Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dublin, Ireland

Leaving Waterford, Ireland around 6:30 PM on the cruise-ship Ocean Princess, we traveled 110 Nautical miles during the night-time hours, along the coast of Ireland in the Irish Sea, to arrive in Dublin, Ireland in the early morning.

Our itinerary today included a drive up to Wicklow, Ireland which was about a 50 minute tour-bus drive from Dublin. We were scheduled to see the country-estate-and-gardens at Powerscourt in Wicklow.  Then we would return to Dublin to sight-see around the city.

Below are some sights in Dublin taken from the tour-bus window, 
before we traveled on our way to Wicklow, Ireland.  

Customs House in Dublin, Ireland

Originally Dublin was founded as a Viking settlement in the 9th century.  With a very interesting history much has changed since that time, and now Dublin is the capital and most populated city in Ireland, with approximately 525,000 residents.

Irish Government Parliament House

There were so many charming and picturesque photo opportunities in Ireland,  how nice it would have been to stay longer.  But, we knew in advance our schedule would be tight and it was thrilling to be able to see what we were seeing in this beautiful country and this lovely city.

How pretty!

Our tour-bus guide told us these were individual private homes.

Some beautiful Irish countryside on our way to Wicklow, Ireland.

Not a very good photo from the bus window ...
Isn't it interesting to see the American Flag flying from that building as we enter into Wicklow.

Powerscourt Estate located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland is a large country estate.  The house is not open to the public, but the 47 acres of beautiful gardens are open for all to enjoy and is a  popular tourist attraction.

The house of Powerscourt was originally a 13th-century castle.  Unfortunately there was a huge fire in the home in 1974, but since then the home has been renovated and is privately owned.

As we entered into the beautiful Powerscourt entrance we saw a sign leading to a coffee shop ... That sure did sound good!  I must show you these beautiful Irish pastries, and what we chose for a coffee break ....

My husband and I chose the same thing ... A beautiful Irish Scone with what they called cream and jam.  And, it was every bit as good as it looks.  When I get some time I want to find a recipe and make some of these.  They are like biscuits only better, and with a touch of sweetness.  They called it cream to go along with the scone, but it tasted just like finely whipped butter ... So-o-o good!

After that delicious treat we are ready for the tour of Powerscourt which is one of the most beautiful country estates in Ireland.  Powerscourt is set in the beautiful Wicklow Mountains.

 It was a huge garden with many beautiful features.

A walled-garden with some unusual flowers.

A rose garden with climbing roses on the stone wall.

A fountain in the garden.

A lovely Dahlia garden.

More roses outside the greenhouse.

The gift shop at the end of the tour.

Irish Soda Bread.  This looks so delicious!

Some more beautiful breads.

And, more Irish pastries

These look like blueberry muffins, but instead they used raspberries ... What a good idea!

This is a Mohair or Lambswool loom.  They had beautiful "throws" of Mohair and Lambswool for sale there on the back table.  They were so incredibly soft.

Back on the tour-bus heading back to Dublin.

Arriving back in Dublin.

Helen, a  visitor who stopped by Sweet Southern Days,  left a "comment,"  and said she hoped we were able  to see "The Book of Kells."   while visiting in Dublin.  

We were told "The Book of Kells" is one of the top attractions when visiting Dublin, Ireland.  We were also told by our tour-guide that the lines were around the block waiting to see this historical book.   Being  limited on time we were not able to see this amazing historical attraction.

The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament.  It is a masterpiece of medieval art,  lavishly illustrated,  created by Celtic monks and dating back to the early 9th century.   This book can be seen at The Old Library in Trinity College in Dublin, which is the oldest college in Ireland.

Amazon has a reproduction version of The Book of Kells 
available at their website for those interested:

A photo of one of the bridges in Dublin again taken from the bus window.

We drove by these sculptures so quickly I was not able to get a photo ... but, they were so amazingly touching.  I found a photo on the Internet to show you ...  They are memorial statues representing the many Irish immigrants who left Ireland during the Potato Famine or The Great Famine... What a story that is!  Too long to tell about here, but definitely worth looking up info on this time in history.

Photo taken from the Internet.

Another bridge in Dublin.

How about those beautiful flowers!

Dublin was a huge and very busy city.

Walking in downtown Dublin enjoying the wonderful music this band was playing!

A flower-market on the street.

There were even flowers hanging from the street-light posts.
How pretty!

The ship's captain gave instruction to be back on board at 5:00 PM and said we would set sail shortly after.  Tomorrow we would spend the day "at sea" as we sailed up and around the tip of Scotland on around to our next and final cruise-ship destination, which would be Edinburgh, Scotland.

Thank you for coming along with us on our travels in and around the big city of Dublin, Ireland.  It was delightful seeing some of the countryside, the charmingly different buildings, the historical landmarks, beautiful flowers and just everything IRISH!   In all of our travels we unfortunately did not see,  not even one,  little Shamrock  or Leprechaun... Maybe next time!

As we all enjoy our last little bit of Summertime I wish you much happiness and many blessings wherever you may be.

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