So a couple of weeks back, I was one of thousands of people grounded in Europe because of the massive Icelandic volcanic eruption. Luckily for me, I was at home in my mother’s house in Ireland and the weather was beautiful, so it was no hardship to amble up and around the seashore and the hills behind my mother’s place and revisit some of the places so familiar to me from my childhood. And I took some pictures, albeit with a camera phone. And I’m posting them ’cause I can.
That photo was taken on a clear morning from my home town railway station which sits above the strand.
It was a fine day for a walk so I set out to go up the road and across Ardgillan to Balrothery.
Back in the late sixties and seventies, this was a great place to play and explore for a young boy.
Fado, fado, on a chill winter evening with the light fading fast, I saw a badger carefully work his way along the edge of this wood. That must be thirty-five years ago now. I don’t believe I’ve seen a badger in the wild since.
The paved pathways and signs are new, part of the county park remodel. It was all wild when I was growing up.
It’s hard to see from my picture, but that is a long brae rising up to the castle, an old Ascendency house built in the early 18th century.
The ice house was a stone lined chamber fashioned into the side of the hill, where ice was stored in the days before refrigeration, the Maytag repair man and white-goods. As kids we imagined it was some kind of outdoor dungeon. Below, you can see why…..
The castle and the gardens are quite magnificent, although when I was there things had yet to bloom, spring it seemed, coming late to Ireland.
The castle itself……..
……….a camera phone does not do it justice.
When the gardens are in bloom they are an awesome sight.
I have always loved the line of yews around the castle walk….
Time to move along over the hill…….
Over the road, take nothing and leave nothing but a shadow…..