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PADDY'S IRELAND TOUR

CONNEMARA-GALWAY

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Thursday May 20, 2010. We departed for a full day Connemara tour. The first stop was a Connemara marble manufacturing plant. It was very interesting and we were shown the tools used in the process of converting the raw marble into a myriad of articles. The marble comes in different colors, and some pieces have fossils embedded in them. A random pattern sometimes resembles a landscape, and some pieces are translucent. It is very old marble, around 1500 million years old.

           

           

 

After the visit we continued on our way to Kylemore Abbey on the northern shores of Loch Pollacappul.

      

 

It is a beautiful gothic building with a tragic story. It was built by Mitchell Henry, a wealthy politician who gave it to his wife as a wedding present. They had nine children, but she died at age 45 after contracting dysentery on a trip to Egypt. Her remains were buried in a mausoleum in the land, to be joined by the remnants of her husband and a child later on.

                 

 

 We went inside and could imagine what it must have been like, living there.

               

 

Benedictine nuns fleeing Belgium occupied the castle and established an abbey and a girls' school, which still operates. Tours are given as a fund raising method.  The grounds are beautifully landscaped, and a statue on Christ has been erected on the mountain side.

               

       

There are wonderful views of the lakes which surround Kylemore.

 

After we left the abbey we drove to Galway, where we went for a tour of the town and wound up in Eyre Square. The hotel Meyrick was the setting of our lunch, and walking around the square we found a Galway Hooker, which is not what comes to mind right away, but a type of sailing vessel.  This is also where President John F Kennedy visited shortly before his assassination, and a monument reminds us of the fact.

              

 

 We spent a restful night at the Hotel Clayton and got ready for a tour of the Aran Islands.

 

 

 

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