Castletown House

On Sunday we visited Castletown House in Kildare, the weather was fantastic and the house is always intreating to visit. We did not have time to walk around the grounds this time, as we arrived later than intended, I am sure we will return to this wonderful location in the future. The hawthorn blooms smelt glorious. I have included the house’s website below for your information. Thank you for looking at my post.

http://castletown.ie/

Copper Coast Geo Park

Last Saturday, the Camera Club and I went to the Copper Coast Geopark in Waterford to take some photos for an event we hold twice a year in the club. This is one of the things I enjoy most about being a member of a Camera Club. I shall post about the benefits of being a Member of a Camera Club at a later date. The weather was warm, dry and overcast. If you are in that part of Ireland, I would recommend visiting the area, as it is a beautiful part of the country. There was a Food Festival on in Dungarvan that weekend too, and the Waterford Greenway has recently opened, both of which are worth visiting if you are in Waterford.

The Copper Coast Geopark is described on it’s website as : “an outdoor museum of geological records; it stretches along the coast from Kilfarassy Beach, near Fenor in the east to Ballyvoile Beach near Stradbally to the west. Volcanoes, oceans, deserts and ice sheets all combined to create the rocks which provide the physical foundation of the natural and cultural landscapes of the area.”

https://coppercoastgeopark.com/

 

Waterford Safari

Waterford Walls Project

 

Russborough House

Yesterday we took a trip to the always interesting Russborough House in Wicklow. I have been here many times, but today was the first time that they allowed photography during the tour of the house. Our Guide Iris was an incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the House from the Mitford Sisters up to present day, including the four robberies that the Art Collection suffered over the years including the notorious Martin Cahill’s robbery too. There are so many things to do at Russborough House, from a Maze, walled garden, walks, playground, artisan shops and workshops, The National Bird of Prey Centre, as well as a Cafe. On some occasions, I have seen Polo Cross being played in the grounds of the house. If you are looking for a place to visit with either guests or your family, I think everyone will find something to enjoy at Russborough House.

The website for Russborough House is: http://www.russborough.ie/

Thanks for reading my post.

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Mystery Train Trip to Galway

On Saturday I joined a group of people from the Instagram JJ Community, on a mystery train journey, as part of the St. Patricks Festival. The worldwide JJ Community of around 625,000 members is lead by CEO Kevin Kuster and Founder Josh Johnson, who had come over from America for this event. More than 300 participants meet at Heuston Station in Dublin at 9am on Saturday morning for registration, then we boarded the train. When we arrived in Galway, members of the Galway Camera Club acted as our tour guides for the day. We were divided into at least eight groups. Richard, who was the Guide of the Group that I was a member of, was very helpful and friendly. We wandered around Galway on a very wet day and took a photos at a variety of locations. I used my phone, as I did not really want my proper camera to get wet. I also thought that using a phone was more in the spirit of an Instameet. Then we adjourned to the Ardilaun Hotel to have something to eat and to watch the Ireland .v. England Rugby Match, after this buses came to collect us and we were brought back to the train station, so that we could return to Dublin. It was a great day and I had a lot of fun. This was the first day of the JJ Community Mystery Train journeys. The following day Kevin and Josh lead another group on the train to Malahide. Apparently, the first ever mystery trip that the JJ Community organised was held in October 2016. I will sign up for any future mystery trips that are organised. The organisers and fellow participants were all very friendly and it was a great way to spend the day. A number of companies were involved to make sure that this free event happened, this includes, the JJ Community, Irish Rail, Select Ireland, as well as the Ardilaun Hotel.

Should you wish to look up some of the images that participants took, the list of hashtags used on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for this event includes the following:
#jjindublin, #jjinireland, #mysterytrain1, #mysterytrain2, #jjinstarail, #stpatricksjjinstrail, #movingstpatricksday, #irishrail, #stpatricksmysterytour

Waterford Walls Project

Waterford Walls was a Street Art festival that has been held in Waterford for the last two years.

The Festival was started in 2015, when 25 derelict buildings in Waterford were transformed with beautiful and provocative murals by renowned local and international artists. As soon as I found out about this Festival from the renowned Street Artist DMC (pictured below), I went to Watford and had a look. I downloaded the route map from the Waterford Walls website and I took off around the City. The photos below are some of my favourite pieces that I came across. However, I did only get about half of the trail covered, so I will need to go back and find the rest.

 

If you want to know more, please go to http://www.waterfordwalls.ie.

Do you have a favourite piece of Street Art, if so, please tell me about it.

Kilmore Crosses

I have passed this pile of crosses many time in my life, on the way to Kilmore Quay in Wexford, I was always curious about it, I have now found the answer (Thanks Google!). Today, I decided to stop and take some photos of it, before it vanishes at some point in the future.

This is a mainly South Wexford tradition of people adding a new cross to the pile, as a funeral passed by, on the way to the local Cemetery.  The crosses were all locally made and had a point at the end. The Funeral Directors always come to the funeral with two crosses, one for the gravesite, and the other is placed on this pile by the Funeral Director. There are a couple of other piles of these crosses around South Wexford. Cong in Mayo used to have the same tradition, but, not any more.

The only explanation that I could find, seems to come from an event in the year 777. When King Charlemagne of France (742-814) was leading an invading army fighting in Spain, he received news which forced him to leave. While retreating over the Pyrenees, his army was ambushed by the Basques in the Pass of Roncevalles and unfortunately, thousands of his men were killed. To commemorate the dead, Charlemagne had a great wooden cross erected in the Pass. This cross became known as Charlemagne’s Cross. When people passed by, they would add a small wooden cross. 

The custom became widespread throughout France and the placing of small wooden crosses near roadside shrines became one of the ways of respecting the dead.

It is thought that the custom spread from the Pyrenees to northern France where the inhabitants of Flanders and Normandy practised it up to very recently. It is also accepted that many of the first Anglo-Norman settlers in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy in south Co Wexford after 1169 were of Flemish descent. The Cistercians and the Canons Regular of St. Augustine who came into Ireland in the twelfth century, were mainly of French origin too. The Cistercians, erected a famous abbey at Tintern, which gradually took over several parishes in the neighbourhood, including those of Kilmore, Killturk and Tomhaggard, all of which are in the immediate vicinity of Tintern, which is near where this practice exists. They also had a base in Cong, which is probably why that is the only place in Ireland outside South Wexford that had this tradition.

I like it when I see that some old traditions are still been observed by people.

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