Oct 3: Quin Abbey to Killarney

We woke up this morning and were pleasantly surprised with our surroundings. We knew we were in the country but the landscaping around the house was lovely with a few small sitting areas scattered around the backyard and beautiful flower gardens with roses and other flowers in full bloom.

We decided on an early breakfast so as not to repeat yesterday’s late arrival and went downstairs to a lovely set table with many choices of cereal and fresh fruit, toast and jam. Once filled up with that, our hosts brought in two plates of a traditional full Irish breakfast (fried egg, sausage, bacon, black and white pudding, and beans.) Oh dear Lord! Where was I going to put all that food? This was our first Irish breakfast. I had been staying away from eggs in case I reacted like I do at home but as we were nearing the end of our holiday, well what the hell!

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A Full Irish Breakfast: Bacon, Sausage, Black and White Pudding, Egg, Beans and Tomato.

I forgot how gooooood eggs are! The breakfast was scrumptious and the black and white pudding was better than I thought it would be. Tummies full, hugs and warm wishes ensued and we were once again on our way!

Did I mention Martin is a professional photographer? I asked to take their picture and he obliged but first wanted to take ours. It was great watching him in action and I was a sorry we didn’t have more time together to chat about photography and maybe get a few tips. But he did burn a CD for me with some pictures he had taken of Co. Clare. I’m looking forward to getting home and having a look!

We drove back into the tiny town of Quin and did the usual tourist thing of standing by the town sign grinning because it has your name on it!

Mom spotted a post office and we thought: what a great place to send postcards from!

 

Now, you know me and how I believe everything happens for a reason and how I talk to my spirit guides and my deceased family members. I have been trying to mail these postcards for some time but all of the post offices I have visited have been closed, except this one. Isn’t it funny how the only post office that has been open is the one in Quin?

Then we visited Quin Abbey. What a place! It’s off the tourist path, very quiet and solemn. I just love these old abbeys. There’s something very special and peaceful about them.

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Neither of us spoke and we went our own separate way for close to an hour and then somehow managed to find the other and we were both ready to leave at the same time.

I found it hard leaving and would have preferred to just sit in the courtyard and be. But I pulled myself away and went in search of Quinville.

Funny enough, Quinville is on the map but there are no signs indicating where it is. We drove around for a while looking for it and then I typed it into Google Maps and we followed the directions and the count down – 500 meters, 400….. until “you have reached your destination!” We stopped the car, looked around at the fields surrounding us and shrugged. So I took a screenshot of the Google Maps location in lieu of a posted sign as there wasn’t any.

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Head scratching done, we headed out for Killarney where our next AirBnB hosts awaited us as did the Ring of Kerry. 

We arrived in Killarney earlier than our check-in time and needed to access wifi. I did a quick search and found we were right next to a shopping outlet that had free wifi. And we were in luck, they had a café. Tea and sweets in hand, wifi connected, we were able to what we needed to do and then browse the stores.

I was looking at a photography display – a local family celebrating 100 years in the photography business with 4 generations of photographers in the family – when Mom called me over to these strange looking blue chairs. €3 for 10 minutes shiatsu massage. We had time on our hands and could use a massage not to mention a chiropractor adjustment (we miss you Dr Barbara!) By far the best €3 spent. The massage felt great and really got into places that needed it. 

We made our way to our home for the night. A lovely sheep farm on the outskirts of town. This place was lovingly renovated from a barn into a magazine worthy home. Our hosts for the night were Paudie and Anne. Paudie (one of the many Irish versions of Patrick) welcomed us and put a pot of tea on. Once we dropped our bags off we found ourselves in the dining room enjoying a hot cuppa with sweets!


We were exhausted from all the driving over the last two days and went to bed shortly after arriving. I had a good nap, about an hour or so then was wide awake so I decided to downloaded photos to my laptop and write a little for the blog. I was too tired the night before to download photos and needed to free up room on my card. Wifi was pretty spotty both here and our last home so I haven’t had a chance to upload anything. Mom had a great sleep and once awake, neither of us wanted to go out for supper. The only meal we had that day was the Irish breakfast which pretty well kept us fuelled most of the day (along with copious amounts of tea and a few sweets but let’s not mention that.) We had fruit and granola bars stashed in the car (along with a bottle of Bailey’s) but were in dire need of fresh air before our snack.

It was raining but that didn’t stop us from a walk. Anne asked if we’d lost our minds, in that friendly Irish way, and we assured her we were quite sane, just needed fresh air and to stretch our legs. They handed us two umbrellas and wished us well.

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Oh my what a peaceful place to walk; Sheep grazing in the field; The road was more like a country lane you’d see in a Jane Austen movie. I half expected a man on horseback to ride by in the field next to us. The trees on either side of the road bent in towards the other creating a tunnel effect. It was glorious. It was quiet. It was magical. It was wet! We were soaked through despite the umbrella and rain ponchos. But we were happy, exhilarated, refreshed, renewed and ready for our evening snack and glass of Baileys.

What I now know:

Ireland looks a lot like home. By home I mean Quinnville, Perkins, the Gatineau hills and Gatineau valley. No wonder our Irish ancestors chose to stay in this area.

I much prefer driving during the day. There’s so much scenery missed at night. 

I may need a tea and baileys detox when I get home.

No one makes tea quite like the Irish… except maybe Cape Bretoners.

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