By Cacinda Maloney
I am a city girl, even though I grew up in a small town, I have been living the city life now longer and officially have adapted to large city living; although I do appreciate the beauty and simple life of the country.
So imagine my surprise on a recent trip to Ireland when I was taken aback by remnants of the old-time country farm that I visited at Muckross in the Killarney National Park.
Things from the past remind me of my childhood, even though I did not grow up on a farm, my memories of days gone past still dance in my head. My life was simple in my small town and although my parents had regular jobs, they were also antique collectors, thus the memories that are wrapped up in bygone years.
They collected Old English flow blue ceramics and furniture that was circa 1850’s – 1920’s. (I mentioned before my Mother’s fascination with ceramic pandas, as well and my Father’s love affair with 1950’s American cars, which he continues to collect in his garage with vintage car memorabilia.) My house was full of antiquities; everywhere I looked, from the old brass, down-feather bed I slept in to the oak wardrobe where my clothes were kept.
I was invited on this trip to experience the South by Southwest route through Ireland by FailteIreland, the tourism board of Ireland. When I arrived, I didn’t have any expectations as to what I would be seeing, but never would I have guessed that we would experience life on a working farm.
The day was cool and breezy and after a long ride on the bus, I enjoyed stretching my legs and getting outside for a tour of the grounds. We witnessed animal life abound, including this beauty grazing its way through thru the fields.
The old farmhouse was kept intact and looked as if it would have existed in the early 1930’s. If you walk on the dirt road from the tourist center, they have a barn where you can try your hand at cow milking and even further up the road were horses, cows, goats, chickens and ducks.
Once you make it to the main farmhouse, they have a butter making demonstration, as well. I remember as a child vacationing in Missouri, where we would come across these wild blueberries, just like found here on the farm.
Honestly, you will enjoy just the walk around the grounds of this National Park in Killarney, with its lush green landscape and the old mansion with the deep red vines growing up the side of the building which overlook the lake.
It is as picturesque a place that you will ever find, so bring your lunch and your walking shoes for a chance to explore the grounds for a few hours before you head back to your car for the rest of your journey towards the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.
Note: This trip was sponsored by Failte Ireland, although you are stuck with my opinions about the lushness of the place!