Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dublin, Ireland: Powerscourt Gardens

Today was eventful and our last full day off in Dublin, with one of three shows left to perform at the O2. We've been here almost a week now and I have yet to be fully motivated and exciteed to explore and take on the town as I normally might. The weather has been a bit overcast and grey, attributing to my mood, but that normally doesn't stop me. I was tired and a bit hung over from drinking the night before, but knew that I couldn't let the day pass without seeing something that I might not otherwise see. I didn't want to have regret.
We've been in and out of the city center for days now, I knew it only made since to venture further. The hotel promoted bus tours that traveled the north and south coast of Ireland, with stunning coastal views and castles to be seen. I talked myself, Lisa and Adam into an early morning of culture. We met in the lobby promptly at 9:20am to catch the double decker bus at 10am for the Southern Coastal Tour. We drove an hour and a half along the coast outside of Dublin, passing through interesting communities and neighborhoods, before reaching our destination stop of Powerscourt Home and Gardens, a countryside estate with immaculate gardens tucked away in the hills of Ireland. Oddly, once we arrived, expecting to see more of a castle, instead of an estate, we were dropped at the entrance for a pure showcase of "commercialism" at it's best. Immediately, there were things to buy, souvenirs, food gifts, stationary, trinkets, furnishings, etc., and we had literally only set foot off the bus. It was a bit shocking and definitely not what we had expected. We had a light lunch and snack at the restaurant cafe, then carried on walking through the gardens. There was a rose garden, traditional English gardens and a gorgeous Japanese garden that we liked the most. We followed a map leading us to each before visting the Pet Cemetary. Apparently, the priveleged family that once occupied the Estate had many pets, in particular, small breds of dogs and ponys, that had been laid to rest, with a headstone and all, in a small designated area on the property.
The gardens were undoubtedly beautiful and the views stunning, I think we were just expecting something a bit different. Nonetheless, it was a day well spent away from the city and gave me more outlook on what Ireland has to offer. It's somewhere I had never been and can now reference. See there, "you learn something new everyday". Traveling in general does that, but especially the way we do,...this definitely holds true.

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