This morning we went down to eat our final breakfast in Killarney. We met a sweet couple form Virginia on their honeymoon. We enjoyed talking with them very much and they told us all about their experiences in Galway (the county we are headed to).
I bid a farewell to Rosemary and got ready to make the long drive to Galway.
---SIDE NOTE: I did not get a picture, but Rosemary had many large portraits of her husband with an American Bald Eagle around the B&B. As it turns out, her husband had found the young eagle in Ireland back in the 80's. How it got to Ireland is anyone's guess, but her husband nursed it back to health and returned it safely to the USA. There are letters also hanging in the B&B from President Ronald Reagan thanking him for the safe return of the eagle. Very cool!
Anyway, we decided to take a car-ferry for part of our journey which cut about two ours off our driving time (still was 4 1/2 hours to the castle). I had never been on one before so I got some pictures:
The view from the pier while waiting on the ferry:
Driving on to the ferry:
Lighthouse on our journey across the water
I was really eager to just GET to the castle, as was Ty. we made the decision to drive straight through, no stops (other than a quick lunch). The problem with that is Ireland is SO beautiful. Around every corner is a postcard picture and we couldn't help but stop and snap some pictures.
I have taken so many pictures of scenery lately that I should really change my title from "Birth photographer" to "Nature photographer"
The mountains on our drive:
Little islands in the river:
So, it seems my husband is OBSESSED with blackberries. They grow all over the place in Ireland and he stops and pretty much freaks out ever time he sees some.
Ty: "OMG Blackberries!!!"
Ty: "They are everywhere, I can't believe it!! There's more over here!"
Hope: "Why, if you know they are everywhere do you still get so excited every time you see them?"
Ty: "Because they are EVERYWHERE!!!"
*sigh* enough said (this is a daily conversation, BTW)
I found it amusing when loading the pics tonight, from camera to computer, that I found this picture:
Guess who took it??
A man and his great love for blackberries:
During our drive to County Galway, we finally saw some stray sheep in the road (all of the sheep we have seen previously were behind fences). Autumn is dying for a picture of me walking with the sheep, so Ty and I stopped in attempt to get such a picture. The sheep weren't having it and pretty much walked away from me. Sorry Autumn, this is as good as it gets:
Ballynahinch castle (dating back to the 1700's) is now a hotel/manor located in Connemara - County of Galway. Here we are pulling up to the entrance (note the stray sheep all over the place)
Now, I must mention - I am not well traveled. The majority of my hotel stays have been in The Days Inn on trips to amusement parks with the kids... or Florida cities with friends. I have never stayed in a placed where they carry your luggage to your room and serve you a five course meal for dinner. It was lovely to be pampered.
The view from our room!
The reception area (real fire blazing)
The lounge (yet another fire blazing)
The sun room
Before dinner, Ty and I went exploring the grounds. They are stunning and there were many trails to follow, along the stream.
Ty had to touch the water and reported that it was freezing :-)
Me by the river (I felt no need to touch the freezing water)
Dressed for dinner:
The dining room:
I took a picture of my salad, because the lettuce was called "Lambs Lettuce" which I had never heard of. It sort of looked like little clovers. It was very tasty.
Candle lit dinner:
My Ty :-)
The dessert was a berry cheescake with fresh cream. It was so pretty I had to take a picture. It was very tasty too!
We took our tea and petite fours in the lounge, so we could sit by the fire. It was so relaxing and wonderful. Ty read, as I sat and updated the blog /e-mails. We spent hours there... I often kept thinking I wanted someone to pinch me, because it didn't seem real.
I loved that when we went to our room to retire for the evening, that we smelled of fire.