On the road and on the last trek of our journey. Already, I feel a sadness slipping over me, like a veil of old lace, tainting all I see.
Adare toward Limerick, the beautiful scenery. Even if there weren’t a million more reasons, the views I captured in these two photos alone would be enough to make me want to stay there forever.
In Adare, County Limerick, visitors can see the present Holy Trinity Abbey Church, which was once the country’s only Trinitarian abbey, founded in 1230. Apart from its religious purposes, the order worked to liberate Christian captives during the Crusades. The abbey was commonly referred to as the White Monastery due to the white habit worn by the monks.
After its suppression during the Reformation, the abbey fell into ruin and today, the remains comprise tower, nave and part of the church’s choir. In 1811, the Earl of Dunraven converted the remains into the present-day Catholic parish church.
This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years until the rebellion in 1536, when it was forfeited and granted to the Earls of Desmond who gave the castle its present name.
Aunty Lena’s Pub a moments refreshment on a busy day.
Aunty Lena’s Bar situated in Adare Village, County Limerick arguably the prettiest village in Ireland. Established in 1806 by the Chawke family, Aunty Lenas has famously served the needs of its patrons with great success as the Chawkes have kept the bar as a focal part of the community, serving both locals and visitors from the four corners of the world.
Adare Augustian Frairy
The Adare Friary, located in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland, formerly known as the “Black Abbey”, is an Augustinian Friary founded in 1316 by the Earl of Kildare. It is now known as “St. Nicholas’ Church of Ireland” parish church, and St Nicholas’ National School.
Holy Trinity Abbey Church
Consider how small my world view has been prior to this adventure….transported to a place of history beyond even the imagining of my own country, a place so lush and green. A place where giants slumber atop mountains and Causeways. Waterfalls pour from mountains over the fjord and coffee colored streams bubble over stony brooks. Imagine a land of bouncy bogs, castles and thatch covered cottages. Wouldn’t that be the place where elves would live, hobbits, Fey folk, fairies, all magical things? I want to live there too!
Adare Town Park
We visited the heritage center then walked across the street and strolled through the park.
During our journey our Guide Paul, informed us that we’d all have to write a limerick by the time we arrived there. (Pretty sure it’s his way of keeping us occupied and out of trouble during our rides. He’s very much like a kindergarten teacher. On long rides, he plays the mesmerizing, ethereal music of Enya. (I caught myself snoring!)
Speaking of Enya, we did pass by this “House” , Mandalay Castle. Yes, I said Castle! Her Mandalay castle rest next to the home of U2 front man, Bono. Enya is a complete mystery. Worth an estimated 190 million, she’s Irelands top selling female singers and one of the richest women in the industry although she has never even toured as a solo artist! Intensely private to the point of reclusive mystery and enigma, it is said that she’s only been seen in public twice in 10 yrs. She’s never married nor had children, content to live alone in her castle with her cats.
There once was a bloke name Clay Whose mouth often got in his way But his wife, in great style Served his plate with a smile And poor Clay had the shites all the day
City Views of Limerick
Askeaton Castle is a late 12th-century ruin located on the River Deel in Askeaton Town, County Limerick. It’s believed that William de Burgo established the castle, though the 15th-century friary is attributed to the 4th Earl of Desmond. The property’s banqueting hall is one of the finest mediaeval secular buildings in Ireland.
Knappogue Castle, last night celebration feast.
The story of Knappogue Castle begins with the Macnamara clan in 1467 (who also built Bunratty Castle). It has a long and varied history ~ from a battle field to a dwelling place. As you wander through the vaulted halls of Knappogue you will learn about the families who dwelled here including the Scotts and the Butlers each making their own valuable contribution. – See more at: Shannon Heritage
Mead and Music
Upon arrival we were greeted by our hosts in full medieval attire. We were ushered into the meeting hall were we were served cups of mead and the lovely music of a harpist and song. Mead: an alcoholic drink of fermented honey. Thankfully, it’s not readily available here in the states. I’d surely get myself in trouble with something that goes down so sweetly.
Smoked Irish Salmon
with Cucumber and Dill Salad
Tomato & Basil Soup
Supreme Chicken in a Veronique Sauce
served with creamed potatoes and
roasted root vegetables
‘Rastin’ Apple & Cinnamon Cruch
Coffee / Tea
Our dinner was served jovially and enjoyed with vibrant conversations. Our hosts and wait staff entertained us with history, songs, skits, and dances. A last night to remember.
I uploaded these videos from our evening for you to enjoy with me. These talented performers were in fact, OUR WAITIRS & WAITRESSES! Talk about fantastic service, talent and an experience to remember!
Leaving the castle that evening as the sun began to set, I snapped a dozen breathtaking photos of this unbelievable display. Photo completely untouched, unfiltered and stunning!
On the way back to the hotel
Departure morning at dawn….I cried.
Friends, if ever I had a wish to come true, I’d wish this entire adventure for you. I wish it for myself as well, to return again where a piece of my heart remained and dwells. Perhaps our paths may cross or meet at a penny wall or castle keep…..I hope to see you there.
Always with Love – Laura