never forget the cheerful excitement in future.
We left Portrush and drove for east on A2, then there was Dunluce Castle on the left. As it was already over 9 o'clock, we couldn't enter the castle that seemed to be large-scale.

Portrush Portrush Portrush Portrush Portrush

The bed & breakfast we had booked was just above White Park Bay The National Trust supervised that.
White gate and white house surrounded green trees welcomed us quietly. The host named Bob looked reliable man, and we felt relief as soon as we met him.
I believed that I have an ability to select the accommodation from only information ,which has comfortable and peaceful atmosphere.
I took a bath and got into a peaceful sleep.

Please look at our travel diary with many pictures
to calendar
22nd June
23rd June
24th June
25th June
26th June
27th June
29th June
30th June
1st July