Total ginger count for the day: 5 super gingers and 14 regular gingers.
The day’s agenda: Powerscourt house and gardens, Glendalough National Park, with our own chauffeur/guide.
Our chauffeur was named John, and he was super awesome! He was very knowledgeable about the areas we were visiting, super gentlemanly, and very personable. He was also more than willing to give me driving tips as I was to navigate the roads of Ireland beginning the next day. We were so lucky to have him as a guide!
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if any of you are ever in Ireland and want a chauffeur, his website can be found here, I would highly recommend him!
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On our way to Powerscourt, we passed the Sugarloaf Mountain (I guess loaf=lump? Or perhaps whoever named the mountain had had a few too many pints of Guinness). Sugarloaf (I can barely type that while retaining a straight face) is a whopping 1000ish meters high, as per what John told us (I actually looked it up, and it’s only about 574 meters high, but 1000 meters makes for a better story, and I’m learning that the Irish sure love a good story).
All I have to say about Powerscourt is wow. The house was beautiful, although the price of upkeep on the building must have been both impressive and terrifyingly painful. We went on a guided tour of the 18th-century mansion, but I was too busy gawking with my mouth open to an extremely unattractive degree to remember to take pictures.
The most spectacular part of Powerscourt for me, however, was the gardens. They were truly spectacular, although my allergies were unimpressed. I was sniffling and sneezing up a storm, and it probably looked like I had just watched P.S. I Love You or something because of how much my eyes were watering. We encountered some horses while on a walk around the property, at which point in time both Dani and I made some weird squeaking noises and jumped up and down in excitement. We’re adults, I promise…
We found a random tower in the garden, in which a wild Dani appeared at the top. Once we got to the proper gardens where flowers and such were cultivated, I found common mullein randomly growing and got overly excited by the fact that it looked different than what we have in Colorado. A wild Dani appeared again while I was taking pictures of the pretty flowers. We then took a moment to gawk at a gate that was more blinged out than I would be if I wore all my jewelry at the same time.
After we snuck up on John (apparently Dani and I are good at popping up out of nowhere like daisies) we decided we were hungry. John suggested the Laragh Wicklow Heather restaurant, which was again fabulous and tasty. We have yet to have a bad-tasting meal here in Ireland. After lunch, we started heading toward Glendalough National Park.
On the way to the park, John suggested we stop at Guinness Lake (the lake has another name, but since the Guinness family owns it, everyone calls it Guinness lake). The lake is where filming for the TV show Vikings happens, which is kind of hilarious because a) I believe the show’s setting is Scandinavia, and b) the Vikings came to Ireland back in the day and made life hard for the Celts and other local peoples. It sure was pretty though! We even convinced John to take a picture of us(: Dani’s shirt may or may not have almost flown up in the wind and inadvertently caused poor John to get a bit flashed…
(okay, maybe he offered to take a picture, but I’m slowly learning the Irish method of storytelling. Haha)
After our scenic detour, we finally made it to Glendalough! The park has a bunch of camping spaces as well as multiple trails. The Wicklow Way trail wanders through there (apparently you can go from Dublin to some town in County Wicklow, or about 130 km total. I want to come back through Ireland and backpack the trail). There is also an old abandoned monastery dating back to the 6th century that blew my mind. I had never seen anything that old before.
Dani and I opted to take one of the 2ish kilometer trails around one of the lakes and saw some incredible views. While hiking, we overheard an eightish-year-old boy talking about the “smart-ass answer he put on his exam at school” with his parent (we think) and almost died laughing. At that age, I believe my Madre would have washed my mouth out with soap!
After Glendalough, John dropped Dani and me off at our hotel in Dublin. We took a short nap, and Dani talked me into dressing nice and going out to Temple Bar again since it was our last night in Dublin. I decided not to have any mixed drinks in an attempt not to get schwasty (again).
Well, I didn’t have any mixed drinks, but I did have a lot of Guinness (so delicious) and tequila shots….and at one point in the night, I supposedly decided I was good enough at bouldering to try and climb up one of the many old brick walls (facepalm). Thankfully Dani was babysitting…we did meet three English lads who I will refer to as Freckles, Minted, and Rugby. Freckles and Minted were nice if a bit shy. Rugby was very impressed with himself…and about four inches shorter than I am. We ended up butting heads a bit (understatement) and having lots of arguments about things I can’t even remember. The English boys asked us to explain Trump though, and Dani and I were useless as far as that goes haha.
The night ended with Dani and I back safely at the hotel and in our beds, soberish and not sick. Yay!
That’s all, folks!!