donderdag 4 augustus 2011

A Hike at Kylemore Abbey.

Tuesdaynight we had a lovely dinner at Sven, Inez and the kids Eva and Finn. The are a Dutch couple living close to Cleggan. We have met them years ago and became good friends with them. It is always good to meet up and talk about the things happening in our lives.
Opposite their house is a beautiful lake and we made a little row trip where I catched the sun going down.
Inez is working at Kylemore Abbey for years and since this year she can take you on a Mountain Hike from about 2,5 hours. So, yesterday when I woke up the sun was shining -they promised us rain all day - I decided to do the walk.

Kylemore Abbey is built by Mitchell Henry for his beloved wife Margaret Henry. In 1850 they were on  honeymoon in and because she was so charmed by Connemara Henry bought the 15.000 acre estate as a gift for Margaret. He decided to built her a fairytale castle. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Connemara. We have been there a few times. The inside of the castle is not spectacular, but I love the Victorian garden which was redone and opened in 2000 with beautiful glasshouses.

But...I came for the Hike. So at 11 we left the visitor centre for which would become a breath taking walk up on Mount Doughruagh with vieuws on Kylemore Lough and the Benbrack. The old paths were discovered last year and more paths are expected to be discovered. The Victorians loved this rugged landscapes, and a Picknick in such a landscape was the ultimate dream for them.

The beginning was a rather steep climb. We were surrounded by oak trees covered with mosses, ferns, visited a  cave and saw masses of rhododendrons. This last plant is not good for the natural habitat. They have changed flora and fauna in the surroundings. Very difficult to get rid off unfortunately.

Up we went to have a great vieuw over the area. The Atlantic in the distance, Diamond hill on the other side. The sun came out now and than and gave the green mountains a velvet look. The light here can change so fast, and that is what I have liked so much ever since the first time I came to Connemara.
At the end we stopped at the Sacred Heart Statue which will be painted white again soon. During the Hike Inez explained a lot about the landscape. Interesting things about the age of the mountains: they are much older than the Himalayas, plants, animals etc.

I hadn't made a walk such a this one for a long time. One benefits if walking is that you don't think of anything else than walking, and during the walk your head gets filled with a beautuful landscape. After the walk I had a coffee - and cake ofcourse- in the restaurant before heading home.

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