Day 7: National Botanic Gardens to Enniskerry

October 8, 2010 16:41 – 16:41

Today’s adventures took us from the National Botanic Gardens to the Powerscourt Waterfall, and to the beach in Killiney. We decided to first drive past the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin on the way up to the Gardens. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a place to hesitate, let alone park. Even if we had, the building is too large to adequately photograph. As a nice bonus, however, as we were leaving that part of Dublin, we just happened across a bridge that afforded us a better view of Dublin’s unconventional convention center:

Next stop, the National Botanic Gardens.

Just as we arrived, this school group was finishing up some traditional Irish music. They were fantastic.

The café, where we did not have lunch, is a circular affair. Dublin does love its circular buildings.

Scattered all across the complex were numerous sculptures—many of them quite whimsical.

The gardens also paid tribute to yours truly.

There were several lovely arches.

Just to the right of the entryway for this arch is this, called the Outsiders, by William Foley.

We couldn’t quite figure this next one out—a collapsed hot air balloon hanging in the ceiling of a small atrium.

But, below the balloon, the display was more easily understood.

A castle-type tower—not quite sure of its purpose, if it had one—turns up in many of the pictures.

There were still many flowers in bloom for this time of year.

I did mention the whimsical sculptures, didn’t I? This one was called Clipart, by Jackie Ball.

It was also a nice day for a nap.

Here, a coven joins together in a worship circle.

I did mention that I like towers, didn’t I?

And what rhymes with towers?

This one is called Blue Moon, and is by Catherine E. Green.

Blue Moon is made from fiberglass and steel. This next guy is Cerunnos, a Celtic God King and protector of the forest.

Here, a young visitor admires one of the sculptures.

This one is made from ceramic & wood, and is called Seed Pod, by Alan Boyle.

I think this was my favorite. It was very shiny, and I love shiny things. This next one… we didn’t know. My guess would be bags of cocaine or heroin. Just remember this when someone says it doesn’t grow on trees.

And, of course, what’s whimsy without the occasional pun.

Only, the stone didn’t actually look living to us. The cactuses, on the other hand, did appear to be alive and well.

Okay… this one I’m going to leave completely to your imagination. You don’t want to know what I thought this was supposed to be.

The title was Summer Song, by Brian O’Laughlin. It’s made of wood.

And more flowers…

This one was called Arithmetic of Love, by Clodagh Murphy.

I couldn’t figure out what this little guy was doing, and the sign was MIA. So, we’ll just have to think about it.

There was lots more, but you get the point. By about 14:30, we had explored as much as we wanted, and decided to take in lunch at the Addison Lodge Carvery, across the road from the garden entrance. Fortunately, they were still open. We both had the roast beef—it was excellent. It included this peppercorn gravy that seems to be ubiquitous in the parts of Ireland we’ve visited so far—and it was quite good, too. You can’t go wrong with coarsely ground pepper and meat juices.

After lunch, we set a course for Enniskerry, south of Dublin. About 45 minutes later, we found ourselves entering the Powerscourt Waterfall park. Signs there were in English and Russian, for some reason. One of the signs proclaimed “No Anti-Social Behavior”—in English and I presume in Russian. Another demanded “No Loud Music”—also bilingually. I’m guessing that visiting Russians have a track record at that park.

In any event, these are the tallest falls in Ireland—and they were breathtaking.

After the falls, we next set a course for Killiney. Our host, Lola, told us of the lovely views of the bay, beach, and Irish Sea. We didn’t expect surfers, though. It was very hazy, unfortunately. But, you still get the idea of what a grand overlook this is, up on the Vico Road.

And yes… there were surfers.

And a train. I think this was the DART, but I can’t be positive.

And ruins… although they were hard to see from this distance.

And here we have two trains—one coming, and one going.

And, of course, a list of rules, including a prohibition against “unauthorized trading.”

So, since we weren’t allowed to trade, we decided to head back to Eaton Square. Once back, we decided to see what the local pizza tastes like. We did a little research and determined that Bits and Pizzas delivered. So, we ordered a Greek Salad, a couple of pints of Heineken, and a 12″ pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms. The salad and beer were good. So was the pizza. Except for the fact that their pepperoni tasted a bit too much like hot dogs to me. The texture was approximately right, but the slices were about the diameter of nickels, and the taste wasn’t what I expected. We’ve had pepperoni pizzas in most of Europe, and it’s usually a pretty standard taste—including in England, Scotland, and Wales. So, I suspect that this was just a local variation. In any case, if you love hot dogs, you might just love the pepperoni pizza at Bits and Pieces.

So, that’s the day so far. It’s now 22:18, and I’ve reached the end of this entry. Tomorrow, we leave Eaton Square and head southwest to New Mexico. Not really. We head southwest to Killarney. We plan to stop in Blarney and kiss the stone. Karen says I don’t need to kiss the stone—I’m already full of… well not Blarney. But, I guess I’d need to stop & kiss a cowpie. Personally, the Blarney Stone is more appealing. I’ll post this now, and proof it later. What are a few typos among friends? Right?

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