We left Dublin on a fancy tour bus this morning. Before the day was out, we would see ruins and grave stones at a 9th century monastery.
Here's where our travels took us today. I didn't have the GPS tracker turned on for the first part, so our trip out of Dublin doesn't appear.
Our first stop after leaving Dublin was Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow. It was a castle back in the 13th century, but now is a mansion with wonderful gardens.
We didn't tour the house but went straight through into the garden. Or rather, gardens.
The entrance to the flower garden. The "wind" motif was entirely appropriate today; it was very windy, even behind the high stone walls.
Since photographing flowers is a hobby of mine, I couldn't resist including a few of them here. If I had the proper equipment with me, I could easily spend a couple of days in this garden.
Some more views of the garden.
Our people were throughout the garden doing the same thing I was doing, photographing all the color.
Our next stop was Glendalough, a sixth-century monastic settlement. Interesting ruins to see, and cemeteries filled with old grave stones.
I think Jack was taking a picture just like the one above.
There are not many buildings remaining of the monastery, mostly this small church and a couple of towers, plus ruined walls of other buildings.
There's a cross on the church, but it's really tiny.
Lots of Celtic crosses in the cemetery. The grave stones aren't ancient; the earliest one I saw was dated about 1750.
Driving to Kilkenny
May the road rise to meet you ...
Our bus took us through the Wicklow mountains and on to Kilkenny, passing through Hollywood. No, not that Hollywood. That's heather in the first photo.
Kilkenny: Clowns, dinner, and music
We arrived at our hotel to find a wedding reception in full swing, with clowns providing entertainment. The whole event was being transmitted as video to Belgium in real time.
Some of the guests were still at it at 6:30 the next morning.
Dinner was at Kytelers Inn, in a private room with our own private musicians. The place has an interesting and rather spooky history; see their history page at the link above. Excellent food and service, as we've come to expect.
The yellow and black checkered flags are in support of the Kilkenny Hurling team, who just won the All-Ireland championship. The flags are everywhere, not just at this restaurant. This team seems to be a bit like the New York Yankees used to be -- they're just about expected to win the championship every year, and they do win it most years.
Our musicians were Anthony and Michael, and they were really good. A completely different set of instruments than we heard in Dublin, here they played fiddle and accordion.
Here's where today's photos were taken:
Tomorrow we see the Rock of Cashel and tour the Waterford Crystal factory.