Thursday, May 5, 2011

A perfectly fine Irish day

Brigid's Well
Our first full day in Ireland was fantastic! We had a delicious Irish breakfast at Juno's Cafe followed by a tram ride to the bus station to catch our bus to Kildare. A slightly damp 1 1/2 mile walk, with me running behind Anne, as usual,  got us to St Brigid's Well which was peaceful, secluded, and beautiful.

Another 1/2 mile down the road took us to the Irish National Stud, Japanese Gardens, and St. Fiachras Garden. The National Stud was founded in 1946 and is home to some of Ireland's finest thoroughbreds. We were able to see mares with new foals out in the paddocks.

Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden was absolutely beautiful!  Everything was so well cared for. Gardeners would walk up to us and strike up easy conversation. I've met so many nice people since we've been here. Anne and I were climbing up and down slippery rock stairs like we were mountain goats.

St Fiachras Garden was also beautiful, with waterfalls, lakes, beautiful foliage and flowers everywhere. Winding paths took us to many an unexpected view. The sun had peeked out from behind the clouds and we were able to really enjoy the time outdoors.

St Fiachras Garden
After a brief rest we hiked the two miles back to Kildare and waited for the bus to take us back to Dublin. Little did we know that we were to be treated to a wonderful surprise.  We actually got on the wrong bus and were going to get off but the bus driver said not too worry, he would get us up the road and help us get a connection to the right bus. So we drive to about half way back to Dublin and he lets us off at stop and tells us that an express should be along, if we haven't missed it, and if not another bus will be along to take us in to Dublin.  Less than three minutes later, another bus pulls up and it's the express to Dublin.  It wasn't until we got off the bus in Dublin that we found out that the first bus driver called to the express driver and asked him to stop and pick us up.  Such kindness was so unexpected, and so appreciated!  It got us back to Dublin 30 minutes earlier than we would have made it, otherwise. But it is a perfect example of the friendly people we have encountered since arriving in this beautiful country.

National Stud
So we walked over to Ryan's for a pint of Guinness and some supper, but they were completely full.  We settled for Juno's Cafe, since it was so close, and ordered organic beef burgers and a glass of red wine.  It was without question the BEST hamburger I have ever eaten in my life! And our waiter was an absolute doll!  When he found out we were going to Cork next he suggested a couple of places for us to visit.  It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.  I am now ready to take my very happy tummy and my very tired legs and feet to bed.  Tomorrow is Newgrange and another perfect Irish day.