Monday, October 24, 2011

What's Up With County Clare ?

I orginally got the idea for a women's retreat in Ireland about five years ago. I was sitting in the outdoor courtyard of the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, catching my breath from a long flight, when the church bells began to ring in the beautiful church just a few feet from me. At first the melodic sound of those bells rumbling down Main Street past the Poet's Corner, Brogan's and the multi-color shops startled me. Yet, when the tolling of the bells ceased and quiet took over, I got tears in my eyes. I couldn't remember when the last time was that I heard the meloncholy sound of bells ringing through my town. Do we even have church bells anymore or is it that I am too busy running around, planning this, cleaning up after that, calling, faxing, emailing, worrying, babysitting, volunteering, cooking(ha ha), cleaning, car pooling, taking care of this and that......that I have forgotten to listen? Right then, I began to search for the perfect retreat location on the chance that if you throw something out into the Universe it will come back to you.............fulfilled.

I wanted the retreat site to fulfill these parameters:

1. Traditional village not yet ruined by tourism

2. Near / on the ocean
3. Accessibility to music and dance

4. Gorgeous scenery / plenty of adventuring possibilities
5. Access to Irish people

6. Nice rooms with attached bath

7. Hotel/site with pub or access to pubs

County Clare is the perfect place for a women's retreat. It is known for its outstanding natural beauty especially its dramatic coastline. This is an area that is famous for cozy pubs, colorful Irish villages and traditional cottages. Clare is known the world over as having a strong tradition of music and dance.

Ireland is perfect for a women's retreat because it is very spiritual and mystical. and I am not sure exactly why. I believe it has something to do with the fact that they have left their country in a near original state. When you glance out to sea standing most anywhere on the coastline, you do not see high-rise condo's, gas stations, neon signs, used car lots or bill boards. Your view will be almost exactly what it was hundreds of years ago: beautiful pristine beaches and a big sky. This simplistic beauty prevails and permeates your thoughts. After a few days of this, it allows you to think more clearly and relaxes you. It usually takes travellers about three days before it dawns on them that most all of Ireland has been left natural not just the part they see the first day.

In my quest to look for a proper site, I at first started with castles and manor homes (uber large houses). This sounded wonderful and romantic,. I actually found several that at a glance seemed perfect: verdant lawns, private lakes, stunningly decorated rooms, historical significance, gorgeous architectural detailing...amongst other things. But, I soon found out this angle was not going to work. Why?

Because there were never enough bathrooms for a women's retreat. For example, I found a great castle with 16 bedrooms but it only had ONE bathroom. So, after spending months trying to work out a place to stay we found the perfect small boutique hotel located right in the west of Ireland ....right where we wanted to be! . .......with nice sized rooms with 2 beds and a shared bathroom....sounds like heaven.

We are located within a few yards of the ocean in one of the most gorgeous counties in Ireland and surrounded by traditional Irish villages with orginal character. We will be insured of plenty of music in the evenings. Perfect!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment