Odd Ball Photo Challenge : Week 13

Sheep's Head, West Cork

Follow the Leader

Out for a Sunday Hike in Sheep’s Head in Bantry Bay – we are not lost, I promise!

Linked to Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge

Wordless Wednesday :Hiking by the Bay

Hiking on Sheep’s Head

Bantry House and Gardens in West Cork

During Heritage Week at the end of August, we visited Bantry House in West Cork.   This is a private estate with an 18th century mansion which was the seat of the Earls of Bantry, and which has been in the same family since 1765.

We had  a guided tour of the house, which was given by one of the family, who grew up in this magnificent house, with it’s winding staircases, Aubisson tapestries from the time of Marie Antoinette, paintings and sculptures brought back to Ireland by the ancestors on their travels through Europe, and wallpapers, furniture and furnishings from the 1800s, that are still in use today.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photographs in the house, but we enjoyed a stroll around the magnificent gardens,.  The gardens have seven terraces which overlook Bantry Bay, with many statues and pots brought back from travels in Europe by previous Earls.   There is also a wonderful maze, two stable blocks, one of which has been restored, and work is ongoing on the second one, and there are 100 steps behind the house which lead to the upper gardens.   From the top of these steps there is a great view of the house and the bay beyond.

The house and garden are well worth a visit if you are ever in Bantry, in West Cork, and there is a tearoom and a terrace where you can sit and enjoy views like this of the bay.

Bantry Bay in the evening sun

Travel Theme : Grey

Bantry Bay on a grey day

Bantry Bay on a grey day

Ireland can be a place where there are a lot of ‘grey’ days, and showers, and clouds, but in spite of that, you can still see the natural beauty all along the coast.  The photo above was taken on a hike near Glengarriff, as we looked out over Bantry Bay, and the far off mountains, wondering would we make it back down the mountain before getting wet.

Kerry Mountains

Kerry Mountains

Hikers and hill walkers love the challenge of steep mountains like these, and in County Kerry there are plenty mountain ranges to satisfy all different levels of climbers.

Linked to Travel Theme : Grey

Photo 101 : Day 5 – Solitude

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

Here are my entries for ‘Solitude’, one from West Cork, overlooking Bantry Bay, and my second photo is a beautiful sunset in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe, both great places to stop and admire the beauty of nature.

Time to stand and stare

Time to stand and stare

Sunset at Mana Pools

Sunset at Mana Pools

And I couldn’t resist this winter shot of my granddaughter in the first snow of the season last year, though she is probably checking out the best place to build a snowman, rather than enjoying the solitude!

First snow...fun times!

First snow…fun times!

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