This mansion home served as a school for girls run by Benedictine nuns in the 1900s.
There was even a small church on the property built by the rich original owner of the estate. It was a little rainy (really more of a drizzle) so not the best weather to explore, but it could be worse! It didn't help with the picture taking though.
We also walked up (about 20 minutes) to the pretty walled Victorian English gardens on the property.
The walk up was on this street through the woods and was nice, but we had just missed the shuttle bus and decided to walk, only to have the shuttle come by us...twice.
They must have had some Easter activities for the kids and all the stuff was still out, including a set of disney princess dresses on a clothesline in the garden (which made for a really fun picture, actually!)
There were also some left over activities in the hothouse.
We caught the bus back down to the house when it was time to go back. Frankly, I probably needed the walk--there are too many food related activities!
A quick stop in the gift shop/tea room (no I didn't get any food-but those scones looked yummy!)
Next it was back on the bus, where we passed some peat bogs
and made a quick stop photo stop at Killary Harbour.
Our next real stop was at 11:30 at Westport in the next county over--Mayo. This was a small colorful town, but a lot of stuff wasn't opened yet, either because it was too early or because it is Easter Monday--a big holiday in Ireland.
Katherine pointed out a place for us to stop for food (really the only point of this hour and a half stop). The Blue Willow Tea Room and Cafe! Like the china :). I was happy.
We had lunch foods (I had a seafood chowder) with irish brown bread (really good) and I had ginger tea.
I really hadn't been hungry (we get included breakfasts when we travel with Globus), but there really wasn't that much more to do (and I of course love tea rooms and the food was good!).
Next we traveled to Knock and the tour guide put on some Irish music :). I pretty promptly fell asleep for my first bus nap :P.
Next stop, Knock! In the 1800s, some residents of Knock saw an apparition of Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, and a lamb upon an altar with angels on the outside of the local church. Now a plaster replica of the vision serves as a chapel.
From knock we travelled to Bundoran, a seaside resort town, located in Donegal County.
We rushed out to take pictures of the atlantic on the cliff walk,
before joining the tour for our first optional excursion, a pub! Along the way, we stopped to take pictures of a home of Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma. We are very close to the northern Ireland border--the Earl was killed by the IRA in the 1970s.
There were beautiful views of the ocean.
Next to the pub!
We had a shot sized sample of Guinness,
before ordering ciders
and whiskey as my second drink (two drinks were included in the price of the excursion as well as a snack of potato chips).
We heard an hour and some of songs including Danny boy and country western! The singer was actually pretty good with the twang.
We headed back to the hotel for another three course meal in their dining room,
Thai coconut chicken over rice
before a quick run out to the cliff trail again to catch the last bit of twilight.