Day 14: Kylemore Abbey

After yesterday's great battle with weather and the cliffs, today was possibly going to be a carry over as well.  To start off the day, breakfast was open from 7.00 to 10.00.  This allowed us two hours of time for our own continental breakfast in the hostel (we wanted to leave by 9.00).  Today involved a scenic trip through Connemara area to visit Kylemore Abbey.

Driving through Connemara area was such a great treat - seeing the rich green land and bog areas to the sheep dotted on the side of the mountains to even the great rock figures and walls that were used to divide property land.  Everything looked so peaceful and sacred.

After driving about an hour and a half, we finally reached our destination of Kylemore Abbey.  Before driving into the parking area, we stopped on a bridge right before the location center and took some time to take beautiful scenic pictures from afar.  Afterwards, we then entered the center, got our tickets, and quickly made our way into the valley.

Just above the abbey itself was a great big statue on top of the hill - a statue of St. Patrick looking over the valley below.  When we walked closer to the abbey, the sight become that much larger! The abbey was full of old materials and furniture that was used in the past.  They also had great visuals explaining the purpose of the abbey and how it was used as a school by nuns up until the early 2000's.  After walking around the abbey, I then continued to the left of the lake and checked out the church and mausoleum.

Both were fantastic! The attention to detail in the walkways and doorways in the church was amazing - the time spent on carving and detail had to have been of great periods.  After stopping at both places of historical background, I then caught the bus that took people behind the abbey to the gardens.

This area was full of color, with a great courtyard of gardening.  This included the houses where the gardeners actually  stayed and also a couple different buildings where equipment and such amenities for the garden.  After spending about three hours at Kylemore Abbey, we finally got back on the bus to head back early to Galway to have the evening to ourselves.

When we finally got back to Galway, we freshened up and got changed real quick to head back out for the evening.  The first stop of the night was the shopping street called Shop Street (makes sense...).  The area was full of choices and had a variety of places to spend money if able...of course we couldn't pass the opportunity up!  We then ate dinner at Monroe's.  This place was of lively music and lively people - the place was fairly packed with people ordering food as well as just enjoying a couple pints with each other.  For dinner, we all had the fish & chips of Galway.  This was the best fish & chips so far!  I also ordered a drink called Bulmer's Ale - Berry that was a great drink with a taste of berry. (More than one may have been consumed! haha).  After finishing dinner, we then stayed for a bit for the live music.  The first song played by the band was Moondance - I felt like I was sitting back home listening or evening playing jazz music on the trumpet - good times.  Afterwards, we headed back to the hostel being that it was about 23.00.  Before heading off to bed, the group of us, Ashley, Sarah, John, Zach, Connor, and I all enjoyed each others' company and laughter.  It was for sure a good evening for all of us and well deserved.

Tomorrow is a travel day back home to Dublin.  Hopefully we bring back decent weather again with us to make our last full week of Dublin special!!!