IRELAND is a beautiful place, very green with lots and lots and lots of rocks. This is Ashford Castle where I stayed for several days. It was wonderful. Many great Americans can trace their heritage to the "Emerald Isle" and many of our traditions were brought here by the immigrating Irish. I will be posting pictures over the next few weeks to give you a peek at this lovely country.
There are no snakes in Ireland, it's true. There are, however, great big black spiders. When I first checked into my room in Ashford Castle I opened up the windows because it was a beautiful day and I had a wonderful view. As night began to fall huge black spider came out of the cracks between the stones of the castle walls. Yikes... all windows were closed and locked!!!
CHECK OUT the Irish dancing video to the right.
POWERSCOURT ESTATE, IRELAND
Powerscourt is one of the most beautiful country estates in Ireland and a treasured tourist attraction. The gardens go on for miles and there is an avenue leading to the Palladian house lined by over 2,000 beech trees. It was gutted by fire in 1975. Then, in 1996, a process of restoration began with the re-roofing of the house and the restoration of the windows. The entrance hall now features an exhibition describing the fascinating history of Powerscourt.
No matter where we live we all use what is available to us. In Ireland it is rocks, rocks, rocks. As a result there are beautiful rock walls. The walls around the gardens at Powercourt were probably fifteen feet tall. There were actual doorways built into them. The interesting part is they didnt' use mortar They are known as "dry walls"
I came home determined to build rock walls all the way around my property... I'm still dreaming
This is the inside of Ashford Castle, very fancy and very European. We had to dress for dinner. It was fun but the food was a challenge since most of it was very bland. I did, however, discover some things I had never heard of before that were really delicious... salad with edible flowers and cucumber sandwiches ... YUM!
One afternoon we sat in front of the windows and ate pickle and cheese sandwiches. They were wonderful. My kids literally inhaled them. When I ordered another plate the waitress looked at us like... "You Americans eat too much!" We didn't care, we were starving.
In one of the hotels there was a full suit of armor positioned just to the left at the bottom of a large staircase. I would forget that it was there and every time I went down the stairs it would startle me.
This was my favorite place... The Park Hotel, Kenmare, Kerry County. It was beautiful but not quite so formal. The best part was that behind the hotel was an amazing garden of flowers that covered at least an acre. There was a small path through the garden that led directly to the sea. It felt like I was in an old painting.