My sister and I booked a private tour with a driver one morning in Dublin. His name was Kieran, and he was just delightful. After giving us several options of possible drives we could do in or around Dublin, we chose to drive south . . . stopping in a few coastal towns and ending up at (you guessed it. . . ) a world-renowned garden at Powerscourt Estate.
We stopped for a bit of a walk in Dalkey, a charming seaside resort town. (And, according to Kieran, a very desirable - but very pricey - suburb of Dublin.)
It was quite early in town that morning, and the weather was a bit gloom-ish. Things were very quiet.
But absolutely charming!
We would've loved to visit this shop, but it was closed. (Best sign ever, non?)
Bono lives in Dalkey; we saw his driveway. . . and his "local" (pictured below). (Apparently, author Maeve Binchy lived and wrote just down the street from the pub.)
Dalkey Island is just off the shore . . .
The island is close enough that people regularly row or kayak out and spend the day -- climbing the tower, exploring the shoreline, having a picnic, etc. Kieran regaled us with tales of kayaking bachelor's parties!
He also mentioned that there are dolphins in the waters here, but we didn't see any during our visit.
We drove further down the coast . . . to Powerscourt. As we drove, the clouds were getting heavier and heavier!
I figured we'd be visiting another garden in the midst of rainstorm. . .
(and, really . . . Ireland is THAT green!)
No worries, though. We got through all of Powerscourt before the rain hit.
My first view. . .
and then . . . looking back up at the estate house from the pond.
There was a marvelous Japanese garden. . .
with a gorgeous little moss-y grotto. . .
(Seriously . . . The Green.)
I was kind of giddy . . .
There was a Pet Cemetery . . .
All of the family's beloved pets were buried here -- dogs, cats, ponies, even a cow! The headstones were so sweet . . .
The gardens were spectacular.
The grounds were over the top! (Kieran told us not to miss the 3-D garden gate.)
And, in the end, the sun even came out! (But only briefly.)
It was a wonderful morning in Ireland!