Arriving in Letterfrack after dark last night, luckily I knew exactly where the Old Monastery Hostel was. I had seen it in the summer of 2010 while passing through.

Originally built as a Quaker family home in 1840, the large stone structure later did a spell as a monastery. For the last 20 years it has been a hostel. It’s like a cross between the Hotel New Hampshire and a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film. Every nook and cranny is filled with wondrous junk and detail.

It’s a museum of odds and ends. Stuff of the most fabulous variety is everywhere to be discovered. It’s like no other place I’ve been, evoking the gentle decay of an old country house with the refuse of international travel.

If you’re ever nearby, don’t miss it.

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