Monday, July 6, 2009

First day of walking

Today, we started off for Muckross estates which form a large part of the Killarney National Park. The 11,000 acres were left to the state when the family died out.

Out walk started with a 5.5 km trek just to get to the park. This is a view over the lake.

We then kept walking through a forest trail, past old walls and native yew and oak forest. Mush as we love the rhododendron, it is a nuisance here as it chokes out the native trees and undergrowth. We came out at beautiful Muckross House. Huge - it must have added a kilometer to our walk. The family went bankrupt after spending 6 years and buckets of money preparing for a visit from Queen Victoria & Prince Albert.

We left the house after a delicious lunch - all food in Ireland is terrific - and walked on to the farm houses and out buildings. There was a ceili in the kitchen of the big house and Anne joined in the dancing.

We also were treated to a piece of the soda bread which had been cooked over the peat fire. And fresh butter.

After the farm walk which took quite a long time to see everything, we then went another kilomete to the old Franciscan Abbey. It was destroyed by Cromwell in the 1600's and since then has only been used for burials - inside and out. The cemetery outside the abbey has graves from when the abbey was built to current times. It is a most beautiful place with wild flowers blooming in pinks, reds and whites.

And here's what is known as a jaunting car. We would have liked to have taken one of these home. But we walked. It was another 5 km back home. A clean up and a walk into town for a lovely dinner. I could get used to the food.


Penny said...

That sounds like a lot of walking! I'm impressed that Anne had the energy to dance. No wonder you're enjoying the food - you've built up a healthy appetite with all that fresh air and exercise.

Paws on the Run said...

Wow! I know it is a walking tour, but still, I'm surprised at how much walking there is! I keep thinking you guys are going to waste away to nothing with all that exercise, but you keep mentioning food too, so I guess not! ;)

Rudee said...

I'm enjoying your tour immensely. Wish I were there!

Mimi said...

I wish I was there too!


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