Total Pageviews

Thursday, June 21, 2012

brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs

On our last day in Ireland, we traveled around the countryside. Gary picked us up and somehow squeezed us into the van with the other four, making seven altogether. He and his GPS, which he'd named Brigit, successfully guided us through the lush farmland, absolutely teeming with sheep, to Powerscourt Manor, an enormous estate known for its gardens.

A day of dappled seaborne clouds

The interior was nearly bare, but the views down the gardens and across to the Wicklow Mountains were spectacular.

We walked past fountains and ponds, down the pebbled pathways to the Japanese garden.

There were walled areas and a huge sweep of greensward.

We found a rose garden.

O, the wild rose blossoms
On the little green place.

There was a gnome in a tree.

Save the trees of Ireland for the future men of Ireland on the fair hills of Eire, O.

Some hand sanitizing occurred.

 Is this the day for your monthly wash?

After lunch outside -- the rain graciously held off -- we shoehorned ourselves back into the van and headed for Glendalach. It's a ruined monastery whose earliest buildings date from the 7th century.

Set beside a wide stream in a valley of the Wicklow Mountains, it's an enchanting site. The perfectly preserved tall conical towers from the 11th century are unique.

Glory be to God they had no idea it was that high.

We admired the ancient 7th century St. Kevin's church.

The ruined cathedral still had remnants of early Romanesque windows.

The monastery was surrounded by gravestones. Inscriptions from as far back as the 1600s were still readable; many other stones were so old they'd been eroded beyond legibility.

Cemetery put in of course on account of the symmetry.

Finally, Brigit guided us back to the airport. The others weren't leaving until the following day, but they were kind enough to drop us off. We found the airport extremely user-friendly: efficient, full of helpful people, and offering free samples of Irish whiskey in the duty-free. In fact, all of Ireland that we saw seemed efficient and full of helpful people. And I have no doubt that if we'd asked, most of them would have given us free samples of Irish whiskey.

The tradition of genuine warm-hearted courteous Irish hospitality, which our forefathers have handed down to us and which we in turn must hand down to our descendants, is still alive among us.

JJ's death mask
(Yes, enough Joyce, I know. I promise.)

No comments:

Post a Comment