The grounds and the gardens at the Irish National Stud are remarkable in beauty and the art of storytelling. The town of Kildare is very old and has several old abbeys. There is one the property that is called Black Abbey. The Knights of Malta road horses through this property near the Black Abbey thousands of years ago on the way to their crusades. Near the sight of the abbey, there is a flag garden. The flags represent all of the countries where the students come from for their training here. There are many fields for the horses to play and have some time with other horse friends. The two main gardens are the Japanese Garden and the St. Fiachra’s Garden.
The Japanese Gardens is well known throughout Europe as one of the most magnificent of its kind. The garden was created by Tass Eida and tells the story of life through rocks, water, trees, and plants. The walk through the garden begins at the Gate of Oblivion, once life begins it starts within a dark, rocky place called the Cave of Birth, here there is a slight glimmer of light the symbolizes the beginning. The path is initially simple but soon becomes hard with confusion in the Tunnel of Ignorance. As you move through being curious and adventurous, you come to the Hill of Learning. You climb and gain wisdom, here with the tall trees, and the steep drops, you know to be careful. As the new journey continues you come upon the Path of Adventure, you decide to take one of three paths, the easy unfulfilling path or a narrow path of bachelorhood, or the stepping stone path to a shared life. Considering these options, you choose the married life and begin on the path to The Island of Joy and Wonder. Meeting your mate your cross the Engagement Bridge and then to complete the union at the Marriage Bridge and embark on your lives together. The Honeymoon Path is wide enough for two to travel, on this path, there is laughter and fun, but soon you get to the Difference of Opinion path where it separates, and you each take a different route for a short time until the paths again merges as you look towards the future. As you continue in the garden you and your spouse climb the Hill of Ambition, here there are choices too, to drink from the Well of Opportunity and to take a shortcut that eventually leads nowhere. As you get back on track, you look back on all that has been done before, and as your ambition has been fulfilled, you stop at the waterfall to pray to the Gods. Here the path is smoother and more relaxed and you arrive at the Well of Wisdom, where you were meant to get to all along. You pause and reflect back on your journey. Now you cross the Bridge of Life and take comfort in the beauty of the Garden of Peace and Contentment. At the end of the journey, one soul takes rest at the Chair of Old Age while the other soul moves to the final passage past the great cedar tree and his journey is complete. In the end, the soul is laid to rest in the Hill of Mourning as it passes through the Gateway to Eternity and the journey is over. The beauty of the green vegetation, the rocks, and water make this walk through the Japanese Garden a tranquil and peaceful adventure.
The St. Fiachra’s Garden is a tribute to Ireland's natural beauty. Here there is a statue of St. Fiachra who was known for his charitable work and is known as the patron saint of gardeners. These gardens are green fields, with ponds, limestone waterfalls and sounds of the natural beauty of Ireland. Here you can also see another beehive that was replicated to honor Irelands rugged and raw natural beauty.
As you can see with the thoroughbreds and the gardens, the Irish National Stud and Gardens is a great side trip through your travels through the country. Oh and when you stop here, plan to have lunch. They have the best sandwiches and the most delicious desserts, especially the creampie!
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