After a long day of biking in Galway, then another day biking all ’round Inis More, a little decadence was in order. The ferry took us back to our car and it hadn’t been robbed. Unheard of! We took off toward another small town called Clifden where we had reservations to stay at Abbeyglen Castle.
Along the way, more lovely scenes of the Irish landscape. This place really tugs at my heart for sure.
The castle hotel was great, had a huge room with a huge comfy bed and a huge tub. My camera had no battery at this point and so no photos. Trust me, however, that long hot bath was wonderful. It took me what seemed like an hour to get all the tangles out of my hair but no big deal. We had a fire in the fireplace and some lovely wine to sip and this beautiful window to look out on.
They had tea at 5 p.m. with scones and a big pot of hot black Irish tea. It was wonderful. We walked into town and had a great meal. Long delicious sleep and the next morning we headed out to see Kylemore Abbey. It is as breathtaking as you can imagine from the photos. What a gorgeous property.
All around the grounds, into the gardens, every single view was gorgeous. It’s now owned and lived in by nuns so we couldn’t tour much inside the building but who cares when the views look like this?
This was definitely one of the wetter days. We had light jackets (it wasn’t too cold) and our umbrellas and we were glad we had both.
This is the chapel on the grounds. It was built to honor the owner’s wife who died of cholera on vacation, leaving 9 kids behind.
The entryway had these little alcoves on either side of the door.
Inside was delightful. We lit candles and said prayers.
Hard to get a good photo of the full church, people were everywhere.
Back at the main house, the beauty of this place even in the misty and rainy weather can’t be denied.
We headed to the gardens, where they used to grow all their food – this was the part I was most interested in. But first, a stop for tea.
This garden was superbly labeled and maintained. All the beds were in extraordinary condition – this really is a working garden that raises the food for the nuns. Around every corner were new plants.
The head gardener had a house and it was important to have a good house or you wouldn’t entice a great gardener. I’d live in this house for sure! There was a real pile of peat outside – I couldn’t wait to smell this.
It has the most amazing smell. Like an old pipe one of my relatives smokes. Very enticing.
The garden used to have huge steam-filled greenhouses that grew bananas, berries, oranges all year long. A lot of well-thought infrastructure for sure and a lot of work, but man what a way to live!
Heading to our little beach-side guest house next, we looked forward to getting warm and dry. The views from the beach house lawn were amazing.
The opposite hill hosted cows and two lively horses that were super fun to watch.
We walked down to the beach.
Eating blackberries as we went along.
After a dinner in town, we curled up and slept deeply. This was our view for breakfast!