Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland!

The port of Wicklow
Strong, icy winds pound the Port of Wicklow.  Even to venture outside the car is risking being blown away!  Well we were "blown away" by the angry St George's Channel.  Large waves crashed over the breakwater and the lighthouse.
Now if you doubted me that it was cold last night, then here is the evidence.  This photo was taken at 10.30am and still the snow was not gone from the roofs at Glendalough.  But the scenery was certainly enhanced by the snow on the Wicklow Mountains.
Snow on the Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow is south of Dublin and is home to the amazing Monastic Site at Glendalough.  This early Christian ecclesiastical settlement was founded by St Kevin in the 6th century.
Belltower at Glendalough
Set in a valley with two lakes, the monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated celtic crosses.

Decorated Cross at Glendalough
Decorated crosses are so special and seem unique to Ireland.   There is also a working graveyard within this site, and ancient graves are mingled with modern.  Maybe it is symbolic of a continuing constant belief and culture.
The stone church also has a round tower where we would normally see a steeple.  Notice that there are no windows?
Eddie by the Upper Lake a Glendalough
It is almost a 3km walk to see the Upper lake but what scenery along the way and what a reward when you arrive.  If you look closely you can see the snow on the mountains in the background.

 Leaving Glendalough, we travelled to Powerscourt House and Gardens at Enniskerry, passing through some wonderfully and colourfully painted little villages.

The gardens were styled a little on Versailles but of course not so grand.  We enjoyed then enormously.

 The Japanese Garden was a favourite with Eddie.  It was so unique with intersting trails and paths and bridges.  The Cherry Blossom was so pretty.

I don't know the name of this mountain, but it seemed to dominate the views across the valley from the gardens.