It was a nice day today. I decided we should go for lunch to Ballynahinch castle. Well, it is not really a castle, more a manorhouse with castle elements and now turned into a nice hotel. We usually go there when we are here. For coffee or tea or a lunch. There is certainly a kind of romance in that place. Open fires, library, nice diningroom, a beautiful garden and the river which flows among. You can learn to flyfish with the help of a Gillie or make nice walks in the surroundings.
One of the previous owner was a Maharadja from India. You can read his full name on a plaquette, but overall he is known as: Ranji. He was the first Indian cricket-player who was in the English National team in the beginning of the previous century.
He happened to arrive one day in Connemara and fell in love with it and bought Ballynahinch castle.
He would arrive with his Indian staff at the railwaystation at Ballynahinch after a long travel by boat and train all the way from India. It must have been a very exotic scene there at the railwaystation. Out came women dresses in colourfull sari's and men wearing tulbands and nehru jackets. Maybe it was cold and windy, perhaps a little drizzle. And there they were greeted by the staff from the castle dressed in formal Irish clothes. Two sudge a different worlds meeting eachother. Must have been something for all involved. Some nieces from Ranji where placed at the boardingschool at Kylemore Abbey.
And he himself? He would change immediately his Indian clothes for a tweed outfit and would go fishing and hunting with the locals. When leaving before going backbto India he always would donate his car to the community.
Unfortunately he has only lived there for 6 years in the roaring twenties.
But this story crosses my mind everytime we visit Ballynahich Castle. I did read a beautiful biography about him years ago written by Anne Chamber.
So, the lunch was good and after that I took some pictures before going home. The sun came out and I had my "Birthday Dip" at my private bay in Rossadilisk. What better way of ending my birthday?