I have not had the time or the energy to tell you about one of the places we visited over the weekend, but I have a little bit of time now before I start class in which to maybe do it justice, so I’ll catch you up. To be fair- I’m going to have to warn you about the probable use on my part of some, if not all, the big words I know, popping up in the next few sentences because normal praise does not do the place credit.
The place? Kilfane waterfall and glen/garden. Absolutely magical! And I mean that in the best, most spiritually appropriate way imaginable. Charming is a lightweight word to define this (here come the big words…) ubiquitious, quintessential, pentultimate place. It is a lovely walk for the most part, not unlike others around Ireland and then, with some warning because you hear the water first, you come upon an absolutely "twee" (sweet) thatched cottage with a fantastic view of the loveliest waterfall this side of Hawaii. Native Irish orchids and other flora and fauna there also reminded me of Hawaii, that and it rains everyday in both seemingly disparate places. We had no idea what to expect when we headed off from the Nicholas Mosse pottery to a tiny dot on their brochure map. Kilfayne (old spelling) was not in any of our guidebooks so we vacillated about whether to make the trip. And lo and behold it is one the greatest things we have done on this trip and maybe one of the top ten things in our lives. No kidding. Worth every effort to go. And… we were practically the only ones there! Unlike our experience at Muckross or the Cliffs of Moher where the unwashed masses go in double decker busloads and push and shove their way through the attraction, we parked with ease, strolled with ease and lingered with ease, no pushing and shoving only the sound of rushing water and the crisp, perfectly clean air that only a waterfall and lush garden and woods can produce. The walk was exhilirating and we left, reluctantly. We were energised and totally happy though for having seen something so perfectly great that we knew everyone else was missing. Since i am out of big words, i must be done describing Kilfane. If i knew more big words, I’d continue, that is how glorious an event visiting there was for the two of us.
If you come to Ireland and you have any time – visit Kilfane!
PS…07/21/09 I found out why this waterfall garden was on the Nicholas Mosse brochure, they have (or rather had) a pattern named Kilfane Rose! Unfortunately it has been retired. A few pieces remain at Linda Clifford Gifts…
http://www.lindaclifford.com/NichMosseKilfane.html (A google search will turn up a few other places with pieces for sale…)
"Handmade & decorated in County Kilkenny, Ireland, Handpainted cabbage roses and spongeware motifs are the main features of this very pretty pattern. Kilfane Rose was designed to celebrate the opening of Kilfane Garden in 1993 and has proved a firm favorite ever since." So why on earth was it retired? says Me!
PS…07/22/08…I feel like an intrepid reporter, because last night I found out more news about the very underadvertised Kilfane Gardens…Darina’s Aunt Flo came to my cottage for tea last evening, but we were too full for any tea so we just chatted. She brought me purloined glasshouse tomatoes and I gave her nothing. Still it was great fun. While we talked she told me that "Nicky" and his wife own Kilfane gardens! That would be the Nicholas Mosse. I wouldn’t have known otherwise.