Kildare Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
We had planned to set off at 10, but as usual when I go anywhere with my family we got delayed. It was 11:45 when we finally got on the road. Kildare is two and a half hours from Limerick and we arrived at half two. These gardens were designed by Japanese landscape gardener ,Tassa Eida between 1906-1910. It tells the story of the life of man...
Gate of Oblivion - This is where the soul enters te garden of life.
The Cave of Birth - A cavern in a mound of rock over-looked by the first stone lantern symbolising life's begining.
Tunnel of Ignorance - The first steps of life along the path of childhood lead to a dark tunnel, which represents lack of understanding in the child.
Hill of Learning - Steps lead up to a tall pine tree, which tempts the student to look too high but an unguarded pitfall reminds him of the dangers which surround him and teaches him vigilance.
Path of Adventure - He resists temptationof the easy path and follows the more challenging rugged path of adventure, that leads him step by step through his adolescent years.
Parting of the Ways - Here he has three choices - smooth path of a carefree life to the right, the narrow path of bachelorhood to the left, or the stepping stones of exploration across the water ahead which lead to married life.
Island of Joy and Wonder - After some hesitation he choses follows the stepping stones to the Island of Joy and Wonder.
Engagement Bridge - After meeting his future wife he joins her at the Bridge of engagement. It symbolises the decisive break in his life.
Marriage Bridge - Once they cross the Marraige Bridge together, they turn right, and in doing so turn their backs on the path of bachelorhood.
The Honeymoon Path - This path is wider so that they can walk side by side, and they continue light-heartedly until they reach an obstruction in the path.
Difference in Opinion - They part company for a while but are soon reunited and together they begin to ascend the Hill of Ambitition. They can see the well of wisdom, from which they would like to drink; the steps towards it are steep, the way is hard.
Disappointment - They have almost reached the well, but find themselves separated from it by water that they cannot cross.
Hill of Ambition - From here they look back and see the past, its joys, sucesses and failures. Now in their declining years they descend together and pause at the waterfall to pray to their gods. The way is easier and the bridge across the water is smooth.
Tea House - On the other side of the bridge the come across the Tea House and miniature Japanese village.
Well of Wisdom - At last they find the Well of Wisdom where they pause to wish for enlightenment.
Bridge of Life - They cross the Bridge of Life to the Garden of Peace and Contment beyond.
Chair of Old Age - His wife is now seated in peace and comfort on the chair of old age.
Hill of Mourning - The wanderer makes his way to the Hill of Mourning where he is laid to rest, surrounded by weeping willows.
Gateway to Eternity - His soul passes through this final Gate and here the story of life ends.
I'm not sure if its worth €10.50 because it only takes 40 minutes to follow the path through the garden, but it was enjoyable and not something you'd come across very often in Ireland. There is also a stud-farm on the same grounds, but none of us had any interest in horses, so we passed on it.