6/12/12

Monastic Settlement, Avoca Weaving Mill

This will be my last post from Ireland. We leave this hotel bright and early . . . well, early anyway . . . to head for home. It has been a wonderful trip, but I am ready to come home. I miss my family, my kitties, and my sewing machine.

I don't want to go on too much here because I want to reorganize my suitcase to accommodate my many purchases. I didn't buy anything terribly expensive, large, or heavy, but I need to rearrange things anyway.

We started the day at St. Kevin's Monastic Settlement. All of the ruins you will see in the pictures are from there, including the very old graveyard. It was quite fascinating. I've shown you the whole of the settlement as well as portions of it. I've also posted an image of the inside of the one church that remains relatively intact. Also, I'm posting an image that shows what the whole settlement would have looked like in context. I think you'll be able to pick out the buildings that remain.

One of the images I've posted is from the graveyard looking off into the distance at a nearby home. You'll see the sheep whose wool is died with a blue. Our bus driver explained to us that the shepherds can identify their own sheep by these colors, something like a brand, and they can send their dog off with a whistle to collect a wayward sheep. We saw sheep died all different colors. He also told us, interestingly, that wool is considered a waste product in Ireland because there is an overabundance of it. The government pays people some amount of money per head to keep sheep, and that explains why there are so many. He also reeled off the names of a dozen or more different varieties of sheep. Who knew there were so many breeds?

Alas, all the hunky monks are otherwise employed pushing up daisies, but I've posted something from the gift shop at the weaving mills that I think will be just as good. See if you can spot it.

After that, we went to the Avoca Weaving Mills, which are the oldest mills in Ireland. What a feast for the eyes that was! Incredible colors of yarns and woven goods. We toured the weaving areas themselves. The hand weavers were all at lunch when we went through, but the machines were hard at work. If you are old enough to remember the movie, Norma Rae, then you'll know exactly what it sounded like in there.

The gift shop there was absolutely delightful.

Have I mentioned that I seriously need a grandchild?

I had a delicious lunch of lentil nut loaf that was served alongside a sort of spicy sweet tomato chutney. Also, I ordered a pickled beet salad. The loaf was so delicious that I courageously asked for the recipe. Luckily, the cafe publishes a cookbook that I snatched up without a moment's hesitation.

So that's about all I have to tell you for today. I'll be sorting through my pictures when I get home and publishing them in dribs and drabs with more information for those of you who can stand to read one more word.

Thanks to all who have followed and commented so faithfully. You saved me from yearning for home too terribly. As much as I love traveling, home is the best place to be. Til later . . .


17 comments from clever and witty friends:

Marj said...

The mill looks like a very interesting place. Beautiful scenery! Hope you have a very safe trip home.

Dana Gaffney said...

That first picture of yarn had me wishing I knew how to knit, beautiful. So there aren't any monks at the monastery? How sad. I didn't notice anything in the gift shop that took the place of a hunky monk, but it looks like a fun place to explore. I can't wait to hear about how you are greeted at home, will George and Gracie talk to you or will you be punished for your absence? Have a safe trip and keep the pictures and tales coming when you get back.

WoolenSails said...

This would have been my favorite place, love the ruins and love the mill. I hope you have a safe journey home.

Debbie

Diane Wild said...

I just got home from a fabulous yarn shop and I'm in love. Also, almost broke just on one skein of yarn. Alas, it's only money. I bet you bought those cute kitty slippers. I know you did. Thanks for the ride and the tour.

Debbie said...

LOL.....you remind me of my daughter, as she always takes photos of food, and humorous signs *wink*!!!
It all looks grand and would love to see in person. Safe travels to home. Won't it be good to sleep in your own bed?

Sally James said...

I've really enjoyed reading about your time in Ireland. Hope you have a safe trip home. Can't wait to see the rest of the photos!

Gill said...

I would love to visit Avoca!
Glad you had a good trip but I know what you mean about coming home!!
What's the 'Boyfriend Bar'???????

Kathleen said...

Happy to hear you had a great trip...have a safe trip home...beautiful pictures..

Needled Mom said...

Those mills look amazing. The color of the threads are luscious.

We heard that the sheep are marked by the males wearing a special harness. That way they know that they have mated and know which male has bred with them. They were called "blue bums".

I am sure that you will be excited about getting home and getting back to a normal life again. Thanks for sharing the trip with us.

Kate said...

Beautiful colors in those thread pictures.

Have a safe trip back home.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have so enjoyed 'traveling' with you, but yes, home is so wonderful to get back to. Safe trip.

quiltzyx said...

Ooooh, just LOOK at those lovely colors at the mill! Just gorgeous.

The photos of the ruins are incredible. I can definitely stand to see more pics after you get home & relax & rest up a bit.

"Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome
Time for this one
To come home!"

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I love the old cabinetry and all those colors! The shoes are adorable just a wee bit small for me (LOL). I am so glad you had a good time. I'll bet George will be glad you're back though.

June said...

I've enjoyed the photos of your travels, especially Avoca. My favorite (now cancelled) tv show was filmed there, "Ballykissangel". I'd love to LIVE there!! So beautiful. Safe travels home!

kc said...

I've certsinly enjoyed your journey to Ireland, probably even more than you, since I didn't have to experience the aggravation first-hand!

All the pix have been just lovely, especially the colors. And the scenery. And the cats! Oh, just ALL of 'em!! Thank you sooo much for taking the time to keep us by your side & tell us what's going on.

Have an "non-eventful" trip home - that's one that's packed with fun & adventure, but nothing seriously wrong!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I'm getting caught up on my blog reading. Love all the pictures. What cute little shoes. Yep, you need a grandchild. Are your boys ready for that? Have safe flights home!

greelyrita said...

Thanks so much for letting me come on your trip with you!! I can't imagine wool being thought a waste product. Surely, someone would use it, even if it only cost to ship it. Goodness. They need someone who can market this. Irish wool! It would sell.