This was our home for the week and very comfortable it was too. Although the lack of wifi meant no blogging, I typed up our daily activities and just slotted in the photos back home.
There were 3 bedrooms each with a balcony and this was the view from ours.The deer on the island were very obliging and would wander along the grass by the lodge regularly so we could see them.
To get to the island we had to cross the river on the Mary Fitzgerald ferry.
And we were lucky enough to see 2 weddings at the castle while we were there.
Most of the land is given over to the 18 hole golf course but behind the scenes where nobody ventures very much there are several dilapidated buildings which we were drawn to.There's no information about these to be found which is a shame as I find this sort of thing fascinating; wondering who lived here and what the buildings were used for.
We always try to do something every day while we're away and on Sunday Amy and Thomas had a falconry experience.
John brought 2 birds along with him. Roger the Hawk is 2 years old and he was a little bit naughty as he caught a mouse in the woods which meant he lost a little bit of interest in the bits of chicken John placed on Thomas' arm. But he did fly in several times so Thomas was more than happy.
This was the first flight. Absolutely love the Irish accent!
Monday's trip was a visit to a nearby cove where we all had a paddle.
Tuesday was a visit to Waterford Crystal. It was fascinating to watch the craftsmen at work. One glass blower we spoke to has worked there since 1969.
This is called the apprentice bowl. An apprenticeship lasts 5 years and if at the end of his time the apprentice can't cut a bowl using all the skills required then he's out of a job.
On Wednesday we had a trip out to New Ross to visit the SS Dunbrody, better known as the famine emigration ship that sailed to America.
The history behind the emigration was fascinating and very sad. It all stemmed from the potato famine in 1845-52 when an estimated 2 million people starved to death and another 1 million emigrated. It took them 6 weeks to sail to America in wretched conditions and if half of the 300 passengers made it they were lucky. At the time of the potato famine Ireland had a population of around 8 million people, but after so many deaths and people emigrating the population never recovered to anywhere near this number and today stands at only 4.6 million.
Thursday we had another trip out to a local beach and then went into Waterford which is very much Viking orientated.
In between our outings we went for walks around the island, stopping off for some of the black stuff at the golf club house. The only downside was we never did spot Eliza the fairy no matter how much Guinness was consumed!
And Mark and I may even have had the odd evening at the Castle with a G&T although we never did venture into the rather exquisite dining room.
All in all we had a really relaxing break. Ireland is a beautiful country, the pace of life is slower than what we're used to, the people are really friendly and once again the weather was kind to us.
It's always good to be home but I'm sure one day we'll return to The Emerald Isle.