Travel Journal April 10, 1999
Powerscourt: Gardening on a grand scale. Later, a lobster.

County Wicklow

My first waypoint was the magnificently charming village of Enniskerry, in the Wicklow mountains, near Powerscourt.

I was walking towards the center of town, carrying my camera, when a voice calls out "Hey, you! Take a picture of this face and make it famous!"

Little does he know...heh heh.

Powerscourt is a large estate famed for its extensive gardens. It was originally founded by the Le Paor family in around about the 12th century or so, although it was inhabited by a succession of different families over the centuries. The gardens were originally commissioned in the 1730s.

This picture is inside the estate, but not at the actual gardens yet. The estate is quite large, and quite beautiful.

Powerscourt has a large, labyrinthine, and surprisingly tasteful gift shop. This includes, of course,a gardening shop.

An interesting technical detail. When you buy your ticket to get into the grounds (£3.50), the ticket has a bar code stripe on it. At various points there are unattended turnstiles which are connected to a bar-code laser scanner - you stick your ticket in and it unlocks the turnstile. I haven't see this sort of system before.

Here's the gardens. No commentary needed.

This section is called the Japanese Garden.

Some shots along the footpath.

This is the Pepperpot Tower. As I approached the tower, it started to rain.

The dry spot on the ground is where I took refuge during the shower (next to a tall bush), which lasted about 10 minutes.

Various shots from inside and on top of the tower.

At the bottom was a friendly kitty.

Approaching the main house again.

From the house, I explored in a different direction.

This picture was taken about 10-15 minutes after it had stopped raining. I was amazed at how quickly the sky changed.

Tastefully hidden behind a hedge I noticed some greenhouses. I later found out that these were for stocking the garden shop.

Now, outside the gardens, but still on the estate:

Gnarly, dude!

Just look at that view!

About two weeks ago while I was on Jura, I had noticed a fisherman unloading lobster traps from his boat. I started to think to myself "lobster...I haven't had a lobster in years. I bet that there's some place around here that has lobster." Well, ever since then I've had this craving for lobster, yet none of the restaurants in Glasgow or Dublin or any of the other towns had lobster just then. Some claimed that because of the weather, there were none available. One individual told me "oh, we ship them all to France and sell them for three times the price."

Anyway, I had this flyer for Johnnie Fox's Seafood Restaurant, which is located in the Wicklow mountains nearby Enniskerry. The flyer had a photo of a big fat lobster on it, so I decided to go for it. I got lost on the way there, and then accidentally found the place while attempting to get my bearings.

And here it is. This lobster is stuffed with crab meat and prawns. I can report that it was absolutely exquisite.

For desert, I had Bailey's flavored cheesecake! It was incredibly good.

After such a large meal, I decided I needed to walk a bit, so I drove to the trailhead of the Wicklow Way (a long hiking path), and walked for about an hour along the trail.

Afterwards, I drove towards Kilkenny. I stopped for a bathroom break in Glendalough (which I had visited earlier with Scott), and was accosted by these three fellows in the bar. The one on the left, who's named was Ciaran, claimed to be a member of Clannad, saying that he had just returned from the U.S. where he had won a Grammy. I suspect I'll get more of what this fellow was giving me when I get to castle Blarney :-)