We made it across the Pond!
For our round the world trek, our first stop is Ireland! I will admit, this trip was already planned. My sister, Lane, and her husband had decided to travel to Ireland for her birthday and they invited us to come along, so we decided this was a great starting point for our big trip! We are exploring most of the country, so I assumed I would just do one post about our whole week, but we have just completed our first stop and, after that, I realized I probably will not be able to fit all of Ireland in one post!
Our first stop in Ireland was in the region of Connemara. Set in a gorgeous valley, the Delphi Lodge was originally built in the 1820s as a fishing lodge. Restored in the 1990s, it is now an adorable fishing lodge nestled right near Fin Loch (Lake Fin).
Upon arrival, we were ushered into tea time. With fantastic weather, we had tea and coffee outside facing the lake. That evening, we went into the small village of Leelane to dine at Blackberry Restaurant. Leelane is a quaint village with just two streets of cafes, pubs and shops.
The following day, we traveled to Clifden. I should preface, while we have several places we would like to see and experience, we all agreed we’d rather not have an agenda so we could feel free to stop wherever we decided. Driving towards Clifden, we stumbled upon a castle and decided to stop. We found ourselves at Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore was originally built in the 1870s by Mitchell Henry as a private home and gift for his wife. On the property, he later built a private church and mausoleum in her memory after her passing.
The church was eventually sold to Belgian nuns who were fleeing World War I. The nuns turned the estate into an Abbey and eventually a boarding school. The property has since been restored and now serves as a monument and museum. We spent the rest of the day driving to and around Clifden exploring shops, cafes, churches and other castles.
Upon our return, we had a communal dinner at Delphi Lodge’s long dining table with all the other guests. Most of the Lodge’s common areas are designed to facilitate conversation and interaction with other guests. Unfortunately, we didn’t really take any pictures at this dinner.
On our last morning, Reed and I went fishing on Fin Loch (Fin Lake), which was right off our front lawn. Tom, our fishing guide, taught us the traditional fishing method of “dapping.” Dapping is a combination of fly fishing and top water fishing where a very small bait is designed to look like a fly, floating on the surface of the water and “flying” up every so often. The trout will either snatch the bait from the surface of the water or jump completely out of the water, trying to catch it as it flies. Although we did not catch any fish, we had many fish attempt to get the bait, jumping completely out of the water. We really enjoyed our first “dapping” experience and Reed is hoping to try it again very soon.