Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cliff at Lyons and a Barge Trip


 For our last two nights in Ireland, we opted to stay at Cliff at Lyons.  Named for an ancient town and castle that were destroyed in the mid 1600's, it was resurrected with the building of the Grand Canal in the late 1700's.  Lyons House was built in the late 1800's and a lovely community rose up around it on the banks of the canal.  The canal closed in 1960, and the village went into disrepair, bought by the University College in Dublin, the farmland was used for educational purposes.  In 1996, Tony Ryan the co-founder of Ryanair bought the village.  When he died in 2007, he was interred in the chapel here.  The village is now owned by CLIFF, a hotel group.

 We are staying in the Mayor's cottage, in the Grace Morrison room; when I find out who she is I'll update this post.  That's the building across the pond.
The Folly, there have been a few weddings here, and this seems to be a photo op for the brides.  

 Everywhere we walk there is another garden to see.  This one is behind another building on the property.

Raised Beds; too cold for much here

Two dining areas, the canal cafe (more casual) and the Orangerie in the old green house

There is a cooking school on site both professional and for guests to try their hand 

Along the Grand Canal -- perfect for walking and biking

I'm still looking for leprechauns, and found this fairy tree in the garden
I decided this looked like a doll house, or something out of Beatrix Potter

Stone statuary is all around the village
Since we were staying 2 nights here, I wanted to find something else to do with our time, so I booked a 1 hour barge cruise on the canal.  Although no longer used for commercial traffic, it is still used today.
We booked with Ger our captain for a 1 p.m. cruise

We drove to the village of Sallin, and met the barge on the canal.  There were 10 of us taking the cruise.

Swans along the canal

Mama and her baby ducks
 Our Capt. Ger on the right and some passengers braving the rain
 Fishermen along the canal with carbon fiber poles at least 15 to 20 ft long
 We arrived at the Liffey Aqueduct and got off while Ger gave us a history of the canal

These men are hard core, they are set up for the day

 Papa Duck guarding the flock
 Heading back into Sallin

So, we got a little history, and a delightful ride down the canal.  It's easy to picture what it was like when the canal was a thriving commercial enterprise, bringing Guinness to the other parts of Ireland.  We leave here tomorrow to head to Italy for 2 months.  Thanks for joining us on this part of the trip, I'll be back soon, with more adventures, including a trip to Sicily to curate a food and wine tour for next year.  

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