Today began nice and early for a Monday without classes. Libby, Danielle, Mo, and I planned to catch the 9:45am DART into Bray to spend another day hiking and sightseeing. Matt and Pat also decided to join us, so we were a little late leaving, but were soon on our way.
The plan was to take the DART into Bray, then the 185 bus into Enniskerry in County Wicklow, and see Powerscourt. Unfortunately, since we were a bit late starting out, we missed the bus we first planned to take, and ended up having to wait for an hour in Bray for the next bus.
Once in Enniskerry (which I’m told was a major part of the film P.S. I Love You), we headed to Powerscourt Estate. The house itself was based on a castle that was built on the land in 1300. In the 1600s it was taken over by an English Viscount who built an enormous manor house and had a Renaissance garden designed for the grounds. Throughout the next few generations, the estate passed around family members until the early 1900s. The house was so steeped in debt, it was bought by another family who opened a golf course on the grounds and opened the house and gardens for public tours.
We spent several hours on the grounds looking at the Renaissance Garden (pictured), the pet cemetery (including dogs, Shetland ponies, and cows), the Dolphin Pond (with no actual dolphins), the Walled Garden (rather barren due to the fact that it’s January), the Japanese Garden (complete with bridges, reflection pools, and a horror-movie-esque grotto cave), an abandoned watch tower (that we absolutely climbed to the top of), and plenty of trees.
After covering literally every inch of the grounds we had access to, we walked back into Enniskerry and missed our bus back to Bray. With an hour to kill we had lunch at a great cafe called Poppies.
We finally got back to the DART station in Bray, and realized our passes expire tomorrow on the first of the month, so we headed into Dublin to go to the transit office and get stamps from the GPO. Tonight was all about catching up on homework, as tomorrow marks the start of another three day week of classes. Happy Monday.