Au revoir mes amies. (Goodbye my friends).

21:04



What a fast week it has been!




Lismore House Hotel.
Our French visitors from Plounevez-Lochrist arrived on the 16th of August. They were welcomed by the Irish to Mooncoin Parish Hall.

The day after our guests had food in the Royal Oak in Carrigeen, followed by traditional Irish and French/Breton music/dance. It was great to see people not involved directly in the Twinning up at the meal and getting to know everyone. We watched a hurling match in which Tipperary won, earning themselves a place in the All Ireland Final in hurling on September 7th. Cycling up a sloping hill, having a bike with flat tyres was worth it as we had a lot of fun!

On the 21st of August we had a really fun day. Never mind the early start, everyone was in a good mood, hugs and kisses galore! Thankfully we had all dressed to suit the weather.
First on the agenda was a walk around the grounds and gallery of Lismore castle. I was amazed at how beautiful the castle grounds were. I had never been there before. I could have spent hours walking around, looking at all the plants, the views and the flowers. Sunflowers, wild strawberries (seenies- I believe that is the spelling), the gardens were so regal, grand and yet so simple at the same time. I was imagining the pleasure the people of the past must have had here enjoying the scenery. The art gallery was really quirky, there were videos playing throughout the gallery with interesting concepts.

I will include photos of the garden as my descriptions will not do it justice.
After the walk in the gardens, which also involved hiding under an archway to shelter from the rain we headed to Lismore House Hotel where we were served up the most tasty carrot soup. I’m not a huge soup fan but oh my god it was delicious. Thankfully we missed a rain shower while inside the hotel. I visited Lismore Cathedral, a Protestant cathedral that was beautifully decorated with intricate stained glass windows. It was interesting to see the differences in Catholic and Protestant churches, the podium in Lismore Cathedral was decorated by a metalwork of a bird with its wings outstretched. There was an amazing 16th century tomb that is apparently cursed so that it can't be opened and a cursed bishop's miter sat on top of a gate. The visit to Lismore was nostalgic as my friend Joanne (who came with me) and I had been to Lismore previously when we were about 12 years old and then we were back seven years later! When you're older you appreciate things more and the older I get the more I agree with that statement.

We all decided to cheer on whoever was late to get on the bus after a stop. And that was often funnily enough.
We then visited Mount Melleray Abbey which is a monastic community of Cistercian monks located in the Knockmealdown mountains in County Waterford. While it being very religious, it had a lovely view of the county below. It was also nice to sit down in the Tea Rooms next door to the Abbey and enjoy a lovely slice of chocolate cake. Afterwards we sat outside, enjoyed the sunshine and had a chat. It was really peaceful and I really enjoyed catching up with old friends. Everyone helped each other out.

The sun was shining as we drove around The Vee, climbed among the heather and I snapped lovely photos which I’ll post also. The meal at Clonmel Park Hotel finished me. I mean finished me. I was so stuffed. The staff were really really helpful and gave us anything we asked for. There was actually a Debs on that day, so it was great that the hotel could run a Debs as well as put together lovely meals for us.
A beautiful swing in the castle
grounds used by both children
and ADULTS!
Last night we had music in Comerfords and I know people from all around the village came to celebrate with music, food and a raffle. I had so much dancing with Irish and French people alike. We had Irish traditional songs, French traditional songs and Irish dancers. Everyone comes together on these particular nights, because of the atmosphere. Everyone was game to try out the other country's traditions. I can’t believe all our guests are leaving today. It’s gone by so fast.

Artwork in the castle grounds.
I want to thank the French for coming this year, I had lots of fun with you the days I spent with ye! You always are so friendly, you adapt to our customs, you make us laugh and we will have so many memories of  this 2014 visit. Thanks to the families who hosted this year, it’s not easy to feed more mouths but ye always step up to the challenge and make an effort to make our visitors so welcome. I know next year will be amazing for those who decide to travel.
To the Irish who held so many meetings over the past year to organize the dates, tours and food. Especially my mother, who I remember all this year had her briefcase and laptop out multiple times a week sending out emails, organizing hotels. I remember her driving around the country mapping out the routes from Wexford to Lismore. She reminded everyone on the trip to Lismore to bring coats, use the toilet in true teacher style and had everything organized down to the times spent in each place.

Thanks so much for reading and I hope I see all our friends in France next year. Having this connection between our two countries means that we can experience amazing cultures we
may not have had the opportunity to explore. I've made so many
good friends and created so many memories that I hope to revisit
again and again over the next few years.

MERCI BEAUCOUP!  

MORE PHOTOS BELOW!


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