Saturday, 16 May 2015

Something Quilty and Yet Another Trip

I make no apologies for having been on another little jaunt as I know people do love to travel vicariously (hope I've spelt that right).  The middle of April saw us taking the charabanc to the beautiful County Kerry in Ireland.   Our local coach company just happened to be running a trip to Killarney at the very time that we had been talking about wanting to visit some friends of ours who live beyond Tralee.  My days of driving long distances are coming to an end so if I can find someone else to do the driving I'm all for it.  Plus, we get a holiday into the bargain.  Result!  

 The two photos above are taken from Aghadoe Heights above Killarney and give an outstanding panorama of the beautiful Killarney Lakes.  We were so lucky with the weather and Paul, our driver, took full advantage to show us these views before he took us to our hotel.

On the free day Stewart and I took a local shuttle bus to the far side of these lakes and explored Muckross House and Abbey but more of that in a minute.

Our friends live out on Kerry Head and we hadn't seen them for nearly 10 years during which time my friend's husband had had a nasty stroke so it was lovely to see both of them after such a long time.  Peter has a nap in the afternoons so we were able to relax for a while in June's lovely conservatory while June plied me with wine.  As you can see I had a constant little companion, Ant, who took a shine to us.  I had wanted to take June a gift as it had been so long since we'd seen her and her life is taken up with looking after Peter so I made her a happy quilt, at least, the colours look happy.

A charm pack in my stash meant it went together quickly and I put a fleece back on it so it would be snuggly.  All the sashing and binding was done on the machine too so it was an easy make.  I'm happy to say June was delighted :-)  

Our time with June was all too short but it was lovely to have seen her and Peter at least.  We must try and get across there again before too long.

On the following day we caught a local Shuttle Bus and took ourselves off to Muckross House.   The shuttle bus is new since we were last in Killarney but it is a great innovation (I'm not sure whether the Jaunting Cars would agree) and suited our purposes for the day.  We had been on a jaunting car ride previously and I didn't feel up to it again as I was feeling a bit below par.  The bus was excellent though.  The driver kept us entertained and informed and was very relaxed as only the Irish can be about the itinerary and schedule.  He did make sure that we knew where to be and when.

Muckross House is a jewel in the crown of Killarney.  It sits in an idyllic position overlooking Muckross Lake and looked resplendent in the Spring sunshine.  (I sound like a travelogue!).
First stop was the new cafe complex for some refreshments.

How's that for a view?!

 It was quite a windy day and the cherry tree was shedding its petals like confetti.

 This beautiful old tree was colossal, the photos don't do it justice and its shapes were fascinating.

We had a lovely wander through the gardens and then ventured down to the lake shore.  The grounds were really busy but you wouldn't think it from the photos.

 This beautiful rhododendron bloom came floating by.

The water was making some beautiful patterns to inspire me.

Our next hop on the Shuttle Bus took us to neighbouring Muckross Abbey which proved to be a magical place.   You first see it as you walk down from the road,

The graveyard is still in use and has some interesting memorials and tombs.

Susan Lenz would enjoy a visit here.

The abbey itself is partially ruined but there is free access to the site, which is beautiful.

 This ancient yew tree grows up through the middle of the cloisters.  Yew trees are said to ward off evil and it must be doing its job as, on the day we visited, we saw no sign of 'the brown man' who is reported to haunt the site.

Apparently some have reported a spooky atmosphere but we felt only peace and calm throughout our visit to this beautiful building. 

Finally, (thank god, you're probably saying) it was time to travel back across Ireland via Adare and another abbey.

You're probably ready for a cup of tea now so I'll say tarrah for now.  If I can manage the technology I'm going to start a page for an online course I'm doing at Academy of Quilting with Elizabeth Barton on Working in a Series.  Watch this space!


Heather said...

Your online course sounds interesting and your photos of Ireland are so beautiful - I feel as if I have been there myself. It looks so tranquil and you must have been lucky with the weather. What a lovely gift for your friend - she and her husband will be fighting over who gets it on chilly evenings!

Judy Cooper Textile Images said...

Your photos are wonderful! Thanks for sharing your trip.

Jackie said...

So glad you could see and be with your friends that you hadn't seen for several years. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift you shared. I love the quilt.
Vacations rest the body and the mind; I'm thankful that you and Stewart are traveling and enjoying each moment along the way.

ju-north said...

Great holiday! Nice when you can find a good bus company you can trust to be reliable'

Ali Honey said...

That's a lovely quilt you made your friend. Your photos are great of such lovely surroundings.

Amanda said...

Lovely quilt for you friend, no wonder she was delighted. Nice trip around too. I don't think we're going to have our trips to Ireland this year so it was nice to see, thank you.

Wendy said...

There are few things better than a ruined Abbey, I love these, I need to come with you next time...

Anonymous said...

Julie, gorgeous travel photos, looks like a wonderful garden, lake and abbey. So happy you gave your friend a happy quilt. It's lovely.
Hope you have banked a lot of time, that course with Elizabeth Barton is a really intense one - actually all of hers are intense. I hope you will give us a peek at what you work on. I need to sign up for that one again and finish working through completely. Her critiques are priceless - be sure to post to the class and talk with other participants. I only did about a third of her class on Dyeing to Design but I got a lot of inspiration and printed out all the lessons, so I can finish ... one day!
Thanks for the lovely post.

Emma said...

Fabulous pics, really enjoyed it all. What a wonderful gift for your friend, she will love snuggling under that! EB's work looks wonderful!

Maggi said...

Love your photos and what a great one of you and your friend. Good on you for doing the EB class, I'm on the list for her Masterclass in 2016. I did a couple of classes with her at Quilt University and she was very good.

imac said...

Magnifico Post n Pics MDW Julie.

Pamela Winter said...

What a great trip you had. Lively to catch up with friends and the quilt you made is beautiful.

Pamela Winter said...

What a great trip you had. Lively to catch up with friends and the quilt you made is beautiful.