Omey Island and Kylemore Abbey

Trip Start Jul 01, 2009
1
9
28
Trip End Jul 25, 2009


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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We boarded the bus at 8:45 and headed up North to the Connemara area. It was interesting to see how the terrain changed. This area is more rural and the rolling mountains and rocky landscape dominate. (Of course, the sheep are rather plentiful there as well.)
Our first stop was in the town of Clifden at the Alcock and Brown Hotel. They offered us complimentary tea and biscuits. Yummy jam!!! We then headed back out after just a short stopover because we needed to get to the tidal island (and off again) before the waters came back in.
Omey Island, west of Cleggan, can only be reached by foot at low tide. In the early 1990's a team of archaeologists from University College Dublin began work to study the monastic heritage on the island. This site is believed to have dated back from the early 6th Century. It was founded by the prodigious, St. Feichin. There is a Holy Well (Feichin's Well) along the western shore, a still existing ancient church and many artifacts buried within the "Midens" walls. The island served as a burial ground from the land across the way since its ground was sandy and easier for digging as compared to the rocky, dry area across the other side. It was so strange to be walking across the area where the water usually resides. Even neater was the ability to view a few cars pass over!
After several hours, and before the tides came back in, we reboarded the bus and headed out to Kylemore Abbey. This, I have to say is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my travels over around to different areas. The building itself looks much more impressive from a distance, as you can see its age as you get closer, but the setting and placement of the building is absolutely gorgeous along side the Connemara mountains! It was originally a site of a hunting lodge. Later, the Henry's secured the land because his wife just had to build there after viewing it on their honeymoon. That he did and the huge building was constructed. It's a sad story however after that. Margaret Henry died at an early age after contracting "Nile Fever" on holiday with the family in 1874. This castle estate was eventually turned over to the Community of Nuns of the Order of St. Benedict. Currently it is a renowned international boarding school for girls. There is some uncertainty as to whether this school can and will remain open due to the tremendous recession that is being felt throughout Ireland (and of coure, the rest of the world.)
Kylemore is just one place where I feel you can really be at one with nature and get lost in the beauty and surroundings! Yet, we needed to move on and it was already almost 6 pm. After a brief stop along the way back at a B and B for a pint, we pushed on to Galway. It was a rather long field trip, I did not get back to my room until 8 pm.
After that I needed to head to Dunnes to purchase grocery, etc. Barbara and I lugged our groceries back and prepared a lovely dinner, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. It was tasty and much cheaper than eating out. (Of course it was 9:30 at the time we started eating!) Where does the time go in Ireland? I keep asking myself that question. I can't seem to find the answer!
.


We boarded the bus at 8:45 and headed up North to the Connemara area. It was interesting to see how the terrain changed. This area is more rural and the rolling mountains and rocky landscape dominate. (Of course, the sheep are rather plentiful there as well.)
Our first stop was in the town of Clifden at the Alcock and Brown Hotel. They offered us complimentary tea and biscuits. Yummy jam!!! We then headed back out after just a short stopover because we needed to get to the tidal island (and off again) before the waters came back in.
Omey Island, west of Cleggan, can only be reached by foot at low tide. In the early 1990's a team of archaeologists from University College Dublin began work to study the monastic heritage on the island. This site is believed to have dated back from the early 6th Century. It was founded by the prodigious, St. Feichin. There is a Holy Well (Feichin's Well) along the western shore, a still existing ancient church and many artifacts buried within the "Midens" walls. The island served as a burial ground from the land across the way since its ground was sandy and easier for digging as compared to the rocky, dry area across the other side. It was so strange to be walking across the area where the water usually resides. Even neater was the ability to view a few cars pass over!
After several hours, and before the tides came back in, we reboarded the bus and headed out to Kylemore Abbey. This, I have to say is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my travels over around to different areas. The building itself looks much more impressive from a distance, as you can see its age as you get closer, but the setting and placement of the building is absolutely gorgeous along side the Connemara mountains! It was originally a site of a hunting lodge. Later, the Henry's secured the land because his wife just had to build there after viewing it on their honeymoon. That he did and the huge building was constructed. It's a sad story however after that. Margaret Henry died at an early age after contracting "Nile Fever" on holiday with the family in 1874. This castle estate was eventually turned over to the Community of Nuns of the Order of St. Benedict. Currently it is a renowned international boarding school for girls. There is some uncertainty as to whether this school can and will remain open due to the tremendous recession that is being felt throughout Ireland (and of coure, the rest of the world.)
Kylemore is just one place where I feel you can really be at one with nature and get lost in the beauty and surroundings! Yet, we needed to move on and it was already almost 6 pm. After a brief stop along the way back at a B and B for a pint, we pushed on to Galway. It was a rather long field trip, I did not get back to my room until 8 pm.
After that I needed to head to Dunnes to purchase grocery, etc. Barbara and I lugged our groceries back and prepared a lovely dinner, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. It was tasty and much cheaper than eating out. (Of course it was 9:30 at the time we started eating!) Where does the time go in Ireland? I keep asking myself that question. I can't seem to find the answer!
.
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