This a.m. we left Trim and its castle behind as we headed east to the M50 and then south to Enniskerry. We were in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. Green fields of sheep seemed to follow us. We wound through town to Powercourt Estate. An entrance fee was paid. The first thing we noticed was the fantastic view of the mountains. Further on a large imposing estate house stood alongside the road. We parked.
We walked to the door of the house, walked in past several gift shops, showed our tickets, picked up the audio and went into a beautiful terraced Italian garden complete with statues, fountains and ponds. Amazing. This is one of the 4 top gardens in the world....and is owned by the descendants of the Winfield family.
We sidetracked into an equally stunning Japanese garden with blue azurina rhododendrons mixed in with vivid reds and pinks rhododendrons. Magnolia trees were just finishing blooming. Cherry trees were finished. Pagodas and rock were strategically placed. Little bridges over streams brought us through more of the garden.
Border gardens filled with spring blooming flowers of many different kinds were surrounded by hedges. Rose gardens with many different types of heritage roses filled another area. Many different kinds of trees from all over the world filled in spaces. There were seasonal and perennial gardens. Well worth the stop. We had lunch looking out at the statues of Venus and Apollo. 1881 is the date on the wall of the house.
In the afternoon, we drove through Glencree admiring the view of Sugarloaf mountain. We went up and over the pass through Salty Gap and found ourselves in peat bogs. In May the heather will bloom. Now? They are dun-colored with brown black bushes. As we wound along the high plateau, we passed signs for a bike race tomorrow. The area was bleak. We passed a lake far below with a sandy beach. A kite with passenger flew off a cliff. Eventually, we wound around a mountain into a verdant little town, Laragh. From here it was a short drive winding along a river on R755 to the little town of Rathdrum.
Now we are settled in Jacob's Well...a B & B. We have walked around town, found the statue of Parnell, a small Market Lane from a 1951 movie set. We've talked to Pat at great length. He's 84, has lived in Iowa and returned to Ireland as a mechanic rather than fight in the Korean War. He was an ambulance driver and retired as a manager with 40 employees--drivers and attendants under him.
We've had a Guinness in the Cartoon Inn, watched steeplechase and talked to an opinionated fellow who reads 7 different papers a week.
Dinner at Jacob's Well...a pub as well as a B & B...was delicious--especially Gord's beef stew.
All in all it's been a good day. Gord is feeling more himself. The sun shone this a.m. we had overcast skies this p.m. but no rain. It was warmer to-day. Maybe the trend will continue. We can hope.