JOURNAL 2015

Ireland Visit 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Another transition day today . . . I’m all settled in to my residence for the following 7 days. I’m in a little hillside cottage by the name of ‘Fushia’ which is a 5 minute walk southwest of the village of Letterfrack.

View from my front garden . . .

View from my front garden . . .

The day started with my B&B host, Mary when she served me my breakfast. She knew that I was familiar with the Burren and asked if I knew the writing work of a priest from that area. I asked her if she was referring to John O’Donohue – she was and told me that she really understood what he meant by “sense of place”. Well, that started a very nice conversation and a great way to start the morning.

After I left the B&B I walked just around the block to the station where I boarded the Connemara Tour Bus that would take me to Kylemore Abbey. Anna, the woman who owned ‘Fushia’ was to come and collect me there at 2:00.

Photo of Kylemore Abbey I took today . . .

Photo of Kylemore Abbey I took today . . .

The tour bus was full and our driver was an excellent tour guide and storyteller. He spent a good 45 minutes telling the people on the bus a condensed history of Ireland beginning with the first hunters and gathers. Most of the people on the bus seemed to be either from Italy, Spain or Portugal and they appreciated the information. I took some photos as he drove and a couple times he stopped so people could stretch their legs because our first ‘real’ stop was to be Kylemore Abbey which was 2 hours into the day long trip.

Landscape of Connemara_001

Landscape of Connemara_001

Landscape of Connemara_002

Landscape of Connemara_002

Landscape of Connemara_003

Landscape of Connemara_003

In August of 2014 I took this same tour – the weather had been cold, windy and rainy so today’s nice weather allowed me to see more of the outdoor sites on this stop. Anna was to come and collect me at 2:00 so that gave me time to have a nice lunch and walk the grounds of Kylemore. Last year I had visited the inside of the abbey so I spent most of my time walking the gorgeous trails by the lake and gardens. I spent a few minutes in the gift shop where I found a book about the history of Connemara written by an archaeologist and native of Connemara an illustrated with watercolor paintings.

At 2:00 Anna came along, we introduced ourselves and we started the short drive to Letterfrack. During our drive Anna told me that she was a native of the area and went to school in Kylemore Abbey. I look forward to learning about what that was like – I can not even imagine. Anna stopped in the small village so I could get a few things and she said she had something to get and would meet me back at the car. I had just returned and put my little bit of groceries in the back of the car when she appeared carrying six fairly large bags of ice. She explained that a local woman had died and she was being waked at her home. So someone had called Anna to ask her to bring more ice . . .

We arrived at ‘Fushia’ in a few minutes. It is located on a steep hill with a beautiful view of the southwest part of Connemara National Park.

My sitting room at "Fushia" . . .

My sitting room at “Fushia” . . .

I settled in by unpacking and setting up my art supplies on the kitchen table. I plan on spending the evening reading the book I bought to learn more about Connemara.

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