As we drove up the coast the glacial landscape was a sight to behold, large boulders dotted the fissured limestone on the coastal side while pastoral fields led the way inland. Rare arctic species of flora occupied some of the fissures creating the illusion of a collection of hundreds of miniature bonsai gardens.
The ghosts of generations past also accompanied us on our journey with ancient crumbling cathedrals, walls and dwellings dotting the landscape.
Further up the road, the landscape changed again with low lying mountains flanking lush valleys with running streams and meadows, but there were a few roadblocks on the way…
Driving a little further, and suddenly the façade of the impressive Kylemore Abbey came into view, almost perfectly reflected in the lake. As our guide Susan said, you would have had to have been a bit mad and a lot rich to undertake a project of this scale in this isolated area!
Although the 3 acre walled garden was not at its peak in terms of its floral majesty, the layout was impressive indeed and the stories of the gentry and the staff added to the interest of the the place, and in fact the undergardeners Bothy will serve as an inspiration for our booth at Canada Blooms 2014!
The Abbey itself was grand, the architectural details impressive, although we are quite cross with the Duchess of Manchester for having removed the Neo-Gothic details at the turn of the century. But we should all be thankful for the nuns tireless efforts to preserve this rare architectural gem.
Exhausted after a hard day of sightseeing we settled into Clifden, for another great dinner and a warm comfortable bed.