Summer was a little harsh for me. I have some chronic health issues, and since my visit to Poland around Easter and the cold I’d had there, I’ve been in a light flare-up. Not very serious, but bad enough to keep me indoors more than usually during holidays. That’s when knitting came to the rescue, keeping me in good mood! Still, I’m happy to say that I’m feeling better again and I’m trying to take advantage of this fact and of the last days of fine weather as much as I can. And so this weekend we got into a car and drove to the beautiful Altamont House and Gardens in County Carlow.
My background is in forestry, and after working for a couple of years for the State Forests in Poland, I started focusing more on biodiversity issues. Nature conservation and biodiversity are what I deal with professionally now, but deep inside I still love the forest so much. Which is a bummer, since Ireland has very few forests. And many of these forests are not exactly what I’m used to imagine when I think about forests – they’re often more like parks. In Poland, forests make up about one third of the country area, and mushrooms and berries picking is one of our “national sports” and favourite summer activities. So I miss it all a little and I was excited to read about the Altamont Gardens with their 500 years old oaks!
We started our visit early, with obligatory coffee (plus delicious raspberry sorbet for me, because why not?) in the garden cafe. Having coffee outdoors, especially early before noon, is a new tradition that came to my life together with my boyfriend. I think Greek people really cannot function without their coffee, and while in Poland we enjoy our coffee too, we don’t celebrate it like the Greeks do. We just drink it and don’t think about it much, while the Mediterranean way is to drink it slowly, preferably close to the sea, talking with the friends and often smoking at the same time. There was no sea, but the coffee was still great!
And then off we went to the gardens!
We saw the beautiful, derelict mansion of the former owners of the Gardens…
…and mysterious window to the other side of the wall.
There was a pond, a river, and a bog, old trees and park benches, and everything was so beautiful and peaceful.
And there was something for yarn maniacs too! 😉
It was a beautiful day and there’s still so much more to see just in the Carlow County itself! I just hope we’ll have a few more weekends without rain before the autumn really begins. But even if the day is dark and cold, we can always go to Dublin’s centre and have a coffee in such nice company:
That’s the end of my short weekend memoir. I added a new menu at the top of the website – “GENERAL” where I’d like to post about stuff that has nothing to do with crochet or knitting every now and then. If you have a better idea how to name this category of posts, let me know in the comments.
That’s all for today – hope you enjoyed this short virtual tour to the Irish countryside!