But before we do, I had one must-see castle to visit! By absolute coincidence, our hotel was a mere 9 minute walk from Manderley castle, a.k.a. Enya's home. My closest friends in college would know that Irish singer Enya is the single most influential female singer during my college years. So much so that I brought my cassette tapes with me to graduate school, and I still have them to date. She saved my sanity during my sprectra-solving, electron-pushing years with Watermark. That's why I could hardly believe my luck when, on a whim, I looked up where Manderley castle was located and, lo and behold, it's in Killiney hill, right next to Dalkey, and within walking distance! (Cue in Lothlorien). The Dalkey-Killiney area is something like the "Beverly Hills" of Ireland, and a hotspot for celebrities. Bono and Van Morrison live in the area too. But, they take a backseat to Enya on my playlist, and my itinerary.
For those who don't know, Enya is an Irish female musician. Her music is like an ambrosia for the soul. She plays different instruments and sings with Celtic rhythms and you can't peg her music in any clear genre. She sings in Latin, Gaelic, English, and also in made up languages like Elvish and Loxian. She may be better known to most for her song "May It Be" in the first Lord of the Rings movie. She is also a very private person, selling millions of albums without performing even a single solo concert. Well, no worries, Enya, I'm not scaling the castle wall! The castle is small, as castles go, but and accentuates the Killiney hillside perfectly. The location offers a view of the Wicklow mountains, the Irish Sea, and Dalkey Island; it's inspirational, as one would expect, for an artist like Enya.
|Manderley Castle - Enya's private home|
|On top of the hill with a view of Manderley Castle|
|The playground at the bottom of the hill|
Needless to say, the girls had an amazing experience, and the family had a memorable first trip abroad. Seriously, how do we even top this trip? The Emerald Isle mesmerized us. My 5-year old asked many times if we can live in Ireland. Not today. But someday, kiddo, you can take us back...
|"I'm going to turn around, go back to the hotel, |
and live here in Ireland to see all the castles I didn't get to see."