Ireland Day 13

Ginger Count: do chestnut/sorrel horses count as gingers?

The day’s agenda: Head to the K Club in Stratton via Kildare and the Irish National Stud.

I woke up to go on a run only to find that it was a gray, rainy day. Yay for finally getting some stereotypical Irish weather! Boo for not committing to fitness to run in the rain. The rain was a nice change in the weather and fit my somewhat melancholy mood perfectly. I was ready to go home and see friends (both hairy and human) again, but at the same time did not want to go back to reality.

The drive to Kildare was uneventful for the most part. I feel like I finally have the hang of driving in Ireland! Just in time to go home and be confused about life all over again. Figures(:

The Irish National Stud was awesome! It was built by a guy whose name I can’t remember (some guy who got lucky in a horse race, made it rich, bought the place, and then proceeded to build it based on the stars and such as he believed that they would help his racehorses. Every time a horse was born he would decide whether or not to keep it based on the individual’s star chart. His farm produced three champions in seven years, so maybe his methods worked? Who knows. Fate is a funny thing.) The man ended up gifting the stud and all its horses to his buddy the king (who was supposedly also his wife’s buddy if you get my meaning) and the property became the British National Stud. After Ireland became independent in 1922 they asked the British to vacate the stud, and apparently, they were disinclined to acquiesce to their request (politely, of course), but ended up abandoning the stud in 1945 or so. The rest, as they say, is history!

There were some cute foals (of course), and the tour guide was excellent. The stallions at stud were quite impressive. My favorite horse was Famous Name. I think he will be a pretty awesome damsire someday (you heard it here first!)

After the National Stud, we checked out a local tack shop and drooled at all the pretty horse things a little bit. We then wandered into Kildare for some lunch and then headed to the Kildare Village to see if it was the kit and caboodle like everyone was telling us. It was very Americanized, and kind of a letdown for Dani and I.

After that, we headed to the K Club in Stratton, which has one of the most beautiful golf courses in the country (if you are into that kind of thing….). The property was very pretty, and I went for a nice 5km run around the perimeter(ish). And then I got lost. And then zigzagged through it a couple of times while still lost…but finally made it back to the hotel!

Dani and I decided to have a quiet night in. She is currently stuck in a book (I’m envious…I’m sloging through the unabridged version of Les Miserables. It’s getting good…800 pages in.) And I wanted to make sure I got all my tax-free paperwork sorted out. There are two different tax-free methods in Ireland, via a letter in the post and through a swipe card from Fexco. Either of which you can ask for in stores around Ireland. I would highly recommend taking advantage of the returns as I am getting something close to 30-40 Euro back.

I went down to join Dani at the bar to order a last half-pint of Guinness. Goodbye, tasty beer. It’s been grand. I coerced the poor bartender into giving me extra crisps and cocktail cucumber slices because, why not? The cucumbers were delicious (and no, I wasn’t drunk in the slightest. The cucumbers just looked tasty). I can say one thing about Dani and I’s experience in random swanky bars at Irish hotels: we always entertain the bartenders!

Well, that’s all I have! Since I didn’t take any pictures, I will share some of our cheekier photos from the trip. Thanks for hanging around for the adventures! Until next time(:

 

 

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