Kylemore Abbey, a Pearl in Connemara

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August 27th 2019
Published: August 27th 2019
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In a winding turn on a road in Connemara a majestic abbey raises her head: the Kylemore Abbey. A hunting lodge originally stood where the Abbey is today. We toured this castle that was created for Mitchell Henry’s wife, Margaret, after 1850. The Abbey currently is the home of Benedictine nuns who have been apart of Kylemore since 1920. It also was once an International Boarding School. Down a rather long path, we stepped into the Walled Gardens, a six-acre garden that uniquely uses plants and flowers introduced to Ireland before 1901. It’s a spectacular display of floral specimens including herbs. There was a big porker hanging on one side of the gardens and after we met her, Kathy who is on tour with us, meandered with me through the fairy garden, and then many of us made our way to a small cafe that served robust quiche and a great cup of tea.

After lunch we toured the chapel on the grounds and then hopped on the bus to set out for Galway, a much larger town than Westport.

Making our way south on the western side of the country we rolled into Galway, a much larger town than Westport. It offered, perhaps more, shopping than its sister city but, in my opinion, not as quaint, much more industrial, with it being a port city. We got into our hotel, and took a walk to the port, I found an arch and asked Kerry to take my traditional “jump shot” —- 8 attempts and no help in sight ( mind you he makes a living as a photographer.. apparently something to do with my live feature on my phone) ... I stopped a nice woman named Susan and asked her to take the shot. One shot... first attempt😴 I’m sure it had nothing to do with the Guinness one must have at each pub one sees... just kidding...but that does bring up a good story (when in Ireland one must tell good stories)... when Kerry and I had started our walk we met Peter who was touring with us, at a pub for an ale... as we were walking to the pub I saw t-shirts being sold with this phrase “...Galway hooker” I thought that was quite brazen to wear that type of shirt in public...but when we got to the pub... I met a couple from Georgia
and he was drinking a “hooker” - well, imagine that an ale! 😉 anyway... I asked Kerry to buy me a “hooker” too, and we all had a jolly good laugh 😂 I also found out that a Galway Hooker is a sailboat... guess I need to brush up on my sailing matey!

We finished out the day in an old church listening to some traditional Irish tunes by very competent musicians. A young man on a guitar, a young woman on the fiddle and an older guy dancing an Irish gig and humming like a crazy man! You can find them at

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