Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Easter Break-Day 3

Muckross House and Traditional Farms

After our morning swim we headed west to the Muckross House where we explored the gardens and learned a bit about the Victorian period. Queen Victoria stayed in the bottom floor bedroom for three nights. The gardens were amazing.
You could travel in style after you bargained out the right price for a carriage ride. We decided to use our good feet instead.
A great view of some of the garden.
The Muckross House from the side.
A couple of meters away is the entrance to the Muckross Traditional Farms. There are six different working farms on a walking route dating from the 1930s. As you walk along the path you stop off at each of these little farms and there is a farmhouse usually with animals and a farmer or wife to let you know a bit about life at that time. We watched as they baked soda bread over a peat fire and showed us where the kids would sleep and what chores they would do.
Real live piggy wiggy among many other of the farm animals here. We saw mules, donkeys, chickens, dogs, pups, cats, peahens, cows, and of course lots of sheep.
The boys enjoying the farm life? At least they enjoyed looking at it...
Real live Irish Wolf Hounds and I was told these were just pups!
We moved onward to our drive around the Dingle Peninsula! This was my favorite part of the trip and probably one of the prettiest places on earth. I kept telling Cam to pull over so we could take the same picture over and over. Here are a few of them...
Beehive Huts. They look like stone igloos and are surrounded by a stone wall in the middle of a pasture filled with sheep. They are around 4,000 years old and somehow have withheld their form. Impressive craftsmanship. These provided shelter for families and the hard life these original Irishmen endured.
One of our favorite pictures. This is taken from the western most point of Europe.

One of the many vacant stone farmhouses left after the terrible potato blight of 1845 that devastated the population. There once was 40,000 people living on the peninsula and today there are 10,000.
More of the beauty of the area in which photos just don't do justice.
We stopped off at the Gallarus Oratory built about 1,300 years ago. This is one of Ireland's best preserved early Christian churches. This is a view from the Oratory.
The church is still waterproof with the finely fitted stone walls. The door is facing west to allow the the evening light into the building. The small window facing east allows the morning light within.
An early Christian cross on the grounds.
It was a beautiful and peaceful way to end our breathtaking tour around the peninsula.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like you are getting out and seeing lots of beautiful places. How long do you have off for break? When is school out? Will you have some travel time at the end before you head home.
    The temp is still chilly here. You are not missing any warm weather. We pray that our cherries will set. The bees must be out flying with their mufflers and rubber boots on these days.
    I am off to Jennifer's for our study tonight. Things are wrapping up pretty soon. I will miss one night when I visit Katey.
    Karen is a good leader.
    Have a nice day.