It was with bittersweet anticipation that we pulled into the parking lot of Powerscourt Garden Estate. All of the Irish tourist sites have you exit through the gift shop. Powerscourt has you exit and enter through the gift shops!
Wow, the Italian Gardens with its sweeping clipped lawns and pond complete with Roman sculptures! Then we strolled the shaded pathway to the 1/2 size round tower. I could just imagine the young Lords and Ladies of Powerscourt playing ” King of the Castle”. Further along the trail was the Japanese garden, My favorite with its tiny bridge and small brook. The pet cemetary was next, nestled in the woods, four rows high with inscriptions for pets dating back to 1840s ! Then we went around the giant fishpond and into the walled formal 18th century garden. I asked Tom to snap a picture of the perfect tearose, at least 6″ across!
By now the boys had enough of flowers, so we went inside to Tara’s Lifesize Dollhouse. Turns out it was several dollhouses from generations of the Estate’s youngsters, along with all their other toys. Sally and I spoke to two ladies who volunteered there. When they heard that we had been to Skellig Valentia, they had to show us the miniature village made entirely of shells. It was created by 2 residents of Valentia and was donated by their children in the 1960s after their deaths.
After a little shopping,we left for the Powerscourt Waterfall,the tallest in Ireland they claim. We were teased by Tom and Matt because we hadn’t packed a picnic meal like all of the other families in the park. We climbed over boulders to take some pictures of the Falls and that was enough of that!
Time to settle in for our last night, sniff,sniff! Matt suggested that we drive back to Dublin,but not into the city. So through town we went and just North of the airport to Rush, a small seaside village. One last time, we used our method:
1: Find a village for the night.
2: Find a pub.
3: Befriend a barkeep.
4: Ask about B & Bs.
It worked again! We landed at The Maroc House just two blocks from the pub. After we checked in, we strolled back to the pub for a pleasant dinner and talk about our trip. The men stayed to listen to music while Sally and I walked back to Maroc House. We walked right past it, since it was still light out at 10 PM. We wanted to look at the ocean. It turned out that’s all we could do – Look. The beach was closed due to pollution! Everything looks so pristine in Ireland, but they have the same problems as the rest of the industrialized world.
After an early and quick breakfast, it was back to the Dublin Airport. We returned our car and after several security checkpoints, we were in the terminal to await our jet. There was,of course, time for last minute shopping- God knows we hadn’t done enough of that! After a quick pint, we checked into our flight and headed back Home.
Bhain gach am ion tach!