Checking out of Dromoland, we said goodbye once again to a lovely place and timeless stop on this Irish adventure. Nona and Grandaddy Z loved the place as much as we did and were even talking about a return trip for the big 20th wedding anniversary. Golf was fun for Daddy and Grandaddy and exploring the grounds was once again a blast for Mommy, Nona and the kids.
We only had a few short days left on this wild adventure (in Ireland that is), so we decided to try and check out a few new stops. We had just pretty much completed the exact itinerary from the year before. However, it was completed much quicker because where to go and what shortcuts to take. It was time to reach out for some new ground. Items in Ireland not checked off on our last trip included Galway, Conemera, the Giant’s Causeway and Belfast and Northern Ireland. The latter of those would have to wait once again, the former was in our sights.
From Dromoland we headed to the Cliffs of Moher for the second time in as many years. The giants were still in the tower (see last year’s post) and Nona and Z were inspired by the cliffs, wind and see as far as the eye can see.
We ended northwest towards the Conemera region and Kylemore Abbey. The drive, like all of Ireland was scenic and breathtaking. Conemera another version of the Rink of Kerry, yet different flew by us and we tried take as many pictures as we could to capture just a hint of the essence of the beauty. Lakes of shiny blue reflected forests of green and mountains of gold. Sheep dotted the countryside and even walked across the road, as if you were in their way, rather than vice versa.
As we pulled up to Conemera it was every bit as magical as I had imagined it would be. About 15 years ago as soon as I graduated college, I lived with my buddy Tom for a year in an apartment. We had a calendar of world famous castles. That was the first time I ever saw or heard of Kylemore Abbey and Conemera. I knew one day that I would have the opportunity to see its wonder, and today was that day. The family looked for a while and then moved on, but I stayed for a few extra moments just taking it’s crystal white walls bouncing off the river in front of it and the lush green and gold mountains behind the ramparts. It was exactly as I envisioned it.
We bunkered down for the evening in a seaside town on the conemera circuit, had sheppard’s pie and Guinness and finally called it a night.