Sampling the Wonders of Kildare: Day 2

23 03 2011

Sunday came, and my experience of rural Ireland continued. After a good, late breakfast, we went to mass in this quaint church a bit up the road from their house. After that, we decided to visit an outlet shopping centre nearby: Kildare Village outlet centre. We did not do much shopping (I bought a pair of Nike trainers for €34 or so, which I think was quite a good bargain). But we did go in nearly all the shops, though even with high discounts, most were out of our price range. I liked that the shopping centre is all based outside. Having had good weather certainly helped to make it for an enjoyable morning.

After a late lunch/early dinner (lunner?) at home which his mum cooked (MMMMM…had parsnips for the first time and they tasted good I must say), we decided to visit the Japanese gardens/Irish National Stud/Fiachra’s garden. This is one whole centre, with the two gardens and the stud farm. First up was the Japanese gardens, where we walked though the path of life πŸ™‚

On the bridge of engagement

On the bridge of engagement

The view of the garden from the Hill of Ambition

The view of the garden from the Hill of Ambition

After the Japanese gardens, we proceeded into Saint Fiachra’s gardens, for some more greenery πŸ™‚

The Lake

The Lake

The Monastic Cell

The Monastic Cell

We also visited the stud farm, where amongst other we got to see a video on how foals are born, the horse museum, the famous Irish studs (including Invincible Spirit πŸ™‚ ) and numerous young foals with their mothers.

A tired, sleeping foal

A tired, sleeping foal

We also got to see these small horses (do not know their name…forgot it…anyone knows…something like Fallevallas), which are bred to have a small size. [UPDATE: it is called a Falabella]

Cute horses

Cute horses

By now, the time had passed, and we got a hot chocolate (not the best ever but anyways) and made our way home, to finish packing and make our way back to University.

Overall, a great weekend. I am ever so grateful to Ross for inviting me (he thought I would be bored…but how can you be with all this beautiful nature around…even just staring into it is more than enough), his parents for having me and being so nice to me, his sister for allowing me to make use of her room while she was away and his grandad for thinking I am a great person πŸ™‚ Β (he is getting old…so that might cloud his judgement, but who am I to complain).

I was sad too say goodbye to this quiet village which was home for the weekend, and to such a wonderful weekend, surrounded by such nice people. Hope Ross will enjoy his time in Malta as much I did at his home πŸ™‚

Thank you for having me πŸ™‚

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