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Emotional Connemara

Listen to nature's voice

[Tripper: Paola]
ITMovimento lentoConnemara

Then there are the towering barren mountains, with the changing light of the sun... and beneath them flow untraceable and unpredictable waters -
Thus the British Harriet Martineau in 1852 described the landscape of what is now the Connemara National Park: 2000 hectares of mountains, marshes, moors, prairies and woods, in the heart of western Ireland, in County Galway.

Parco Nazionale del Connemara (Irlanda)

Connemara National Park (Ireland)

Riflessi della torbiera intrisa d'acqua

Reflections of the waterlogged peat bog

Certainly for us who live in the country of the Alps, where the highest peak in Europe stands out, defining these heights as mountains makes us smile a little but even if the heights are not so high, the suggestion in which the landscape manages to immerse you is high .
Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle but here it is not the bright green that triumphs but the brown tones conferred by the carpet peat bog, which here and there gives way to mirrors of reflected light of a bizarre sky. The gaze embraces expanses of heath that reaches the sea, dotted with the lively yellow of the gorse; a few sheep grazing free, a few Connemara ponies dozing.
The territory of the park once belonged to Kylemore Abbey and the industrial school of Letterfrack, the village from which the visitor center is accessed, whose buildings are precisely what remains of the industrial school. Entrance to the park is free and you can walk along various paths with increasing degrees of difficulty, until you reach the summit of Diamond Hill (6 km route, it takes about 3 hours to go and return).
Just beyond the park entrance, still on the N59 state road, you arrive at Kylemore Abbey, a fairy-tale place capable of twisting your soul with its sad story.
Inhabited by Benedictine nuns for over a hundred years, the residence was built at the end of the 19th century by a wealthy English businessman, Mitchell Henry, as a gift for his wife Margaret. Together they had fallen in love with this place during their honeymoon and wanted to settle here with their entire large family. In fact, Margaret and Mitchell had 9 children, who could enjoy a life in the open air here, surrounded by the natural beauty of the place and the sumptuous interiors set up thanks to Italian and Irish craftsmen.
In this almost fairy-tale life, Mitchell Henry had also managed to establish himself as a leading figure in Irish politics and had helped found Isaac Butt's Home Rule movement, which claimed Irish autonomy from the British government. Beauty and freedom that unfortunately did not last because in 1874, during a pleasure trip to Egypt, Margaret fell ill and died. She was only 45 years old and her youngest daughter, Violet, was just two years old. In immense distress, Margaret's body was embalmed in Cairo and taken back to Kylemore, where it was placed in a glass coffin under the grand staircase in the main hall. Over time Margaret's remains were placed in a small red brick mausoleum, nestled in the woods of her beloved Kylemore, where they still lie today.
In 1878 Mitchell began building a Gothic Revival church as further evidence of his love for his wife. Walking through the immense park you arrive and you can still see both buildings. A little further on you will instead come across the stone of the Giant.
Ireland is a country steeped in romantic and colorful legends and mythologies. Kylemore is no exception.
The Giant's Stone recalls the quarrelsome story of Cú Chulainn and Fionn McCool. Legend has it that the two often fought each other in the mountains of Connemara. Fionn McCool resided on the distinctive mountain known as 'The Diamond' while Cú Chulainn lived on the opposite side, on the mountain known as 'Dúchruach'.
One day, during one of their heated discussions, Cú Chulainn picked up a huge stone and threw it at Fionn McCool. The stone missed but slammed into the Kylemore estate at a rather unusual angle.
The shape of the stone resembles a traditional iron used for ironing and is known as "The Ironing Stone".
Local children use it as a wishing stone: leaning your back against the stone makes a wish and if you throw a pebble over the stone three times, the wish will come true. Be careful though, it brings a lot of bad luck to wish for money, but you can easily wish for love.
Why not try?
Have a good trip.

Giulia nel parco del Connemara (percorso blu)

Giulia in Connemara park (blue route)

Pecora d

Irish sheep, bred for wool

Kylemore Abbey, riflesso nel laghetto

Kylemore Abbey, reflected in the pond

La pietra dei Giganti a forma di ferro da stiro

The Ironing Stone at Kylemore Abbey

To sleep we have chosen: Connemara Sands Hotel & Spa