Saturday 18 July – County Kildare

In a change of direction from heading south, today we headed north to County Kildare.  First stop was a shopping centre that we could see from the motorway – Kildare Village – as Dad wanted to find an ATM and that looked like a likely spot for one to be.  It turned out to be “outlet” shopping but not the usual type with the goods being more upmarket products and it very nicely set out with the shops in a square around a courtyard and not all shoved together inside one huge building.  Very nice way to spend a bit of retail therapy time especially when the first shop I spied walking from the car turned out to stock bolts of very nice oilcloth!  I couldn’t resist.

This piece was over one metre already cut and cheaper than buying one metre so, of course, it had to come with me as it was one of the bolts I’d chosen anyway.  Isn’t it pretty…


This one I just liked.  I decided I was allowed to have two and it was a hard choice but this one won out in the end…


You never known one day they may become something more than two pieces of pretty stash fabrics.

We then moved on to the Irish National Stud which includes a Japanese Garden, Saint Fiachra’s Garden and the Irish Horse Museum.  Not bad for one entrance ticket.  This would have to be the cleanest most well kept horse property in existence – it was all absolutely top notch, nothing out of place.  Strangely it didn’t even smell of horses!  If you like horses and/or gardening then this is the place to visit.

The Japanese Gardens are serene and beautiful.  They are set out to tell a story – the life of a soul – and by following the paths as set out the story comes together.  Bear had to choose – Path of Life or Easy Path?

Japanese Garden, Irish National Stud

The Path of Life was chosen and the story continued amongst beautiful plantings…

Japanese Garden, Irish National Stud

Back out to walk around the stud where the stallions each have their own paddock…

Irish National Stud

The horses all looked quite happy to be there thank you very much. They knew which side of the fence had greener grass that was for sure!

Saint Fiachra’s Garden is another oasis in the centre of the complex entered through a tunnel which leads into a gorgeous garden.  There is a recreation of a monk’s cell in the centre of the garden which has a Waterford Crystal garden in the floor under glass – very pretty.  This statue of a monk sits outside the cell contemplating on the edge of the lake…

Monk Statue, Irish National Stud

We were at the Stud for maybe 3 hours (including lunch) so certainly got our money’s worth there.

The next place was suggested by our host – Newbridge Silverware, County Kildare.  It is just a short drive up from Kildare Town to Newbridge.  We were just expecting to find a showroom and maybe a bit of an exhibition a la Waterford Crystal but what we found was so much more.  Upstairs at the showroom they have a museum – Icons of Style – which is free to go and look at. So up the stairs not expecting too much and wow! The company has purchased showbusiness memorabilia and created a proper museum space. The memorabilia includes costumes, signed photos, personal effects, clothing, scripts, the list goes on of showbusiness icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Sammy Davis Jnr, Bob Hope, The Beatles and so many many more.  As well as displaying the items there were screens playing clips of movies and personalities like Bob Hope.  I could have spent many more hours up there as there was so much to see.  I sneaked a couple of photos. This was a costume of Marilyn Monroe’s, isn’t it just divine…

Icons of Style

The photo doesn’t do it justice, the work was just wonderful.

After finaling descending back down into the showroom and taking a look around at the lovely silverware products the company makes (too hard to carry a canteen of cutlery back in the suitcase!) we took a drive into County Wicklow which is known as the Garden of Ireland and had a look at the scenery before making our way back to Ballon for another day.

Until next time…


Posted on July 24, 2009, in Ireland, Trip. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Gorgeous fabric. Brave bear not taking the easy path. Glad you got out to see some interesting places before leaving Ireland.

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