Ireland: Two if by Sea, One if by England

Another full Irish breakfast gave us the energy to hit up three tourist destinations on the drive back to Dublin.

Cahir Castle was a good-sized castle complete with a wrought iron gate upon entry, dungeon, and moat! It was located in the town’s center, which was pretty novel, and that day there were marathon runners walking around the castle block, which was a neat thing to see. The Rock of Cashel was pretty cool — literally. There was a bitter wind coming up the hill and blowing through the grounds. In winter months the winds get up to 60 kph, and it was thought to be so bad that in the early centuries the groundskeeper build his house inside the courtyard of the castle so the dense castle walls would block the wind from blowing the house down! Despite the gusts, however, the Rock was beautifully situated on a hill overlooking a valley of farmland and trees stretching as far as the eye could see. The castle’s main claim to fame is that this is where St. Patrick stayed. It even houses his sandstone cross (inside to protect it from the winds) and a replica cross in the same spot on the grounds as the former once stood.

Powerscourt Garden was immense! The focal point were Italian Gardens featured in the center of the courtyard in front of the manor with a massive fountain and pool. There were flower gardens, Japanese gardens, and forests that covered the grounds. The estate could have taken us a full day to explore, but we were well on our way to England soon after.

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