CIE Tours Travel Blog
Weaving Together Special Memories
By: Samantha Henderson
Date: June 22, 2017
Breakfast was exceptional today, as usual, and fueled us for a busy day of Irish culture. The first event of the day was exploring the Museum of Country Life, not too far from our hotel in Westport. The museum was really interesting. I love to learn, especially about Ireland, but I am not one for museums at all. This one, however, really had me intrigued. I liked the artifacts on display which gave a surreal glimpse into the lives of my ancestors. The intense reality of Irish history is not always completely uncovered. It's not all leprechauns and Guinness. The Irish people went through so much. It was interesting to identify with them by experiencing exhibits that dug deep into their personal lives and traditions. It's powerful to see how far Ireland has come.
Weaving loom, Irish House
Next, we were on to Donegal, a fun and cultural town. Austin dropped us off in the heart of the town with recommendations of places for lunch and directions to meet him in front of the Irish House tweed shop in an hour. After leaving restaurants very pleased with the food and service, we met at Irish House and made our way inside.
Wicker structure, The Museum of Country Life
Inside the tweed shop, we were handed delicious Irish coffees and gathered around a large loom. A very smart lady, Clementine, taught us all about the history and craft of weaving tweed, which started with Triona, the Irish House owners. While sipping our coffees we were able to watch the very interesting and seemingly complicated process of weaving. We were all blown away by the talent being demonstrated before our eyes. It's crazy to see and even wear tweed but never really think about the process behind it, which takes so much skill. They also told us about the jewelry invented by the owner of the company, including the patented emigration ring.
After many of us purchased items at the tweed shop, we headed back to the Kees Hotel in Stranorlar, Co Donegal and had a delicious meal at the hotel's restaurant, The Coach House Restaurant. The restaurant has won many travel awards, and for good reason. Everyone left the restaurant feeling full and happy. Some guests chose to listen to traditional music in the hotel bar, while others walked just a few doors down to a pub for some good fun together.
Weaving demonstration, Triona
Meet ya there!