Ireland Part I: Powerscourt Estate

I have a rule that if I don’t leave the airport, it doesn’t count as actually visiting a place. So even though I had an 8-hour layover at the Dublin airport, I couldn’t honestly say that I’d been to Ireland until my friends from home, Paula and Becky, came to the Emerald Isle for a few weeks and invited me to join them near the end of their stay. Let me tell you, actually leaving that airport was a magical experience.

Our first adventure together was to Powerscourt Estate, an impressive mansion with an expansive series of gardens that National Geographic considers one of the best in the world. We spent all afternoon wandering the grounds and still hardly scratched the surface.

The Japanese Garden was my favorite of the bits we did see. It was so peaceful and full of fun little details. I especially loved the Japanese Maple and the little bird who landed two feet from me and practically begged me to take her portrait.

The rose garden had more varieties of roses than I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I couldn’t believe the number of different colors they had. I’ve never really been a fan of the way roses smell (they’re too sweet for me—I think they smell like cough syrup or bad candles), but some of these were really lovely.

And right in the middle of all this manicured beauty was a cemetery—for pets. Some of the inscriptions were really sweet, and some were hilarious. I appreciate that those who have owned Powerscourt Estate throughout the years treat even their farm animals as part of the family. It makes me like them without ever having met them.

To learn more about Powerscourt Estate, visit their official site.

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