Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cheap Things to Do in Ireland - Powerscourt Gardens

If you’re in Dublin for more than a day, I suggest branching out to some local attractions nearby.  Hill of Tara is a good bet if you want to travel about a half hour northwest, or you can visit the beautiful grounds at Powerscourt Gardens about a half hour south in Enniskerry.

Powerscourt dates back to the 13th century, but has undergone plenty of renovations since then.  Today, people visit to see the gorgeous greenery…

And to literally stop, and smell the roses.

It’s only 6.50€ to enter the gardens, which I think is an incredible steal, considering all of the beautiful scenery inside.

The gardens at Powerscourt are divided into several different areas, as shown on the map below.  You can take a one hour route or a 40-minute route.

I actually saved this map of Powerscourt Gardens from two years ago, but I threatened to throw away Frank's baby shoes because they took up too much space
We started at Tower Valley with Pepperpot Tower.

The brochure says this tower was modeled after the pepperpot
on Lord Powerscourt's dining room table.  Not sure how to
define "pepperpot?"  I had to look it up, it's a pot where you
keep black pepper.  Obviously.
You can climb the tower and take a photo shoot at the top like I did.

Next, we strolled over to the Japanese Gardens. 

This garden was laid out way back in 1908 and is probably one of the most serene places at Powerscourt.

Unlike the Pet Cemetery, which is a little strange to have on display in a beautiful garden environment.

We are very sad for all the animals that have passed
But we did enjoy reading about the pets kept by families who lived at Powerscourt, including two cows.

Poor Eugenie the Jersey Cow!
In the following picture, you'll see the Dolphin Pond behind Frank.

The brochure says the dolphin fountain "was
purchased by the 7th Viscount in Paris."  Not sure
what a Viscount is?  I wasn't either.  Apparently I
learned a lot at Powerscourt.  A viscount is royalty
ranked just below an earl or count.

Then you’ll find the Walled Gardens.  This was one of my favorite parts of Powerscourt because of all the beautiful flowers found inside.

The Bamberg Gate leads you out of the Walled Gardens, almost to the exit of Powerscourt.

The Bamberg Gate is 240 years old.  That's
about as old as our entire nation.  The Irish
have a gate as old as America.
On our way to walk out, we smiled one last time before continuing our journey around Ireland.

Total Cost: 6.50€/person (about $8)

Best Deal: If you don’t feel like spending the money to get into Powerscourt, or the $1,000 for a plane ticket to Ireland, take a virtual tour, which I found through the Powerscourt website.

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