"" Writer's Wanderings: On To Kilkenny, Ireland

Monday, September 26, 2011

On To Kilkenny, Ireland

Our hopes for taking a walk along the cliffs in Howth were dampened by an early morning fog and light rain so we turned our car in the direction of Kilkenny our next destination. Along the way we stopped at Powerscourt House and Gardens, an estate that dates back to the 1300s. We walked through the three large rooms that were available to see and then strolled through the gardens blooming with dahlias, roses, asters, delphinium, iris, and an assortment of other flowers I couldn't name. They were outstanding in the morning sun that broke through the hazy skies above.

Even though Rick Steves had advised against it, we drove down to the Powerscourt Waterfall and paid the entrance fee. The guard had a bit of fun with Bob who was driving and claiming to be the tour guide and therefore should get in free. The guard said, "Of course!" I'm guessing it added up to all of us getting in for the senior rate.

The waterfall is said to be Ireland's tallest. It is very picturesque and was a nice diversion. On our way out of the park, we stopped to ask the guard what was the best way to Glendalough, our next stop on the road to Kilkenny.

"Do ye want to take the easy road or the road with the best view?" he asked.

"The best view, of course," came the answer from our driver.

The guard told us to take the Military Road that wound through the Wicklow Mountains. The road was actually built back in the early 19th century to help the British troops move through the area to put down the insurgent Irish remnant from the 1798 uprising. While the surface was made of modern material, I don't think they made it any wider. But then we were finding that many of the Irish roads were about wide enough for two small cars to pass with a few inches to spare. At least this road did not have stone walls on both sides of it.

And it was the best view. As the trees vanished and we could look out over the vast area around us, we could see mounds and mounds of lavender colored heather. The road wound back and forth and eventually through a pine forest before we got to Glendalough and the Monastic City.

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