Benches … they are everywhere in Ireland. They are located around many venues for those that need
a place to wait on their companions. If you have been walking for a distance, they are an excellent opportunity to take a break and catch your breath. You even see them on front lawns as you are driving through a town or the countryside; inviting neighbors for an evening chat. For each one that I noticed, I would hear a voice asking … Join me?
So, I started photographing them. I have dozens of bench images and I can’t wait to capture more. Some are plain, some are weathered, and some add to the elaborate backdrop to a historic venue. Most are wooden or metal. Although, I have come upon some very uncomfortable ones of stone.
My favorite few are those that are tucked away. The ones where you can sit undisturbed for an hour or so. I find myself getting lost in the moment as I blend into the scenery.
And, I always come back to the thought … think of the stories that these benches could tell; the conversations they have heard over time. Now that would make for a great blog! We could call it ‘The Benches of Ireland.’
New Year’s Day was spent with a drive through the country to Adare. When we were here in June, we drove through Adare on our way to Dingle Peninsula. We were fighting the time, so we only stopped long enough to gas up.
Adare draws tourists and is one of the top places to visit when you look at tour books. It is known as the most ‘picturesque’ village in Ireland.
My first stop was wandering though the Adare Town Park. While January 1st is a national or bank holiday in Ireland, people out walking around; many parents with children playing the park.
Next, along the main drive there is a series of thatched cottages. Most are occupied by merchants, but there are a few vacant … Although I did not see a ‘For Sale’ sign anywhere. Although, one shop was open. I felt that I hit the lottery many gift shops have been closed.
Across from the cottages is the Trinitarian Abbey. Very well taken care of and a large church. There were additional buildings to back.
Finally, I walked through the downtown area. Since it was getting close to 1pm, foot traffic was picking up. It was a perfect opportunity to photograph some unique doors. What I really enjoyed was seeing the stacks of kegs/barrels. Every pub had a stack … Or two. They are set outside for pickup by they suppliers. Bottom line … They did some serious celebrating on New Year’s Eve!
Photos of the day ….
Location via Google Maps:
Our goal for the day was Cork. Halfway there, a deluge of rain began. While we were happy to walk in the rain, we didn’t want to wander in a ‘gusher.’ The question … what can we do inside? Hmmm … a quilt shop?
The only thing that I researched prior to the trip was the location of quilt shops. So, we changed our plans. The closest quilt shop was in Limerick and began to head that direction. The only problem was that we were missing a direct route to Limerick, so we took a Saturday drive through County limerick, which included Mallow and a few miles of regional roads. The rain was still falling.
Eileen (Ard Ri House) later simply shook her head when we told her where we went. She is probably still wondering how we managed to find it. On the other hand, Sara and I were doing really well with navigating … but I was also beginning to think that we might have a leprechaun in our trunk!
We found it! We wound around and through downtown Limerick. Just north of the downtown, we were able to locate the street. We did have to turn around … but only once. House numbers do not exist. Once we readjusted, we were able to locate the sign.
Winander House is a small quilt shop located in a small shop behind the house. It had a good selection. The fabrics were familiar; many found in quilt shops in the United States. I looked for some Irish linen on a bolt, but it was a ‘no go.’
I can say, however, I have been to an Irish quilt shop!
Location via Google Maps: