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Posts Tagged ‘Eire’

Today we are in ‘The Burren’, just south of Galway in western Eire.

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The Burren is one of the most fascinating parts of Ireland. It’s a huge limestone plateau of shattered rocks where many rare plants and flowers grow. It may look like a barren and stony wasteland in places, but if you take the time to stop and explore like we have been able to do, it’s a place of  fascinating geology, a paradise for looking for wildflowers like the ones below. I haven’t named them all properly yet but will do so when I get home again.

Harebell

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A meadow orchid

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Road through the Burren

It’s amazing how quickly you move between areas of the burren plateau to farm land that has been wrested from the rocks. The roads are narrow, windy and very uneven – to meet a bus on this road is a bit of an adventure !

A Burren platform of rocks

There are several areas of burren rock to explore – carefully – as it is very uneven.

A tiny rock garden

And tiny bit of soil between the rocks is likely to become a small natural rock garden.

Fissure – or grykes – in the rocks.

These platforms of rocks are split in many ways into grykes, making walking across them a little tricky.

A tiny garden like this in a fissure makes the exploring worthwhile.

Poulnabrone Portal Tomb on the Burren

This tomb was built 150 meters above sea level over 5,00o years ago !

The remains of more than 30 people have been found on and around this site on the Burren.

Fences in this area are made of the most available product – rocks!.

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A wide view across the Burren Plateau.

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Rock Garden

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Early Purple Orchid

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Herb Robert growing in a crevice in the rocks.

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Ferns

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Moss in a damper crevice

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Growing by the side of the car park.

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Bright face of a buttercup

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Thistle

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This section of the plateau shows how the rocks split over time.

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As the rocks recede into the distance they take on a purple hue.

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We are thoroughly enjoying exploring this fascinating part of Ireland.

J and A

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I had looked forward to visiting Kylemore Abbey and Walled Gardens in Connemara for a very long time. It did not disappoint.  I’ll cover this place in more depth later but a few photos will give you some idea. It’s special.

Blue Sky !!!! A rarity in Ireland this summer.

For once we had a sunny day. The locals were hailing this day as ‘ summer’ so we made the most of it.

The photo above was taken on the way to the abbey along the shores of one of the many indentations of the sea here – this one near the lovely village of Letterfrack.  low tide.

Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Eire

The story of Kylemore – both as a Castle and more recently as an Abbey and school – is a truly remarkable one.

Twists of fate have marked its history from its beginning to the present day making for a colourful history.

Nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain (1,736ft) on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul, in the heart of the Connemara Mountains, The Abbey is regarded as one of Ireland’s most romantic buildings.

Originally built in 1867 as a romantic gift, Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history including engineering initiatives, model farms, tragedy, royal visits, gambling debts, a hideaway during Ireland’s troubled history as well as, until very recently when the school closed, excellence in education.

Formal flower beds line the long walls of espaliered fruit trees

Pears on one of the espaliered fruit trees.

One good thing about this garden is that the fruit, berries, herbs and vegetables grown here are used by the chefs in the kitchens of the cafe and restaurant – and the food is really fresh and good. The nuns also use food from the gardens for their one use and they make jams and chutneys for sale. It’s not just a show garden.

A newly planted section of the formal gardens – all very neatly sculptured.

The gardeners were mowing this area – what a job to mow and clip around all of these designs!

The perennial borders.

A long avenue of perennials divides the two sections of kitchen garden with backing hedges screening the view of the veggies from the aristocracy of the day!

Looking down hill across both sections of the vegetable kitchen garden seen with the Connemara hills behind.

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Looking down across the formal gardens.

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Moss covered roots on very old tree at garden gate.

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Reflections in a small lough on the 2km walk back from the garden to the abbey.

More on this garden, Abbey and it’s story after we get home again.

J and A

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