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Published: August 5th 2018
Borris House I
View from the gate.
In mid-July my friend and colleague Anja and I were invited to our colleague John’s wedding in Ireland. I had worked with John in Singapore for a year, and since for a few months it had only been the two of us in the office, with Ben joining us a bit later, we had become friends. I was happy to be invited to his wedding. John is half-German and half-Irish and had returned to Ireland from Singapore the year before and was going to marry his partner Fiona, who is Irish as well and whom he had met in Singapore. I was also looking forward to spending a few days with Anja.
Anja and I flew into Dublin the day before the wedding, rented a car, and drove to Carlow County. Anja had booked a lovely Bed and Breakfast for us not far from Borris. The owner was super friendly and welcomed us with tea and home-made cake. After enjoying our tea we drove to the next village to have dinner, and once more it showed how friendly the Irish are. It is so easy to get in touch and chat with them for a bit, they will always have
Borris House II
The entrance to the garden, with bride and groom just ahead of us.
a story to tell. The restaurant we had selected was crowded, and a couple that was just about to leave offered us their table and gave us recommendations what to eat and praised the place. It was very nice to chat to them and Anja and I enjoyed our dinner. After dinner we went for a little drive through the hilly and pretty countryside. Anja had worked in Ireland for a year and directed my attention to the sky that is always different. I had not paid attention to it before, but it was true, the clouds always looked different. Also in Ireland I always have the feeling that everything is very ancient, that it has a long and to a certain extent also mystical history. A country full of old secrets and wisdom.
The next morning, after a lovely and huge breakfast, Anja and I had an appointment at the “Secret Sanctuary” in Borris, a hair and beauty salon, to have our nails and hair done for the wedding. Sometimes I love doing these girly things! And it was great to give ourselves this little treat. However, it took way longer than expected, so that when we got
Borris House III
Reception in the garden.
back to the B&B we had to hurry to get dressed and ready. Our lovely landlady drove us to Borris herself and dropped us off at the church.
While the morning had been cloudy and a little wet, now the sun came out, just in time for the wedding to begin. Our colleagues Simon, Ben, and David with his wife Denise were there as well, and it was good to catch up. It was great to see John, looking great in his suit, and smiling and happy. Fiona entered the church with her dad, and she looked stunningly beautiful and was all radiant and smiling. The ceremony was special since the priest had known Fiona since she had been a little girl, so his sermon was very personal. After the ceremony everyone went to congratulate the smiling and happy couple.
The celebration took place in Borris House, an old mansion within walking distance from the church. Since we still had some time, the cuties (my colleagues from cut-e and I) stopped in a bar on the way for coffee and beers. David always has exciting stories to tell, so the stop over was fun. Borris House
Borris House IV
The dining hall with nicely set tables.
mansion dating back to the Kings of Leinster, as it says on their website. It can be rented for weddings, with representative reception rooms, a great hall, and a big garden surrounded by a wall. It is really an amazing location for a wedding. There was a reception in the garden, and afterwards a lovely and very tasty four-course meal in the great dining hall, accompanied with different wines. The chef had prepared a lovely vegetarian meal for me. The speeches given by John, John’s dad, and Fiona’s dad were very touching, and, as a complete surprise, Fiona presented a poem that she had written and that I really enjoyed. I had not known that she was a poet!
The evening continued with music, dance, and drinks, and Fiona and John moved around between the guests and found time to talk to everyone, although there were many guests, and quite a few of them had travelled a long distance to attend the wedding. Anja and I spent most of the evening with our other colleagues, with whom it is always great to catch up. I also took some time to explore the mansion. How many people and stories this
Borris House V
The tables, all of them set with a lot of attention to detail.
house must have seen!
Anja and I caught a taxi back to the B&B sometime after midnight, and I think the driver was surprised to find us almost sober. But even without much alcohol I had really enjoyed the wedding, everything from the ceremony in the church to the dancing in the end was great, let alone the location. The best thing, however, was to see Fiona and John radiant, smiling, and all happy.
One good thing about not getting too drunk was that we could wake up without being hung over the next day, and that we could enjoy another lovely breakfast at our B&B. Our flight would not depart until in the afternoon, therefore Anja and I went to the nearby town of Kilkenny to do a bit of sightseeing. Kilkenny is a medieval city with a labyrinth of small alleys and roads located on the River Nore.
We parked the car in the city centre and walked through the small roads and across the river to St. Canice's Cathedral, Ireland’s second largest medieval church. Canice, or Cainnech in Irish, the man after whom the cathedral was named, lived in the 6th century, and seems
A labyrinth of small roads and alleys.
to have been involved in founding Kilkenny (originally: Cell Cainnigh, or “Cainnech’s Church”), but the details are unknown. The cathedral we can see today dates from the 13th century though. It is surrounded by a beautiful cemetery from which one also has a nice view of the city, for example to St. Mary’s Cathedral, nowadays the Bishop’s seat.
We continued our walk along the river back into town. After having some extremely nice ice-cream Murphy’s Ice Cream
, made with love and best ingredients) we finished our visit at Kilkenny Castle, also known as Castle of Butlers, originally built in the late 14th century, with most parts of it dating from the 19th century though. It also offers a nice view of the city, just from another angle, in comparison to St. Canice’s Cathedral.
After our visit there we made a quick stop over in a shopping centre so that Anja could get some Irish goodies, and then drove back to the airport to fly home. A very short, but really nice stay on the Green Island with good people!
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